Jan Govaerts

Academic staff


Centre for Cosmology, Particle Physics and Phenomenology - CP3
Université catholique de Louvain
2, Chemin du Cyclotron - Box L7.01.05
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

+32 10 47 3226


UCL member card
Physique générale 1
Formation aux principes de base de la mécanique de Newton et de la relativité restreinte
LPHY1111 (45h + 45h; shared with V. Lemaître)

Physique générale 2
Formation aux principes de base des lois de l'électricité et du magnétisme
LPHY1112 (45h + 45h; shared with V. Lemaître)

Physique générale 3
Poursuit la formation en physique générale des cours LPHY1111 et LPHY1112,
pour la physique des ondes, les phénomènes ondulatoires classiques et l'optique
LPHY1211 (30h + 30h; shared with V. Lemaître)

Electromagnétisme classique
Cours approfondi portant sur l'électromagnétisme, les équations de Maxwell et leurs méthodes mathématiques
LPHY1311 (37.5h + 15h)

Quantum Field Theory II
Introduction to quantisation, perturbation theory and renormalisation in relativistic quantum field theories
LPHY2122 (30h)

Electroweak Interactions
Introduction to the Standard Model of the Electroweak interactions
LPHY2224 (22.5h; shared with F. Maltoni)

Thesis Tutorial
PHY2998 (15h; in collaboration with Mrs Annick Mercier-Sonck)
People responsibilities
PhD students
Clémentine Dassy (UCL-assistants) (member since September 2020)

Master students

Former members
People Responsibilities outside CP3
Ph.D. Students
Research statement

  • Nonperturbative gauge dynamics, geometry and topology
  • Noncommutative, fuzzy and quantum geometries, and quantum gravitation
  • Particle physics and the unifications of all fundamental quantum interactions inclusive of gravity
  • Collective quantum phenomena in condensed matter physics (superconductivity)
  • Theoretical and mathematical physics

As a driving motivation, our research activities aim to address some of the basic issues remaining open in the present day gauge theories of the fundamental quantum interactions and their matter couplings.

On the one hand, for well accepted theories a solid understanding of their nonperturbative dynamics remains largely wanting. Undoubtedly, topological and geometrical properties in field space in relation to large gauge symmetries play crucial roles in this respect, to which perturbative gauge fixing procedures remain totally oblivious. A significant component of our research efforts addresses such issues within lower dimensional gauge theories or abelian gauge theories from complementary nonperturbative points of view, also unravelling dualities between apparently disconnected theories.

On the other hand, present day gauge theories of the fundamental quantum interactions present their own challenges pointing towards new fundamental conceptual paradigms beyond quantum physics and gravity. Some of the exploratory paths being trodden are deformations of quantum mechanics, noncommutative or fuzzy spacetime geometries, and topological theories for pure quantum gravity, being applied in a variety of physical circumstances.

Yet in relation to the above, some interests in particle phenomenology are also being pursued, mostly centered on the electromagnetic properties of neutrinos in as many varied physical contexts as possible.

Finally, progress in nonperturbative dynamics of gauge theories has often exploited advances made in condensed matter physics.Collective phenomena in lower dimensional fermionic systems display a variety of behaviours, remaining also largely not yet understood, which may well prove relevant to nonperturbative gauge dynamics alike. Hence a modest part of research activities addresses such issues as well, in particular within the context of the different phenomena of superconductivity.
Research directions:
Cosmology and General Relativity
Theories of the fundamental interactions
Data analysis in HEP experiments

Experiments and collaborations:

Active projects
Gravitational Wave Physics with Virgo
Giacomo Bruno, Federico De Lillo, Antoine Depasse, Jan Govaerts, Jean-Marc Gérard, Vincent Lemaitre, Andrew Miller, Krzysztof Piotrzkowski, Andres Tanasijczuk, Joris van Heijningen

In July 2018 CP3 members have joined the Virgo Collaboration at the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) near Pisa in Italy. Virgo is the European laser interferometer for gravitational wave detection. After several years of instrument upgrades, Virgo went in observation mode in August 2017, about one year and half after the two LIGO interferometers in the US had detected for the first time gravitational waves. Virgo and LIGO work in close collaboration, sharing data, analysing data and publishing together. Fundamental research in gravitational wave experimental physics was funded for the first time in Belgium at the end of 2018 with a project led by UCLouvain and ULiege. On the data analysis side the plan is on one side to investigate the properties of binary black hole coalescence events, possibly relating them to theoretical models of dark matter and/or primordial black holes, and on the other to search for a stochastic gravitational wave background originating from the very early moments of the life of the Universe, a discovery that would be foundational for cosmology. On the instrumentation side, contributions to computing and the optical system of the Virgo interferometer are planned.
CP3 members are also actively supporting the Einstein Telescope project, a proposed underground laser interferometer project for gravitational wave detection that is expected to take over from LIGO and Virgo around 2030.
Integrable quantum dynamics, Klauder-Daubechies deformations and noncommutative geometric structures.
Jan Govaerts

Combining complementary approaches to quantisation, exploration of integrability issues in quantum dynamics and noncommutative geometric structures

External collaborators: M. Norbert Hounkonnou (ICMPA-UNESCO Chair, UAC, Benin) Calvin Matondo Bwayi (UNIKIN, DRC).
Non-commutative quantum dynamics and supersymmetry
Jan Govaerts

Extensions to the supersymmetric context of the Moyal non-commutative plane are being considered from different perspectives.
Non-perturbative dynamics of QED in low dimensions
Jan Govaerts

By emphasizing the relevance of topology in nonperturbative gauge dynamics in the presence of nontrivial space(time) topology, develop gauge invariant physical tools to approach the nonperturbative dynamics of such systems in approximation schemes. In an initial study, QED in lower dimensions is considered in detail.
Nonperturbative quantisation of gauge theories, noncommutative geometry and unification of the fundamental interactions
Jan Govaerts

Development of nonperturbative quantisation techniques of gauge theories (Yang-Mills, topological, gravity) and their application to particle physics and quantum field theory at finite temperature (in particular, within the context of superconductivity).
Exploration of the consequences of noncommutative geometry in the search for the unification of the fundamental interactions (M-theory and superstrings, quantum gravity).

External collaborators: Frederik Scholtz (National Institute for Theoretical Physics, NITheP, South Africa); Hendrik Geyer (Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, STIAS; University of Stellenbosch, South Africa); M. Norbert Hounkonnou (International Chair in Mathematical Physics and Applications, ICMPA-UNESCO Chair, Benin); Calvin Matondo Bwayi (University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo); Habatwa Mweene (University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia); John R. Klauder (University of Florida, Gainesville, USA); Peter Jarvis (University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia).
Quantum Gravity and the Cosmological Constant
Jan Govaerts

Quantum diffeomorphic gauge invariance and the total cosmological constant, inclusive of the quantum fluctuations of the gravitational field
Topology and Non-Perturbative Gauge Dynamics
Jan Govaerts

The connections between topology in space(time) and in field configuration space and the non-perturbative dynamics of general gauge theories, inclusive of mass generating mechanims, are being studied.

Non-active projects
Internatonial Collaborations

  • National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP, South Africa)
  • Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS, South Africa), Fellow
  • University of Stellenbosch (South Africa)
  • African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS, South Africa)
  • International Chair in Mathematical Physics and Applications (ICMPA-UNESCO, Benin), ICTP Visiting Professor
  • University of Kinshasa (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • University of Zambia (Lusaka, Zambia)
  • University of Florida (Gainesville, USA)
  • University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)
  • University of Tasmania (Hobart, Australia)
Publications in CP3
All my publications on Inspire

Number of publications as CP3 member: 46 Download BibTeX

Last 5 publications


CP3-19-42: Learning the Physics of Einstein with Georges Lemaître
Jan Govaerts, Jean-François Stoffel (Editors)

[Full text]
Book published by Springer (Heidelberg, 2019), 14+257 pp.
August 27.
CP3-19-33: Time Dependent Conserved Charges and their Gauging -- A Modest Case Study in Shared Memory of Victor --
Jan Govaerts

[Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Dial] [Full text]
Published in the Proceedings volume of the Victor Villanueva Memorial Workshop, ,
Morelia, Mexico, December 6, 2013, Adnan Bashir and Christian Schubert (eds.),
J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 1208 (2019) no. 1, 012011.
Refereed paper. Contribution to proceedings. June 29.
CP3-19-31: Non Local Global Symmetries of a Free Scalar Field in a Bounded Domain
Daddy Balondo Iyela and Jan Govaerts

[Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Dial] [Full text]
Published in the Journal of Mathematical Physics,
J. Math. Phys. 60, 092302 (2019)
Refereed paper. June 13.


CP3-18-40: Mass Generation in Abelian U(1) Gauge Theories: A Rich Network of Dualities
Bertrand, Bruno and Govaerts, Jan

[Abstract] [PDF] [Journal] [Dial] [Full text]
Published in the Journal of Mathematical Physics
J. Math. Phys. 60, 102904 (2019)
Refereed paper. June 27.
CP3-18-39: Towards the Quantum Geometry of Saturated Quantum Uncertainty Relations: The Case of the (Q,P) Heisenberg Observables
Jan Govaerts

[Abstract] [PDF] [Full text]
In "Mathematical Structures and Applications", Proceedings of the International Workshop on Contemporary Problems in Mathematical Physics (COPROMAPH), October 2016 (Cotonou, Republic of Benin), eds. Toka Diagana and Bourama Toni (Springer, Switzerland, 2018) pp. 235-273.
Refereed paper. Contribution to proceedings. June 27.

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