This series consists of talks in the area of Superstring Theory.
Understanding dynamics of strongly coupled quantum field theories is an important problem in both condensed matter physics and high energy physics. In condensed matter systems, interacting quantum field theories can arise either at a critical point, or in a finite region of a parameter space. In the former case, massless modes arise as a result of fine tuning of external parameters, while, in the latter case, massless modes are protected by topology and/or symmetry.
We discuss various properties of holographic mesons in a deconfined strongly coupled plasma. We show that such mesons obtain a width from a non-perturbative effect. On the string theory side this is due to open string modes on a D-brane tunneling into a black hole through worldsheet instantons. On the field theory side these instantons have the simple interpretation as heavy thermal quarks. We also comment on how this non-perturbative effect has important consequences for the phase structure of the Yang-Mills theory obtained in the classical gravity limit.
We discuss holography for geometries that are asymptotic to non-conformal brane backgrounds. The near-horizon limit of all non-conformal branes, including D-branes and the fundamental string but excluding five-branes, is conformal to $AdS_{p+2} imes S^{8-p}$ with a linear dilaton. They exhibit a generalized conformal structure, both on the QFT and on the gravitational side. We develop holographic renormalization for all these cases and discuss a number of applications.
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The discovery of integrability in the large N limit of the prototypical realization of the AdS/CFT correspondence has raised the hope that the spectrum of scale dimensions in N=4 SYM (and strings in AdS_5 x S^5) might be known exactly, i.e. to all orders in the coupling constant. So far, most of the efforts focused on closed strings and periodic boundary conditions. In this talk I will discuss how these ideas are extended to open string and open boundary conditions.
We review basic properties of effective worldvolume theory describing the dynamics of Dirichlet branes in type II supergravity backgrounds and then show that the SL(2,R) symmetry of IIB supergravity allows for the existence of new supersymmetric 7-brane configurations called Q7-branes. The Q7-branes differ from the D7-branes, in particular, by their coupling to the dilaton, axion and to `magnetic\' gauge field duals thereof. The appearance of Q7-branes and their instanton duals may indicate the existence of a new, yet unexplored, perturbative vacuum of type IIB string theory.
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