Carnegie Mellon University

Ira Z. Rothstein

Professor of Physics

Nuclear & Particle Physics
High Energy Physics Theory
Wean Hall 7406


Prof. Ira Rothstein

Education & Professional Experience

Ph.D.: University of Maryland (1992)
M.Sc.: Brown University (1987)

Professional Societies:
Fellow, American Physical Society


Curriculum Vitae

Professor of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, 2003–
Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, 2000–03
Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, 1997–2000
Post-doctoral Research: UC San Diego, 1995–97
Post-doctoral Research: University of Michigan, 1992–95

Research Interests

My work focuses on the application of ``Effective Field Theory” (EFT) to study complex, non-linear, strongly coupled systems. EFT is perhaps the most powerful tool we have to understand all aspects of science, as it is based upon the language of quantum field theory which is believed to correctly describe nature at all accessible distance scales. The EFT methodology can simplify complicated multi-scale problems by taking advantage of the deep and profound fact that nature allows us to separate physics at different distance scales. For instance, we can study a block sliding down a plane without knowing that the block is made of atoms. This ``decoupling” property is a consequence of a certain characteristic of all known physical laws known as ``locality”.

I have used EFT’s to study Higgs boson production at the LHC, the strong interaction dynamics of protons, cold atomic gases and black hole horizon physics. Recently, I have spent much of my time working on using ideas developed in quantum field theory to calculate classical gravity wave profiles for inspiralling black holes. Using these techniques, we have been able to calculate the effects of black hole spin on the predicted wave forms which are being measured at the LIGO experiment. I have also been working on applying effective field theory techniques to novel quantum aspects of solids.

Recent Publications

I.Z. Rothstein, P. Shrivastava, Symmetry Obstruction to Fermi Liquid Behavior in the Unitary Limit, Phys. Rev. B 99, 3, 035101 (2019)

I.Z. Rothstein, P. Shrivastava, Symmetry Realization via a Dynamical Inverse Higgs Mechanism, J.High Energ. Phys. 05, 014 (2018)

A. Kapustin, T. McKinney, I.Z. Rothstein, Wilsonian effective field theory of 2D van Hove singularities, Phys. Rev. B 98, 3, 035122 (2018)

C. Cheung, I.Z. Rothstein, M.P. Solon, From Scattering Amplitudes to Classical Potentials in the Post-Minkowskian Expansion, Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 251101 (2018)

I.Z. Rothstein, I. Stewart, An Effective Field Theory for Forward Scattering and Factorization ViolationJ. High Energ. Phys. 08, 025 (2016)

D. Neill, I.Z. Rothstein, V. Vaidya, The Higgs Transverse Momentum Distribution at NNLL and its Theoretical ErrorsJ. High Energ. Phys. 12, 097 (2015)


M. Baumgart, I.Z. Rothstein, V. Vaidya, Calculating the Annihilation Rate of Weakly Interacting Massive ParticlesPhys. Rev. Lett. 114, 211301 (2015) 

M. Baumgart, A.K. Leibovich, T. Mehen, I.Z. Rothstein, Probing quarkonium production mechanisms with jet substructureJ. High Energ. Phys. 11, 3 (2014) 

D. Neill, I.Z. Rothstein, Classical space–times from the S-matrixNuclear Phys. B 877, 177 (2013) 

Ira Z. Rothstein, Gravitational Anderson LocalizationPhys. Rev. Lett. 110, 011601 (2013)

W.D. Goldberger, I.Z. Rothstein, Structure-function sum rules for systems with large scattering lengthsPhys. Rev. A 85, 013613 (2012)

J.-Y. Chiu, A. Jain, D. Neill, I. Z. Rothstein, Rapidity Renormalization GroupPhys. Rev. Lett. 108, 151601 (2012)


More Publications:
ORCID  Researcher ID