This series consists of talks in the area of Superstring Theory.
A systematic method to construct 4d N=2 supersymmetric theories by compactifying M5-branes on a Riemann surface was found by Gaiotto last year.
This suggests that any physical quantity of the 4d theory should be reflected in another physical quantity of the 2d theory living on the Riemann surface.
Indeed, one finds that the instanton partition function of the 4d theories equals the conformal blocks of the 2d theory.
I would like to illustrate this construction through explicit examples.
We apply newly-developed techniques for studying perturbative scattering amplitudes to gauge theories with matter. It is well known that the N=4 SYM theory has a very simple S-matrix; do other gauge theories see similar simplifications in their S-matrices? It turns out the one-loop gluon S-matrix simplifies if the matter representations satisfy some group theoretic constraints. In particular, these constraints can be expressed as linear Diophantine equations involving the higher order Indices (or higher-order Casimirs) of these representations.
Two of the most exciting observables in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, which could deeply impact our picture of the early universe, are non-Gaussianity and tensor modes. A potential detection of tensor modes can be explained in terms of a model of large field inflation. Theoretical considerations suggest that a symmetry should be invoked in order to protect the flatness of the inflaton potential and hence an axion enjoying a shift symmetry is a natural candidate. As main example, I will present a model of inflation in string theory based on axion monodromy.
F-theory based vacua provide a potentially promising starting point for realizing Grand Unified Theories (GUTs) in string theory. In minimal realizations of this framework based on a point of E8 unification, this turns out to be quite constraining, and leads to specific expectations for the form of supersymmetry breaking. We discuss how the parameters of the F-theory GUT determine the sparticle spectrum, and possible signatures at the LHC.
We describe a class of non-Fermi liquid systems, using the AdS/CFT correspondence. The Fermi surfaces are studied by computing the response functions of fermionic operators. The scaling behavior near the Fermi surfaces is determined by conformal dimensions in an emergent IR CFT. The low-energy excitations near the Fermi momenta are not Landau quasiparticles. When the operator is marginal in the IR CFT, the full spectral function is precisely of the `marginal Fermi liquid' form, introduced as a phenomenological model of the `strange metal' phase of high temperature superconductors.
In the context of AdS/CFT correspondence the AdS_3/CFT_2 instance of the duality stands apart from other well studied cases, like AdS_5/CFT_4 or AdS_4/CFT_3. One of the reasons is that the CFT side of this duality is not a theory of matrices but rather a two dimensional orbifold based on the group of permutations. In this talk we will discuss some aspects of this theory. In particular a diagrammatic language, akin to Feynman diagrams used for gauge theories, will be developed.
For generic field theories at finite temperature, a power-law falloff of correlation functions of conserved currents at long times is a prediction of non-linear hydrodynamics. We demonstrate, through a one-loop computation in Einstein gravity in Anti de Sitter space, that this effect is reproduced by the dynamics of black hole horizons. The result is in agreement with the gauge-gravity correspondence.
Non-relativistic versions of the AdS/CFT conjecture have recently been investigated in some detail. These have primarily been in the context of the Schrodinger symmetry group. Here we talk of a study based on a different non-relativistic conformal symmetry: one obtained by a parametric contraction of the relativistic conformal group. The resulting Galilean conformal symmetry has the same number of generators as the relativistic symmetry group and thus is different from the Schrodinger group (which has fewer).