Nature Guiding Theory

August 21 - 23, 2014

Final Indico schedule now available!

The discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations completes the Standard Model. All experimental tests of the nature of the Higgs boson indicate it is an elementary scalar field, the first we have seen in Nature. But the origin of the Higgs boson mass and the scale of electroweak symmetry breaking are not yet understood. Without new particles or new symmetries, the Higgs mass is quadratically sensitive to the highest energy scales.

This has inspired many model building ideas aimed at solving the hierarchy problem. Most solutions, including supersymmetry and strong dynamics, predict new physics accessible at the TeV scale. Further, these paradigms dictate a specific structure for much of the collider phenomenology at the LHC — top-partners or extended electroweak symmetry breaking scalar sectors are characteristic predictions. On the other hand, there is currently no experimental evidence for new TeV scale physics.

The goal of the workshop is to robustly understand the connection between the hierarchy problem and predictions for new physics derived from its possible solutions. The set of predictions arising from the mechanisms developed so far have been a main driver for theory and experiment. Therefore, sharpening this implication will shape expectations for new physics at the TeV scale. Is new TeV scale physics guaranteed by naturalness? If not, exploring any possible caveats that dilute this correspondence is critical. New mechanisms will have a significant impact on our understanding of quantum field theory. Furthermore, they could uncover profound interplay between gravity and field theory, and possibly connect with the cosmological constant problem.

We aim to bring together experimentalists and theorists to develop a modern understanding of electroweak scale naturalness. Traditional paradigms will be juxtaposed with new ideas for solving the hierarchy problem. Phenomenological implications of naturalness will also be a significant area of attention. The discovery of a light elementary scalar in Nature is a profound fact with far-reaching implications which will guide the future of particle physics.


Prateek Agrawal (FNAL) []

Joe Lykken (FNAL) []

Raman Sundrum (U. of Maryland) []

Felix Yu (FNAL) []


This workshop is partly supported by the Universities Research Association, Inc.

Please note there is an experimentally focused workshop titled "Next steps in the Energy Frontier - Hadron Colliders" also at Fermilab that will run from August 25-28, 2014, following our workshop. Information and registration can be found at

Page last updated July 28, 2014.