Prof. Jean Zinn-Justin

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    CEA, IRFU and Institut de Physique Théorique, Centre de Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France

    Featured Author: Jean Zinn-Justin

    Jean Zinn--Justin.jpg

    Dr. Zinn-Justin (b. 1943) attended École Polytechnique for his undergraduate degree, graduating in 1964. He continued his research under Marcel Froissart at the University of Orsay, earning a Ph.D. in 1968. While Zinn-Justin has had a permanent position with the CEA-Saclay theory group, he has also held visiting positions as SUNY Stony-Brook, CERN, Princeton, Harvard, and MIT.

    Zinn-Justin is a recipient of the Gentner-Kastler prize and the Humboldt-Gay Lussac award. He has been the head editor of publications including Journal de Physique, and the Institute of Physics Journal of Physics A, along with membership on the editorial boards of other journals. He has directed the Les Houches summer school, the Theoretical Institute and subsequently the Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (formerly, Dapnia), both in Saclay.

    Zinn-Justin's research in quantum physics looks principally at quantum field theory and the renormalization group, especially at how they apply to particle physics and the statistical physics of phase transitions. In collaboration with B.W. Lee he presented the first proof of the renormalizability of gauge theories in the symmetry broken phase with respect to weak interactions.

    Scholarpedia articles:

    Gauge invariance (2008), Scholarpedia, 3(12):8287
    Path integral (2009), Scholarpedia, 4(2):8674
    Zinn-Justin equation (2009), Scholarpedia, 4(1):7120
    Critical_Phenomena:_field_theoretical_approach (in progress), Scholarpedia x(x):xxxx

    (Author profile by Leo Trottier)
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    Jean Zinn-Justin IRFU and IPhT, CEA Saclay, France


    Jean Zinn-Justin graduated from Ecole Polytechnique (France) in 1964 and did his PhD thesis under the supervision of Marcel Froissart (University of Orsay, 1968).


    He has a permanent position in the CEA-Saclay theory group since 1966, was postdoc in Stony-Brook (1971-1972), fellow at CERN, lecturer in Princeton and Harvard (Loeb lecturer) and Harris scholar at MIT. He has directed Les Houches school of Physics, the CEA-Saclay theoretical Institute (IPhT) and more recently the CEA Institute of Research into the fundamental Laws of the Universe (IRFU) also in Saclay. He has been part-time lecturer at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, Université de Cergy-Pontoise and then Université de Paris 7. Presently, he is part-time professor at Shanghai University. He has also been the head editor of Journal de Physique, Journal of Physics A (IOP) and still belongs to the Board of the New Journal of Physics, Progress of Physics and Nuclear Physics.


    • In 1996 he has received the the Gentner-Kastler prize and in 2003 the Humboldt-Gay Lussac award. Since 2010 he is corresponding member of the Academy of Science and Literature of Mainz (Germany) and doctor honoris causa of the ETH Zürich. In 2011 he has been elected member of the French Academy of Sciences.


    Research interests

    His scientific interests centre around quantum field theory and renormalization group, and their applications to particle physics and the statistical physics of phase transitions. With Lee, he has given the first proof of the renormalizability of gauge theories in the symmetry broken phase, as relevant for weak interactions. With first Le Guillou and then Guida, he has derived the most precise estimates of critical exponents by field theoretical methods. He has also worked on the statistical properties of large random matrices. As technical tools, he has contributed to the field integral formulation of quantum field theory, to the understanding of the divergence of perturbation series by semi-classical methods (instantons) and to the development of methods to sum divergent series.

    Selected articles and books

    • Jean, Zinn-Justin (2002). Quantum Field Theory and Critical Phenomena (Fourth edition). The International Series of Monographs on Physics, 113 Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0198509235
    • Jean, Zinn-Justin (2004). Path Integrals in Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 978-0198566748; French version: Intégrale de chemin in mécanique quantique : Introduction. EDP Sciences/CNRS Editions, Les Ulis 2003. ISBN 2-86883-660-7; Russian translation Fislitmat (Moscou 2006).
    • Jean, Zinn-Justin (2005). Transitions de phase et groupe de renormalisation. EDP Sciences/CNRS Editions, Les Ulis. ISBN 2868837905; English version: Phase Transitions and Renormalization Group. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2007. ISBN 9780199227198
    Figure 1: J Z--J
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