Prof. Mikhail Shaposhnikov

Mikhail Chapochnikov (the English spelling of his name, Shaposhnikov, is used in all his scientific publications) was born in Sochi, Russia, in 1956. He got his degree from Moscow States University in 1979 and his PhD from the Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1982 for his work on the problem of baryon asymmetry of the universe in grand unified theories. He worked from 1982 till 1986 as a junior research scientist and from 1986 till 1991 as a senior research scientist at the Theory Division of the Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow). From 1991 till 1998 he worked as a staff member at the Theory Division of European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN, Geneva). In 1998 he was appointed as a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Lausanne, in 1999 he became a Director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics of Lausanne University. Since October 2003 he is a Professor at EPFL, leading the Laboratory for Particle Physics and Cosmology.
His main scientific interest is a relation between particle physics, quantum field theory and cosmology. He worked on the problem of baryon number nonconservation in the early universe and baryon asymmetry, on electroweak baryogenesis, on phase transitions in gauge theories at high temperatures and their cosmological applications, on dark matter and cosmological constant. He also worked on alternatives to compactification in theories in extra dimensions and on non-topological solitons.

Papers bookmarked by Mikhail Shaposhnikov papers

  • We argue that the Higgs boson of the Standard Model can lead to inflation and produce cosmological perturbations in accordance with observations. An essential requirement is the non-minimal coupling of the Higgs scalar field to gravity; no new particle besides already present in the electroweak theory is required.
  • We present a comprehensive overview of an extension of the Standard Model that contains three right-handed (sterile) neutrinos with masses below the electroweak scale [the Neutrino Minimal Standard Model, (nuMSM)]. We consider the history of the Universe from the inflationary era through today and demonstrate that most of the observed phenomena beyond the Standard Model can be explained within the framework of this model. We review the mechanism of baryon asymmetry of the Universe in the nuMSM and discuss a dark matter candidate that can be warm or cold and satisfies all existing constraints. From the viewpoint of particle physics the model provides an explanation for neutrino flavor oscillations. Verification of the nuMSM is possible with existing experimental techniques.
  • In thermal equilibrium the ground state of the plasma of Standard Model particles is determined by temperature and exactly conserved combinations of baryon and lepton numbers. We show that at non-zero values of the global charges a translation invariant and homogeneous state of the plasma becomes unstable and the system transits into a new state, containing a large-scale magnetic field. The origin of this effect is the parity-breaking character of weak interactions and chiral anomaly. This situation can occur in the early Universe and may play an important role in its subsequent evolution.
  • We discuss the lower Higgs boson mass bounds which come from the absolute stability of the Standard Model (SM) vacuum and from the Higgs inflation, as well as the prediction of the Higgs boson mass coming from asymptotic safety of the SM. We account for the 3-loop renormalization group evolution of the couplings of the Standard Model and for a part of two-loop corrections that involve the QCD coupling alpha_s to initial conditions for their running. This is one step above the current state of the art procedure ("one-loop matching--two-loop running"). This results in reduction of the theoretical uncertainties in the Higgs boson mass bounds and predictions, associated with the Standard Model physics, to 1-2 GeV. We find that with the account of existing experimental uncertainties in the mass of the top quark and alpha_s (taken at 2sigma level) the bound reads M_H>=M_min (equality corresponds to the asymptotic safety prediction), where M_min=129+-6 GeV. We argue that the discovery of the SM Higgs boson in this range would be in agreement with the hypothesis of the absence of new energy scales between the Fermi and Planck scales, whereas the coincidence of M_H with M_min would suggest that the electroweak scale is determined by Planck physics. In order to clarify the relation between the Fermi and Planck scale a construction of an electron-positron or muon collider with a center of mass energy ~200+200 GeV (Higgs and t-quark factory) would be needed.
  • The diversity of structures in the Universe (from the smallest galaxies to the largest superclusters) has formed under the pull of gravity from the tiny primordial perturbations that we see imprinted in the cosmic microwave background. A quantitative description of this process would require description of motion of zillions of dark matter particles. This impossible task is usually circumvented by coarse-graining the problem: one either considers a Newtonian dynamics of "particles" with macroscopically large masses or approximates the dark matter distribution with a continuous density field. There is no closed system of equations for the evolution of the matter density field alone and instead it should still be discretized at each timestep. In this work we describe a method of solving the full 6-dimensional Vlasov-Poisson equation via a system of auxiliary Schroedinger-like equations. The complexity of the problem gets shifted into the choice of the number and shape of the initial wavefunctions that should only be specified at the beginning of the computation (we stress that these wavefunctions have nothing to do with quantum nature of the actual dark matter particles). We discuss different prescriptions to generate the initial wave functions from the initial conditions and demonstrate the validity of the technique on two simple test cases. This new simulation algorithm can in principle be used on an arbitrary distribution function, enabling the simulation of warm and hot dark matter structure formation scenarios.
  • We propose a strategy of how to look for dark matter (DM) particles possessing a radiative decay channel and derive constraints on their parameters from observations of X-rays from our own Galaxy and its dwarf satellites. When applied to the sterile neutrinos in keV mass range, it allows a significant improvement of restrictions to its parameters, as compared with previous works.
  • The anomaly cancellation condition of the Standard Model may be unnatural in theories with extra dimensions as an anomaly of a low-energy 4-dimensional theory can be canceled by an inflow from a bulk. This inflow may give rise to an observable effect at low energies. We analyze several physical models in which this effect exists and estimate constraints on its value, imposed by the modern experimental data. We show that the effect can be large enough to be observed even when these constraints are satisfied. Positive result of such an experiment would be a low-energy signature of the existence of extra dimensions.