This series consists of talks in the area of Quantum Fields and Strings.
I will discuss a natural basis of CFT operators for probing dual gravitational physics in a diffeomorphism-invariant manner. On the CFT side, these operators are already well-known: they are 'OPE Blocks' that contribute to the Operator Product Expansion with fixed Casimir. On the gravity side, I will show that these OPE blocks are dual to diff-invariant geodesic or surface operators.
In this talk, I will investigate the structure of certain protected operator algebras that arise in threedimensional N = 4 superconformal field theories. I will show that these algebras can be understood as a quantization of (either of) the half-BPS chiral ring(s). An important feature of this quantization is that it has a preferred basis in which the structure constants of the quantum algebra are equal to the OPE coefficients of the underlying superconformal theory.
I will discuss recent work on big crunch singularities produced in asymptotic AdS cosmologies using gauge/gravity duality. The dual description consists of a constant mass deformation of ABJM theory on de Sitter space and is well-defined and stable for small deformations.
In the context of class S theories and 4D/2D duality relations there, we discuss the skein
relations of general topological defects on the 2D side which is expected to be counterparts
of composite surface-line operators in 4D class S theory. Such defects are geometrically
interpreted as networks in a three dimensional space. We also propose a conjectural com-
putational procedure for such defects in two dimensional SU(N) topological q-deformed
Yang-Mills theory by interpreting it as a statistical mechanical system associated with
We study two-dimensional (4, 4) superconformal field theories of central charge c = 6, corresponding to nonlinear sigma models on K3 surfaces, using the superconformal bootstrap method. This is made possible through a surprising relation between the BPS N = 4 superconformal blocks of c = 6 and bosonic Virasoro conformal blocks of c = 28, and an exact result on the moduli dependence of a certain integrated BPS 4-point function.