String Seminars

This series consists of talks in the area of Superstring Theory.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.

 

Tuesday Sep 30, 2008
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In frustrated systems, competing interactions lead to complex phase diagrams and sometimes entirely new states of matter. Frustration often arises from the lattice geometry, leaving the system delicately balanced between a variety of possible orders. A number of normally weak effects can lead to a lifting of this degeneracy. For example, I will discuss how quantum fluctuations can stabilize a supersolid phase, where the system is at once both a crystal and a superfluid.

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Tuesday Sep 16, 2008
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We will discuss the missing pieces in the understanding of the effective field theory description of string creation, the T-dual of the Hanany-Witten effect, both in the open and closed string picture. We explain the origin of the \'bare\' Chern-Simons term, so far added in by hand. There however remain unsettled issues concerning the need to modify the DBI action and the interpretation of this term in M-theory.

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Tuesday Sep 09, 2008
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I will report on some work in progress with Dan Freed and Greg Moore. In an orientifold background, D-brane charge takes values in a certain twisted version of KR Theory. Moreover, there is a nontrivial background charge (\'tadpole\'). Up \'til now, this background charge has only been calculated rationally -- i.e., ignoring torsion. We derive a formula for it, over the integers. Only after \'inverting 2\', does the charge localize to the fixed point sets of the orientifold action, and we can give a compact formula for it.

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Tuesday Jun 10, 2008
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We discuss recent developments in the study of black holes and similar compact objects in string theory. The focus is on how these solutions are effected by higher-derivative terms in an effective action. The setting of this investigation is an off-shell formulation of five-dimensional supergravity, including terms of order four-derivatives whose precise form are determined by embedding this theory in M-theory.

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Tuesday May 13, 2008
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The rich network of string dualities provides powerful constraints in the structure of the theory. The connection of ten-dimensional type II theories to eleven-dimensional supergravity compactified on a circle and on a torus allows one to compute many perturbative high genus terms as well as the complete sum of non-perturbative contributions to a given higher derivative coupling of the string effective action. The same duality connection leads to a series of surprising non-renormalization theorems.

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Tuesday Apr 22, 2008
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Geometries produced by brane intersections preserving eight supercharges are constructed. Typical examples of such configurations are given by fundamental strings ending on D branes and by brane webs. Consistency conditions of supergravity are shown to impose certain requirements on the locations of the sources, and these restrictions are found to be in a perfect agreement with results of the probe analysis. This agreement serves as a nontrivial test of the duality between open and closed strings. Some applications to AdS/CFT correspondence are also discussed.

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Tuesday Apr 15, 2008
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F-theory compactifications on Calabi-Yau fourfolds provide one way to obtain N=1 supersymmetric grand unified models of particle physics from string theory. With this motivation in mind, I will consider F-theory on a particularly simple class of local Calabi-Yau fourfolds, for which a low-energy analysis based upon topological gauge theory is valid. For these models, I will explain how the geometry of the fourfold determines the spectrum of massless charged matter and the effective superpotential in four dimensions.

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