Jacob Bourjaily

Jacob Bourjaily

Jacob Lewis Bourjaily,
Associate Professor
of Physics

Penn State University and
The Niels Bohr Institute

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contact information:

Jacob Bourjaily
Department of Physics
Penn State University

email: bourjaily (at) psu.edu

Jacob Bourjaily's Home Page



I am a theoretical physicist with a joint appointment at Penn State University an the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. I completed my PhD in 2011 at Princeton University under the supervision of my advisor and collaborator Nima Arkani-Hamed at the Institute for Advanced Study, after which I spent three years at Harvard University as a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows.

The primary focus of my research has been the development of a recursive reformulation of perturbative quantum field theory based exclusively on physical observables, and improving the mathematical and computational tools needed to determine and evaluate scattering amplitudes in quantum field theory more generally.

This programme of research has important applications for predicting real observables for experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and has many deep connections to active areas of mathematical research involving graph theory, motivic cohomology, and the geometry of certain stratifications of Grassmannian manifolds.

I have also worked on string theory and particle physics phenomenology, with a particular interest in the local, geometric structures which can lead to physically interesting phenomenological models in M-theory and F-theory.

Academic Positions:

Pennsylvania State University (2020-present)
Associate Professor of Physics

Niels Bohr International Academy and Discovery Center (2014-present)
Associate Professor of Physics

Harvard University (2011-2014)
Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows


Princeton University
Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, May 2011.
M.A. in Physics, January 2008.

University of Cambridge, Trinity College
M.A.St., Masters of Advanced Studies, Mathematics (formerly CASM), June 2006.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
B.S. with Highest Honors in Physics, Mathematics, April 2005.

Research Funding and Grants:

Ernest Rutherford Fellowship STFC (2019-2024)
503,405.60 (~$670,000)

Royal Society University Research Fellowship (declined) (2019)
782,205 (~$955,600)

ERC Starting Grant (2018-23)
1,499,695 (~$1,759,000)

Villum Foundation Young Investigator Research Grant (2017-2022)
7,390,515 DKK (~$1,035,000)

Danish Council for Independent Research MOBILEX Grant (2014-17)
2,000,187 DKK (~$335,000)

Harvard University Milton Grant (2012-2014)

Research Publications: (follow this link for an updated list)

  •  J. Bourjaily, S. Franco, D Galloni, and C. Wen, Stratifying On-Shell Cluster Varieties: the Geometry of Non-Planar On-Shell Diagrams, arXiv:1607.01781 [hep-th]
  • N. Bjerrum-Bohr, J. Bourjaily, P. Damgaard, and B. Feng, Analytic Representations of Yang-Mills Amplitudes, arXiv:1605.06501 [hep-th]
  • J. Bourjaily, P. Heslop, and V-V. Tran, Perturbation Theory at Eight Loops: Novel Structures and the Breakdown of Manifest Conformality, arXiv:1512.07912 [hep-th].
  • C. Baadsgaard, N. Bjerrum-Bohr, J. Bourjaily, S. Caron-Huot, P. Damgaard, and B. Feng, New Representations of the Perturbative S-Matrix, arXiv:1509.02169 [hep-th].
  • C. Baadsgaard, N. Bjerrum-Bohr, J. Bourjaily, P. Damgaard, and B. Feng, Integration Rules for Loop Scattering Equations, arXiv:1508.03627 [hep-th].
  • C. Baadsgaard, N. Bjerrum-Bohr, J. Bourjaily, and P. Damgaard, Scattering Equations and Feynman Diagrams, arXiv:1507.00997 [hep-th].
  • C. Baadsgaard, N. Bjerrum-Bohr, J. Bourjaily, and P. Damgaard, Integration Rules for Scattering Equations, arXiv:1506.06137 [hep-th].
  • J. Bourjaily and J. Trnka, Local Integrand Representations of All Two-Loop Amplitudes in Planar SYM, arXiv:1505.05886 [hep-th].
  • N. Arkani-Hamed, J. Bourjaily, F. Cachazo, A. Postnikov, and J. Trnka, On-Shell Structures of MHV Amplitudes Beyond the Planar Limit, arXiv:1412.8475 [hep-th].
  • N. Arkani-Hamed, J. Bourjaily, F. Cachazo, and J. Trnka, On the Singularity Structure of Maximally Supersymmetric Scattering Amplitudes, arXiv:1410.0354 [hep-th].
  • J. Bourjaily, S. Caron-Huot, and J. Trnka, Dual-Conformal Regularization of Infrared Loop Divergences and the Chiral Box Expansion, arXiv:1303.4734 [hep-th].
  • J. Bourjaily, Positroids, Plabic Graphs, and Scattering Amplitudes in Mathematica, arXiv:1212.6974 [hep-th].
  • N. Arkani-Hamed, J. Bourjaily, F. Cachazo, A. Goncharov, A. Postnikov, and J. Trnka, Scattering Amplitudes and the Positive Grassmannian, arXiv:1212.5605 [hep-th].
  • J. Bourjaily, A. Dire, A. Shaikh, M. Spradlin, and A. Volovich, The Soft-Collinear Bootstrap: N=4 Yang-Mills Amplitudes at Six and Seven Loops, arXiv:1112.6432 [hep-th].
  • N. Arkani-Hamed, J. Bourjaily, F. Cachazo, A. Hodges, and J. Trnka, A Note on Polytopes for Scattering Amplitudes, arXiv:1012.6030 [hep-th].
  • N. Arkani-Hamed, J. Bourjaily, F. Cachazo, and J. Trnka, Local Integrals for Planar Scattering Amplitudes, arXiv:1012.6032 [hep-th].
  • J. Bourjaily, Efficient Tree Amplitudes in N=4: Automatic BCFW Recursion in Mathematica, arXiv:1011.2447 [hep-ph].
  • J. Bourjaily J. Trnka, A. Volovich, and C. Wen, The Grassmannian and the Twistor String in N=4 SYM, arXiv:1006.1899 [hep-th].
  • N. Arkani-Hamed, J. Bourjaily, F. Cachazo, and J. Trnka, Unification of Residues and Grassmannian Dualities, arXiv:0912.4912 [hep-th].
  • N. Arkani-Hamed, J. Bourjaily, F. Cachazo, and J. Trnka, Local Spacetime Physics from the Grassmannian, arXiv: 0912.3249 [hep-th].
  • J. Bourjaily, Effective Field Theories for Local Models in F-Theory and M-Theory, arXiv:0905.014 [hep-th].
  • J. Bourjaily, Local Models in F-Theory and F-Theory with Three Generations, arXiv:0901.3785 [hep-th].
  • J. Bourjaily and S. Espahbodi, Geometrically Engineerable Chiral Matter in M-Theory, arXiv:0804.1132 [hep-th].
  • J. Bourjaily, Unfolding Geometric Unification in M-Theory, arXiv:0706.3364 [hep-th].
  • J. Bourjaily, Geometrically Engineering the Standard Model: Locally Unfolding Three Families out of E8, arXiv:0704.0445 [hep-th]. Phys. Rev. D76:045004.
  • J. Bourjaily, Multiple Unfoldings of Orbifold Singularities: Engineering Geometric Analogies to Unification, arXiv:0704.0444 [hep-th]. Phys. Rev. D79:046005.
  • J. Bourjaily, G. Kane, P. Kumar, and T. Wang, Outside the mSUGRA Box;
  • J. Bourjaily and G. Kane, What is the Cosmological Significance of a Discovery of Wimps at Colliders or in Direct Experiments?, hep-ph/0501262.
  • J. Bourjaily, Determining the Actual Local Density of Dark Matter Particles. Eur. Phys. J. C-D. Also to appear in the proceedings of ISSP 2004; astro-ph/0410470.
  • J. Bourjaily, Weighing the Dark Matter Halo. To appear in "IDM 2004: The 5th International Workshop on the Identification of Dark Matter," eds. N. Spooner and V. Kudryavtsev; astro-ph/0411409.

Honors and Awards:

Professional and Honorary Societies:

Mathematical delight

News and Updates:

Added a list of still outstanding banknotes featuring scientists, mathematicians and science-related material.

Updated my banknote collection, adding a fifth page.

website last updated:
15th January 2016