This series consists of talks in the area of Superstring Theory.
The duality between theories of quantum strings and Yang-Mills gauge theories, in particular the AdS/CFT conjecture, has over the years given rise to many important physical insights. Recently, the realization that both sides of the duality, in certain limits, can be be described by integrable systems has lead to a good deal of progress. In this talk we will review the construction of these integrable structures and their usefulness in understanding strings in curved backgrounds/strongly coupled gauge theories.
I will discuss some ambiguities involved in using the AdS/CFT correspondence
to calculate the ultra-relativistic jet quenching parameter for quarks moving in
an N=4 super Yang-Mills thermal bath. Along the way, I will investigate the behavior of various string configurations on a five-dimensional AdS black hole
In string compactifications, Kahler metrics for chiral matter fields are an essential prerequisite for the computation of soft supersymmetry breaking terms. I describe new techniques for computing these in Calabi-Yau string compactifications. This involves deducing the modular behaviour of the Kahler metric from that of the physical Yukawa couplings. Using these techniques I derive Kahler metrics for both KKLT and large-volume models. For the latter case, I discuss two applications.