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The Fall and Rise of Lattice QCD: High-Precision Numerical QCD Confronts Experiment

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A full analysis of QCD, the fundamental theory of subnuclear structure and interactions, relies upon numerical simulations and the lattice approximation. After being stalled for almost 30 years, recent breakthroughs in lattice QCD allow us for the first time to analyze the low-energy structure of QCD nonperturbatively with few-percent precision. This talk will present a non-technical overview of the history leading up to these breakthroughs, and survey the wide array of applications that have been enabled by them. It will focus in particular on the impact of these new techniques on experiments that explore such areas as heavy-quark and Standard Model physics.