Hurd, Thomas R.
Professor, D.Phil. (Oxford)
Dept. of Mathematics & Statistics, McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Canada L8S 4K1
905-525-9140, ext. 27304
Research Area: Financial Mathematics
Research Profile: Financial mathematics, quantum fields
Theoretical physics is largely about proposing mathematical models for physics at atomic and subatomic scales, deriving predictions of these models and comparing to the observed behaviour of materials. The role of mathematical physicists like myself is to derive the mathematical consequences of such models. We like to prove their consistency, to understand and avoid hidden pitfalls and to develop more reliable predictions. The renormalization group (RG) is a point of view which allow us to think of the infinite dimensional behaviour of models of elementary particle physics and statistical mechanics in terms of a flow in just one or two or three "relevant'' dimensions. Of course, such a simplification must be understood very clearly if we are to take its predictions seriously. In my research, I study mathematical quantum field theory, and implement the RG philosophy as a rigorous analytical tool. To do so, I must say what really is the effect of the infinity of "irrelevant'' dimensions which one would like to ignore.