Seth Koren

Seth Koren

Oehme Postdoctoral Fellow

Enrico Fermi Institute of the University of Chicago


I’m a theoretical physicist working at the junction of high energy theory and the real world. I have broad interests across many aspects of particle physics, cosmology, field theory, and gravity, and I enjoy collaborating, mentoring, and other forms of talking about physics.

I’m quite proud of my dissertation, which begins with an extensive introduction aiming to pedagogically explain renormalization and the hierarchy problem. I place considerable focus on clearing conceptual pitfalls and on debunking common misconsceptions, and I’ve been flattered to hear that it is a useful resource for the community.

My thesis also received the APS 2022 Sakurai Dissertation Award in Theoretical Particle Physics, though that was more about the sections on my own research.

What the heck sort of website is this anyway

This is emphatically not one of those academic websites where you learn that I always knew I wanted to do physics; or some family friend was a scientist who inspired me; or I won national math contests in high school; or I got a scholarship to my first-choice unversity; or I solved some longstanding open problem as an undergraduate, and then you go away a bit awed and feeling like maybe you aren’t sure that you can make it as a scientist yourself. There are enough such websites you may visit.

It is instead my intention to be raw and unfiltered, to be honest and overly open about myself and my experiences in and out of academia, and to therefore reflect accurately the reality that you don’t have to have done everything right, or have started learning science as a toddler, or conform to any aesthetic expectations, or be neurotypical to be a good physicist. I expand on this motivation elsewhere on this site, and I also took the opportunity of accepting the APS Sakurai Award to make some related unconventional remarks as well.