Simon Catterall

Relevant Information
Office Physics 309
Office Hours See course page
Office Phone Number x5978

Biographical Info

Simon Catterall is a Professor of Physics at Syracuse University. He was born in England in 1964 and obtained a BA in Physics from Oxford University in 1985. In 1989 he received a D.Phil. in Theoretical Physics from Oxford. Following research appointments at Cambridge University, University of Illinois and the European Centre for Particle Physics (CERN) in Geneva, he joined the faculty at Syracuse in 1994.


Prof. Catterall is currently interested in theoretical and computational lattice studies of theories which attempt to go beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. In the past he has worked on discrete theories of quantum gravity and string theory but more recently has been interested in studying supersymmetric theories on the lattice. He has developed new lattice formulations which allow an element of supersymmetry to be preserved exactly at non-zero lattice spacing and has begun studying these theories using Monte Carlo simulation. Such studies can potentially cast light on conjectured dualities between supersymmetric gauge theories and gravity and have impact and application in string and M-theory. He has also pioneered investigations of lattice gauge theories with fermions in higher dimensional representations which may be important for constructing technicolor models of composite Higgs. Such models are conjectured to develop conformally invariant phases as the number of fermion flavors is increased. Close to these points the theory exhibits a slow evolution of the coupling with energy scale -- the theory walks. We have been examining the minimal model with 2 colors and 2 flavors which can form the basis of a technicolor model for breaking the electroweak theory with a light composite Higgs. He has also recently begun a study of the role of four fermion interactions in such theories. This work may have consequences for LHC physics. Prof. Catterall is a member of the Scientific Program Committee of USQCD - a collaboration of US scientists who use large scale supercomputer simulation to study the nature and interactions of elementary particles. This collaboration has dedicated hardware on multi Teraflop scale supersomputers at Fermilab, Brookhaven and Jlab for carrying out these studies.

Publications and further details.
See here for some recent talks


Simon has been involved with integrating computers into the classroom. As part of this he and his colaborators developed an internet-based multimedia module Mind and Machine. He also helped develop a SimScience website devoted to explaining how computer simulations are used in science. The latter two projects received NSF support. Simon also regularly teaches courses on computational science employing python and Java-based programming labs He has also taught

Family and hobbies

Outside the classroom Simon is a keen rockclimber and mountaineer being past President of the Oxford University Mountaineering Club. He has climbed extensively both in Britain, the United States, South America and the European Alps. See some slides from a recent trip to the Cordillera Vilcanota in southern Peru. Simon is married with two children and lives in Ithaca.