Mikhail Shifman

Mikhail Shifman in black and white

Mikhail "Misha" Shifman

Ida Cohen Fine Chair in Theoretical Physics; Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy


John T. Tate Hall
Room 275-08
116 Church Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute (FTPI)
High Energy Theory Group


Ph.D., Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP), Moscow, 1976

M.S., Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology, Department of General and Applied Physics, 1972

Professional Background

  • Oversight Committee of the Galileo Galilei Institute, Florence, Italy
  • Scientific Evaluation Committee of the International Center for Theoretical Physics, Triest, Italy
  • Advisory Board of the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Editorial Board of European Physical Journal C (Springer)
  • Lilienfeld Prize Committee, 2008
  • Sakurai Prize Committee of the American Physical Society, 2001


  • "Noncommutativity: from Mathematics to Phenomenology," Bayrischzell, Germany, May 2-5, 2003.
  • "Continuous Advances in QCD 2004" Minneapolis, May 13-15, 2004.
  • “PNPI: Hadron Structure and QCD," St. Petersburg, Russia, May 2005.
  • "QCD and String Theory", Benasque Center for Science, Spain, July 2 - July 14 2006.
  • 3-D FENOMEC Workshop "Selected topics in Mathematical Physics", Cocoyoc, Mexico, November 10-12, 2005.
  • "Quark Confinement and Hadron Spectrum" Sardinia, Italy, September 21-25 2004.
  • "PNPI: Hadron Structure and QCD: from LOW to HIGH energies," Repino, Russia, 18-22 May 2004.
  • "Quark Confinement and the Hadron Spectrum VII," Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal, 2-7 September 2006.
  • "QCD and String Theory" at The Benasque Center for Science, Universitat de Barcelona and Universidad de Zaragoza, July 2-- 14, Benasque, Spain.
  • "Frontiers in Theoretical Physics" NBI, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 3 - August 13, 2006.
  • Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Conference "CAQCD-06" FTPI, Minneapolis, May 2006.
  • "QCD @ Work", Martina Franca, Italy, June 2007.
  • "Fundamental Challenges of QCD,” Schladming, Austria, February 27-March 7, 2009.
  • "Continuous Advances in Quantum Chromodynamics" (CAQCD_2011), FTPI.
  • "Frontiers Beyond the Standard Model III" (FBSM III), FTPI.
  • "Continuous Advances in QCD" (CAQCD_2013), FTPI.
  • "Eleventh Conference on Quark Confinement and Hadronic Spectrum", St. Petersburg, Russia, 2014.
  • "Twelth Conference on Quark Confinement and the Hadron Spectrum", Thessaloniki, Greece, 2016.
  • QCD-2016, FTPI, May 2016.
  • "Resurgent Asymptotics in Physics and Mathematics", KITP, October-December 2017


  • "The Many Faces of the Superworld," 588 pp, World Scientific, Singapore, 2000.
  • "Continuous Advances in QCD 2002/Arkadyfest" published by World Scientific, Singapore in December 2002.
  • The Supersymmetric World: the Beginnings of the Theory, 288 pp, World Scientific, Singapore, 2000.
  • At the Frontier of Particle Physics / Handbook of QCD, Vols. 1, 2, 3, and 4, 2550 pp, World Scientific, Singapore, 2001 and 2002.
  • SUSY 30: Proceedings of the International Symposium Celebrating 30 Years of Supersymmetry, (Minneapolis, MN, USA, 13-27 October 2000), 449 pp, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 2001.
  • Proceedings of “CAQCD-06” published by World Scientific, Singapore, 2007.
  • Three-volume publication "FROM FIELDS TO STRINGS: CIRCUMNAVIGATING THEORETICAL PHYSICS," published by World Scientific, Singapore, 2005.
  • “You just failed your math test, Comrade Einstein,” published by World Scientific, Singapore, 2005.
  • "FELIX BEREZIN: Life and Death of the Mastermind of Supermathematics." published by World Scientific, Singapore, 2007.
  • Under the Spell of Landau: When Theoretical Physics Was Shaping Destinies, 550pp, World Scientific, Singapore, 2013.
  • Physics in A Mad World, 550 pp., World Scientific, Singapore, 2015.

Scientific & Professional Societies

  • National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society
Research Interests

My career in High-Energy Theoretical Physics started in 1972. This was the time of the advent of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) and the Standard Model. I started working on them after I entered grad school of ITEP in late 1972. For 10-15 years this was the focus of my research efforts. I co-authored the penguin mechanism of weak non-leptonic decays, the so-called SVZ some rules -- the first analytic method for obtaining hadronic properties in QCD, the prediction of invisible axion, and many other results in this area. In the mid-1980 I delved in supersymmetric gauge theories where the first exact results in four dimensions were obtained. In particular, I co-authored the exact beta function in Yang-Mills theories (the NSVZ beta functions) from instanton calculus. Simultaneously, I got interested in the then nascent heavy quark theory in which I co-authored a number of important results in the framework of the heavy quad mass expansion (which was basically an extension of the SVZ theory). Since the late 1990s I am work on various aspects of supersymmetric solitons including a large number of new exact results. With Yung and others I co-discovered the so-called non-Abelian vortex strings and studied their properties and possible applications. Among my other interests are domain walls in various models, including supersymmetric Yang-Mills and two-dimensional models of the CP(N-1) type, large N expansions, renormalons, and so on. I published around 400 research papers in major journal, and several text-books for graduate students, e.g. "Advanced Topics in Quantum Fields Theory", Cambridge University Press, First Edition 2012, Second Edition, in preparation).

Honors and Awards

  • Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, 2022
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2018
  • Dirac Medal and Prize, 2016
  • Pomeranchuk Prize, 2013
  • Laureat of Chaires Internacionales de Recherche Blaise Pascal, 2007 
  • Lilienfeld Prize, 2006 
  • Ida Cohen Fine Chair in Theoretical Physics, 2005 
  • Sakurai Prize, 1999 
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 1997 
  • von Humboldt Research Award, 1993


  1. M. Shifman, "Standing Together in Troubled Times" World Scientific, 2017
  2. M.Shifman and A.Yung, Critical String from Non-Abelian Vortex in Four Dimensions, Phys. Lett. B 750, 416 (2015). [abstract]
  3. M. Shifman, “Vacuum Structure and QCD Sum Rules”, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1992
  4. M.Shifman, “ITEP Lectures on Particle Physics and Field Theory”, Volume 1 and Volume 2, World Scientific, Singapore, 1999
  5. M. Shifman and A. Yung, “Supersymmetric Solitons”, Cambridge University Press, 2009
  6. M. Shifman, "Quantum Field Theory II. A Lecture Course", World Scientific, Singapore, 2019
  7. M. Shifman, “Advanced Topics in Quantum Field Theory: A Lecture Course”, Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition, 2022

Selected Publications

  1. M. Shifman, OPE-based Methods in Nonperturbative QCD: SVZ sum rules, 1/M_Q expansion, and all that, Invited Contribution to the Memorial Volume "50 Years of QCD" (2022)
  2. A. Cherman, T. Jacobson, M. Shifman, M. Unsal, and A. Vainshtein, Four-Fermi Deformations of the Massless Schwinger Model and Confinement, JHEP (2022)
  3. C. Naya, D. Schubring, M. Shifman, Z. Wang, Skyrmions and Hopfions in 3D Frustrated Magnets (2021)
  4. M. Shifman, Yang-Mills at Strong vs. Weak Coupling: Renormalons, OPE And All That (2021)
  5. D. Schubring, C.-H. Sheu, M. Shifman, Treating Divergent Perturbation Theory: Lessons from Exactly Solvable 2D Models at Large N, Phys. Rev. D 104, 085016 (2021)
  6. M. Shifman, Bringing Yang-Mills Theory Closer to Quasiclassics, Phys. Rev. D 104, 045002 (2021)
  7. M. Shifman, Supersymmetric Proximity (2020)
  8. M. Shifman, A. Vainshtein, Operator Product Expansion and Calculation of the Two-Loop Gell-Mann-Low Function (2020), Sov. J. Nucl. Phys. 44, 321 (1986-not available online)
  9. S. Monin, M. Shifman and A. Yung, Non-Abelian String of a Finite Length, Phys. Rev. D 92, 025011 (2015)
  10. M. Shifman, A. Yung, Critical String from Non-Abelian Vortex in Four Dimensions, Phys. Lett. B 750 (2015)
  11. M. Shifman, Gianni Tallarita, A. Yung, ‘t Hooft-Polyakov Monopoles with Non-Abelian Moduli, Phys. Rev. D. 91, 105026 (2015)
  12. G. Dunne, M. Shifman, M. Ünsal, IR Renormalons vs. Operator Product Expansions in Supersymmetric and Related Gauge Theories, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 191601 (2015)
  13. M. Shifman, K. Stepanyantz, Derivation of the exact expression for the D function in N=1 SQCD, Phys. Rev. D. 91, 105008 (2015)
  14. M. Shifman, K. Stepanyantz, Exact Adler Function in Supersymmetric QCD, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 051601 (2015)
  15. J. Chen, X. Cui, M. Shifman, A. Vainshtein, N=(0, 2) Deformation of (2, 2) Sigma Models: Geometric Structure, Holomorphic Anomaly and Exact Beta Functions, Phys. Ref. D 90, 045014 (2014)
  16. M. Nitta, M. Shifman, W. Vinci, Non-Abelian Quasi-Gapless Modes Localized on Mass Vortices in Superfluid 3He-B, Phys. Rev. D87, (2013) 081702
  17. M. Shifman, A. Yung, Non-Abelian semilocal strings in N=2 supersymmetric QCD, Phys. Rev. D73 (2006) 125012
  18. M. Shifman, A. Yung, Non-Abelian String Junctions as Confined Monopoles, Rev. D70 (2004) 045004
  19. A. Armoni, M. Shifman, M. Ünsal, Planar limit of orientifold field theoriesand emergent center symmetry, Phys. Rev. D77, 045012 (2008)
  20. G. Dvali, G. Gabadadze, M. Shifman, Diluting Cosmological Constant in Infinite Volume Extra Dimensions, Physical Review D, 67, 044020 (2003)
  21. A. Armoni, M. Shifman, G. Veneziano, Exact Results in Non-Supersymmetric Large N Orientifold Field Theories, Nucl.Phys. B667 (2003) 170
  22. G. Dvali, M. Shifman, Families as Neighbors in Extra Dimension, Physics Letters B, 475, 295 (2000)
  23. J. Hisano, M. Shifman, Exact Results for Soft Supersymmetry Breaking Parameters in Supersymmetric Gauge Theories, Physical Review D, 56, 5475 (1997)
  24. G. Dvali, M. Shifman, Domain Walls in Strongly Coupled Theories, Physical Letters B, 396, 64 (1997)

Course Files

PHYS 8012: QFT II - taught Fall 2020 - View Course File

Advisees & Collaborators

Graduate Students:

  • Yevhen Kurianovych
  • Chao-Hsiang Sheu

Postdoctoral Researchers: