Quantum Fields and Strings

This series consists of talks in the area of Quantum Fields and Strings.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Sep 24 2019 - 2:30pm
Room #: 400
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Tuesday Sep 17, 2019
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In this talk we study a special class of high-energy states in holographic CFTs defined via Euclidean evolution from conformal boundary states. We argue that these are dual to black hole microstates with a geometrical behind-the-horizon region. We study the time-dependent physics of this behind-the-horizon region, whose ETW boundary geometry takes the form of a closed FRW spacetime. We show that in many cases, this behind-the-horizon physics can be probed directly by looking at the time dependence of entanglement entropy for sufficiently large spatial CFT subsystems.

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Monday Sep 09, 2019
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In QFT, the renormalization group is usually formulated in Euclidean signature. I will discuss time-dependent probes of the RG, in Lorentzian signature, and derive new dynamical constraints that govern the spread of local operators. Through a chain of Wick rotations and dualities, the same methods lead to new sum rules for inflationary correlators, which relate observable quantities like the inflationary speed of sound to properties of the UV.

 

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Wednesday Aug 28, 2019
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We consider supersymmetric $AdS_3\times Y_7$ solutions of type IIB supergravity dual to N=(0,2) SCFTs in d=2, as well as  $AdS_2\times Y_9$ solutions of D=11 supergravity dual to N=2 supersymmetric quantum mechanics, some of which arise as the near horizon limit of supersymmetric, charged black hole solutions in $AdS_4$. The relevant geometry on $Y_{2n+1}$, $n\ge 3$ was first identified in 2005-2007 and around that time infinite classes of explicit examples solutions were also found but, surprisingly, there was little progress in identifying the dual SCFTs.

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Tuesday Aug 27, 2019
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Understanding entanglement in QFTs is a challenging topic that involves many aspects. One important probe for this is the modular (or entanglement) Hamiltonian, which is closely related to the Unruh effect. We determine this operator for the chiral fermion at finite temperature on the circle using complex analysis, and show that it exhibits surprising new features. This simple system illustrates how a modular flow can transition from complete locality to complete non-locality as a function of temperature, thus bridging the gap between previously known limits.

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Tuesday Aug 13, 2019
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We study remarkable RG flows in 4d QFT where supersymmetry enhances from N=1 to N=2 in the IR. This is triggered by the N=1 preserving deformation of 4d N=2 SCFTs with non-Abelian flavor symmetry by adding a chiral multiplet in the adjoint representation of the flavor symmetry and giving a nilpotent vev to the chiral multiplet. When the original N=2 SCFT and choice of the vev satisfy certain conditions, the resulting RG flows give N=2 Argyres-Douglas theories in the IR. These flows thus enable us to compute partition functions of Argyres-Douglas theories via localization.

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Tuesday May 28, 2019
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Wilson loops are important observables in gauge theory. In this talk, we study half-BPS Wilson loops of a large class of five dimensional supersymmetric quiver gauge theories with 8 supercharges. The Wilson loops are codimension 4 defects of the quiver gauge theory, and their interaction with self-dual instantons is captured by a 1d ADHM quantum mechanics. We compute the partition function as its Witten index. It turns out that we can understand the 5d physics in 3d gauge theory terms.

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Tuesday May 21, 2019
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Black hole (more generally, horizon) thermodynamics is a window into quantum gravity. Can horizon thermodynamics---and ultimately quantum gravity---be quasi-localized? A special case is the static patch of de Sitter spacetime, known since the work of Gibbons and Hawking to admit a thermodynamic equilibrium interpretation. It turns out this interpretation requires that a negative temperature is assigned to the state. I'll discuss this example, and its generalization to all causal diamonds in maximally symmetric spacetimes.

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Tuesday May 14, 2019
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This talk is about a new type of string theory with a non-relativistic conformal field theory on the world-sheet, as well as a non-relativistic target space geometry. Starting with the relativistic Polyakov action with a fixed momentum along a non-compact null-isometry, we can take a scaling limit that gives the non-relativistic string, including an interesting intermediate step. This can in particular be applied to a string on AdS5 x S5. In this case the scaling limit realizes a limit of AdS/CFT that on the field theory side gives a quantum mechanical theory known as Spin Matrix theory.

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Monday May 13, 2019

2D CFTs have an infinite set of commuting conserved charges, known as the quantum KdV charges. There is a generalised Gibbs ensemble for these theories where we turn on chemical potentials for these charges. I will describe some partial results on calculating this partition function, both in the limit of large charges and perturbatively in the chemical potentials. 

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Friday May 10, 2019
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The partition function of three-dimensional N=2 SCFTs on circle bundles of closed Riemann surfaces \Sigma_g was recently computed via supersymmetric localization. In this talk I will describe supergravity solutions having as conformal boundary such circle bundle. These configurations are solutions to N=2 minimal gauged supergravity in 4d and pertain to the class of AdS-Taub-NUT and AdS-Taub-Bolt preserving 1/4 of the supersymmetries.

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