James Mulligan

James Mulligan

Postdoc in physics

University of California, Berkeley


I am a researcher investigating how complex behaviors arise in large-scale systems in nature. My research explores emergence in high-energy particle physics, studying a remarkable phenomenon known as QCD confinement in which intricate many-body interactions between quarks and gluons give rise to nearly all the mass in the visible universe. I develop novel approaches to analyze data from the Large Hadron Collider, including employing machine learning and quantum computing, to capture clues about how these complex dynamics arise.

I am increasingly interested in an equally profound occurence of emergence: the rapid increase in performance of machine learning models such as GPT-4 with scale. I am eager to investigate how the interplay between scale, architectural design, and fine tuning strategies can lead to intelligent behaviors. I am actively seeking collaborations with experts in machine learning research to develop techniques that allow for a more comprehensive understanding of these models’ internal representations of high-level information.


  • Emergent behaviors of large scale systems
  • Machine learning
  • Quantum computing


  • PhD in Physics, 2018

    Yale University

  • BS in Physics, Mathematics, 2012

    University of Washington


Jet measurements at the LHC

Analyzing data to study emergent behaviors of the strong force

Machine learning for QCD

Deploying state-of-the-art tools to interpret and guide measurements

Quantum computing for QCD

Simulating open quantum systems on near-term quantum devices


Selected articles

(2023). Liouvillian dynamics of the open Schwinger model: string breaking and kinetic dissipation in a thermal medium. Physical Review D, 108(9), 094518.


(2023). Is infrared-collinear safe information all you need for jet classification?. arXiv 2305.08979.


(2023). Machine learning-based jet and event classification at the Electron-Ion Collider with applications to hadron structure and spin physics. Journal of High Energy Physics, 03 085.


(2022). Measurement of the angle between jet axes in pp collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 5.02$ TeV. Journal of High Energy Physics, 07 201.



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