Hammers and Nails 2 - Machine Learning & HEP

July 2019


Eilam Gross
Weizmann Institute of Science

Kyle Cranmer


black board with formulas

Gauge Theories and Black Holes

December 2019

Gauge theories and gravitational theories are intimately related via the AdS/CFT correspondence (among other things). It is clear, however, that we have no yet fully harnessed the power of either. The interface of gauge theories and black holes poses a particular set of puzzles, and in recent years a new set of concepts and tools was developed to study this interface.

These new concepts and tools revolve around A) new ways of computing observables, the traditional basic objects of field theories and gravitational systems, such as partition functions and correlation functions (or S-matrix elements in the case of GR), and B) concepts which break away from these traditional paradigms.

In the former we include new methods for computing correlation functions via the bootstrap method, and it’s implication for quantum physics in the bulk via the AdS/CFT correspondence, significant progress in understanding new classes of supersymmetric gauge theories, and the control over duality in 2+1 dimensions (with its interface with CM physics). In the latter we include the understanding of non-local observables in various dimensions (with a strong interface to CM) and their relation to extended objects in gravity, new methods in field theories which rely on quantum information and quantum computation concepts (with interfaces to CM and Stat. Phys., via concepts like the MERA framework, entanglement and others), and new methods in analyzing time dependence in hard quantum systems, or quantum chaos, which is intimately related to the understanding of black holes (with interfaces to CM and hard statistical physics, via systems with randomness, spin glasses, classical and quantum chaos and others).

The workshop aims to bring together experts on some of these aspects for an interchange of ideas. Rather than having a large number of participants from each niche, we plan to bring selected leading people from each of them for mutual learning and an exchange of ideas. In additional we plan to have a large component of young participants.



Ofer Aharony
Weizmann Institute of Science

Micha Berkooz
Weizmann Institute of Science

Simon Ross
Durham University

Shimon Yankielowicz

Topological Space and Time Matter

January 2020

The workshop will bring together experts and young researchers in theoretical and experimental quantum condensed matter and cold atoms to discuss novel ideas and emerging directions in the field of topological matter. Among the topics that would be covered: novel topological phases of matter, both in engineered systems and in new materials; flouqet systems in and out of equilibrium, Networks of Majoranas Zero modes; etc…


Netanel Lindner

Yuval Oreg
Weizmann Institute of Science

Gil Refael

Ady Stern
Weizmann Institute of Science


Fluid flows, from graphene to planet atmospheres

December 17, 2018 – January 4, 2019

The workshop is aimed at bringing together leading researchers active in the broad field of theoretical and experimental fluid mechanics, fostering open discussions and exploring new directions of research in this rapidly evolving field. Topics that will be covered include turbulence onset and turbulence-flow interaction, complex fluids, viscous electronics, etc. The goal is to encourage cross-field interaction.


Gregory Falkovich, Weizmann Institute of Science
Leonid Levitov, MIT

Fluid Flows Banner

The origin of Fast Radio Bursts

December 3 – 13, 2018

The workshop will focus on the nature of Fast Radio Bursts (FRB), theory and observations.
FRBs are dispersed millisecond-duration pulses observed at the GHz frequencies.
First reported in 2007 by Lorimer et al., FRBs are still poorly understood.
Recent progress in observations start to shed light on the nature of FRBs. It is expected that new observations, as well as new instrumentation, will keep fueling the FRB revolution.


Avishay Gal-yam, Weizmann Institute of Science
Assaf Horesh, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Vicky Kaspi, McGill University
Eran Ofek, Weizmann Institute of Science
Eli Waxman, Weizmann Institute of Science

Radio Telescope

Physicists working on Cancer

July 1 – 12, 2018

During the past decade quite a few theoretical physicists became interested in cancer research. As is the case when physicist “invade” a field, the pursued research goals cover a very wide spectrum of topics and approaches. These include applying physics - based techniques and mathematical methods to physics problems that have possible relevance for cancer biology; modeling various processes that take part in the initiation, progression and metastasis of tumors; effects of chemotherapy and immunotherapy and the response to it; developing methods for analysis of high-throughput data and their application to cancer.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together 20 - 25 senior Physicists who are working on cancer and about 10 students or postdocs, to share their views, sharpen research questions relevant to this community, and to learn from each other as well as from guest biologists. The main topics are:

Tumor initiation and primary tumor growth

Metastasis: Cell Motility, ECM interactions, initiation of new growth

Chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy - efficacy versus resistance

Omic studies of high throughput data

We plan to have 2 lectures per day, allowing a lot of time for informal discussions. During the workshop we also plan to have 4 - 5 minicourses of 2 – 3 lectures, and a two day conference, to be held early, that will allow participants to present their work and to be exposed to lectures by leading Israeli cancer biologists.


Eytan Domany, Weizmann Institute, Israel
Herbert Levine, Rice University, USA
Caterina La Porta and Stefano Zapperi, University of Milan, Italy

Einstein with stethoscope

Radiation Transfer and Explosive Thermonuclear Burning in Supernovae

June 17 – 28, 2018

The workshop is dedicated to detailed modeling of supernovae, focused on radiation transfer and explosive thermonuclear burning. In this workshop we propose to bring together theoretical researchers from the different groups working on these problems to create dialogue and establish a better framework for comparing different approximations. We plan to achieve this by discussing acceptable benchmark problems and standards for exchange of calculations results, as well as sharing new advancements in physical understanding, data bases and algorithms.


Boaz Katz, Weizmann Institute of Science
Doron Kushnir, Weizmann Institute of Science
Stephane Blondin,LAM 
Markus Kromer, Heidelberg university
Frank Timmes, Arizona State University

Website banner

Correlations, Fluctuations and anomalous transport in systems far from equilibrium

December 31, 2017 – January 12, 2018

While considerable progress in the understanding the statistical and dynamical properties of systems far from thermal equilibrium has been made during the last few decades, a general

framework for the characterization of such systems is still lacking. The workshop is aimed at bringing together leading researchers, young scientists and PhD students active in the broad field of nonequilibrium statistical physics fostering open discussions and exploring new directions of research in this rapidly evolving field. Topics that will be covered in the workshop include the emergence of long-range correlations in driven systems; large deviations; anomalous transport whereby transport coefficients (such as heat conductivity) become divergent with the system's size in momentum conserving systems; rare events and extreme value statistics; the emergence of macroscopic structures in self-propelled systems: and related topics.

This is the 7th workshop organized under the auspices of the recently established Schwartz-Reisman Institute for Theoretical Physics (SRitp) at the Weizmann Institute. The SRitp supports small extended workshops focused on timely topics in theoretical physics. The main goal of the workshop program is to encourage international scientific collaboration on topics in the frontier of physics, with an emphasis on promoting scientists at early stages of their careers.

  • Yariv Kafri, Technion

  • Satya Majumdar, Universite Paris Sud

  • David Mukamel , Weizmann institute of Science

BSM in direct, indirect and tabletop experiments

November 5 – 16, 2017

In this workshop we attempt to expand our searches and deepen our understanding of dark matter particles as well as other light force mediators. We plan to do so both theoretically and via experimental effort. Direct dark matter searches are expected to progress with the expected results from the upcoming XENON1T, LZ and super CDMS experiments and the future Darwin experiment. Further insight is to be achieved at the precision frontier of atomic physics. Special focus will be given to non-traditional experimental approaches and techniques.

  • Ranny Budnik, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Claudia Frugiuele, Weizmann Institute of Science 
  • Elina Fuchs, Weizmann institute of Science 
  • Yonit Hochberg, Cornell/Hebrew University
  • Gilad Perez, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Roee Ozeri, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Tome Volansky, Tel Aviv University

Hammers & Nails - Machine Learning & HEP

July 19 – 28, 2017

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together particle physicists and machine learning researchers to discuss the unique challenges posed by high-energy physics data analysis problems. While some of these problems are simply waiting to be matched with well-established techniques (the pairing of hammers and nails), many require or inspire the development of novel methods.

Topics include:

Generative models, high-dimensional density estimation, and likelihood-free inference

Sublinear-time pattern recognition and online learning

Domain adaptation and systematic uncertainty

Anomaly detection

Optimal experiment design and black box optimization

And new ideas we don’t yet know we need!


We plan an informal atmosphere, with typically 2-3 open-ended lectures each day turning into free discussion, and plenty of time for both independent work and collaboration.

Participation is by invitation only.

We offer  travel support; for organizational purposes, it is crucial that you provide us with the Visiting Scientist and reimbursement details that can be found in the "forms" page on this website, and in the email that you should have received from our admin. Please do not hesitate to contact us for questions.

  • Eilam Gross, Weizmann Institute of Science
Hammers and Nails


July 2 – 11, 2017

The workshop is planned for a few dozen people and it will focus on specific topics. The workshop topics will be topics of particular interest and immediacy to the community in 2017, which are also of interest to the members of the WIS group. Currently the planned topics include exact results in quantum field theories, the AdS/CFT correspondence between gauge theories and gravitational theories, and the relation between black holes and quantum chaos. The detailed set of topics, and of participants, will be decided at the beginning of 2017. In any case, we plan to focus on no more than 2-­‐3 (interrelated) topics. 

  • Ofer Aharony, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Micha Berkooz, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Zohar Komargodski, Weizmann Institute of Science
post strings


January 2 – 15, 2017

The field of high energy cosmic-ray, gamma-ray and neutrino astrophysics has seen major experimental developments over the past decade. These include IceCube’s detection of extra-terrestrial high energy neutrinos, new measurements of ultra-high energy as well as lower energy cosmic-rays, and new space and ground based high-energy gamma-ray measurements. Furthermore, a wide array of large neutrino, cosmic-ray, and gamma-ray experiments are under construction and/or planning. In light of these developments, a discussion of the theoretical open questions, that are most important to address, and of the directions of the experimental efforts, that will be most efficient in addressing these questions, is highly timely. The goal of the workshop is to contribute to focusing the theoretical and experimental efforts.

  • Kfir Blum, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Ran Budnik, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Albrecht Karle, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Yosef Nir, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Eli Waxman, Weizmann Institute of Science
Photo Gallery

Strongly correlated matter: present and future

December 11 – 22, 2016

The workshop will bring together young group leaders in theoretical and experimental quantum condensed matter physics to discuss new ideas and emerging directions in the field.


Erez Berg, Weizmann Institute of Science
Yuval Oreg, Weizmann Institute of Science
Ady Stern, Weizmann Institute of Science

Photo Gallery
Workshop: Strongly correlated matter: present and future

Cosmological probes of fundamental physics

May 29 – June 10, 2016

The purpose of the workshop is to bring together particle physicists, cosmologists, and astrophysicists, to discuss observational progress and new theoretical ideas aimed to utilize cosmological and astrophysical data as a probe for physics beyond the Standard Model.


Dr. Kfir Blum, Weizmann Institute of Science
Dr. Raphael Flauger, Texas University
Aielet Efrati, Weizmann Institute of Science