This series consists of talks in the area of Quantum Fields and Strings.
I will argue that in the context of string theory, the Big Bang singularity of standard and inflationary cosmology is automatically resolved. To see this at the level of an effective field theory, ideas from "Double Field Theory" are useful.
I describe recent progress in classifying 5d N=1 field theories with interacting UV superconformal fixed points (i.e. 5d SCFTs). In the first part of the talk, I review a newly proposed catalog of candidate (simple) gauge theories which captures theories missed by prior field theoretic classification efforts. In the second part of the talk, I discuss a classification program for rank 1 and 2 5d SCFTs in terms of Calabi-Yau 3-folds, along with prospects for its extension to arbitrary rank.
I will present a brief introduction to non-Lorentzian geometries, an important example of such geometries being Newton-Cartan geometry and its torsionful generalization, which is the natural geometry to which non-relativistic field theories couple to. The talk will subsequently review how such geometries have in recent years appeared in gravity, string theory and holography. In particular, torsional Newton-Cartan geometry has been shown to appear as the boundary geometry for Lifshitz spacetimes.
Generically, a small amount of matter introduced to anti-de Sitter spacetime leads to formation of a black hole; however, the high degree of symmetry of AdS means that some initial distributions of matter (possibly also technically generic) oscillate indefinitely.
Polyakov’s bootstrap programme aims at solving conformal field theories using
unitarity and conformal symmetry. Its implementation in two dimensions has been
highly successful and numerical studies, in particular of the 3-dimensional Ising
model, have clearly demonstrated the potential for higher dimensional theories.
Analytical results in higher dimensions, however, require significant insight
into the conformal group and its representations. Surprisingly little is actually
I will review recent progress in computing the exact planar spectrum of closed strings in
AdS3 backgrounds with 8+8 supercharges, including the derivation of the protected spectrum.
Such theories have a multi-dimensional moduli space, and I will show what effect varying
the moduli has on the exact closed string spectrum, and how the integrable structure changes
as we do so, paying particular attention to the background supported by NS-NS flux.
String theory provides us with 8d supersymmetric gauge theories with gauge algebras su(N), so(2N), sp(N), e_6, e_7 and e_8, but no construction for so(2N+1), f_4 and g_2 is known. If string theory is universal in 8 dimensions, this pattern requires explanation. I will show that the theories for f_4 and so(2N+1) have a global gauge anomaly in flat space, while g_2 does not have it. Surprisingly, we also find that the sp(N) theories, arising from example from O7^+ planes in string theory, have a subtler gauge anomaly.
We study the spectrum of local operators living on a defect in a generic conformal field theory, and their coupling to the local bulk operators. We establish the existence of universal accumulation points in the spectrum at large s, s being the charge of the operators under rotations in the space transverse to the defect. Our tools include a formula that inverts the bulk to defect OPE and is analytic in s, analogous to the Caron-Huot formula for the four-point function. Some important assumptions are made in deriving this result: we comment on them.
Topological defect operators are extended operators in a quantum field theory (QFT) whose correlation functions are independent of continuous changes of the ambient space. They satisfy nontrivial fusion relations and put nontrivial constraints on the QFT itself and its deformations (such as renormalization group (RG) flows). Canonical examples of topological defect operators include generators of (higher-form) global symmetries whose constraints on the QFT have been well-studied.
States of a CFT's subregions are consistent with a given global state. For a holographic CFT, this amounts to different entanglement wedges being patches of the same geometry. What relations between them make this possible?