Since 2002 Perimeter Institute has been recording seminars, conference talks, and public outreach events using video cameras installed in our lecture theatres. Perimeter now has 7 formal presentation spaces for its many scientific conferences, seminars, workshops and educational outreach activities, all with advanced audio-visual technical capabilities. Recordings of events in these areas are all available On-Demand from this Video Library and on Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA). PIRSA is a permanent, free, searchable, and citable archive of recorded seminars from relevant bodies in physics. This resource has been partially modelled after Cornell University's arXiv.org.
This course provides a thorough introduction to the bosonic string based on the Polyakov path integral and conformal field theory. We introduce central ideas of string theory, the tools of conformal field theory, the Polyakov path integral, and the covariant quantization of the string. We discuss string interactions and cover the tree-level and one loop amplitudes. More advanced topics such as T-duality and D-branes will be taught as part of the course. The course is geared for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students enrolled in Collaborative Ph.D. Program in Theoretical Physics.
I present a viewpoint on black hole thermodynamics according to which the entropy: derives from horizon 'degrees of freedom''; is finite because the deep structure of spacetime is discrete; is ``objective'' thanks to the distinguished coarse graining provided by the horizon; and obeys the second law of thermodynamics precisely because the effective dynamics of the exterior region is not unitary.
The BKL Conjecture posits that as one approaches a space-like singularity spatial derivatives become negligible in comparison to temporal derivatives. This idea is explored in a Hamiltonian system adapted for quantization. The resulting classical theory is show to be a series of Bianchi I solutions with Bianchi II transitions, and an approach to quantization is discussed.
We introduce a two-body quantum Hamiltonian model of spin-1/2 on a 2D spatial lattice with exact topological degeneracy in all coupling regimes. There exists a gapped phase in which the low-energy sector reproduces an effective color code model. High energy excitations fall into three families of anyonic fermions that turn out to be strongly interacting. The model exhibits a Z_2xZ_2 gauge group symmetry and string-net integrals of motion, which are related to the existence of topological charges that are invisible to moving high-energy fermions.
In the 60’s, the analytic S-matrix program was developed in an attempt to describe the strong interactions – at the time, this was a theory of massive particles like pions. The S-matrix is an object that encodes the information of the probability of producing a certain set of final particles from a given set of initial particles. Eventually, the S-matrix program was replaced by Quantum Field Theory and in particular by Quantum Chromo Dynamics as the description of the strong interactions. In recent years there has been a resurrection of the S-matrix paradigm.
The essential ingredients of a quantum theory are usually a Hilbert space of states and an algebra of operators encoding observables. The mathematical operations available with these structures translate fairly well into physical operations (preparation, measurement etc.) in a non-relativistic world. This correspondence weakens in quantum field theory, where the direct operational meaning of the observable algebra structure (encoded usually through commutators) is lost.
Inflationary scenarios with detectable primordial tensor perturbations typically require symmetries that can protect the potential over a super-Planckian field excursion. An old and natural idea is for the inflaton to be an axion protected by a shift symmetry. However, this has appeared difficult to realize in string theory because axion periodicities are sub-Planckian in known examples. I will explain how in compactifications containing wrapped fivebranes, the effective axion range is increased by monodromy: a single axion period can be traversed many times.
In the past couple of years many new developments have been made in the techniques used for computing one-loop gauge theory amplitudes. These developments have mainly involved exploiting generalized unitarity techniques to construct the coefficients of the basis integral functions which make up a one-loop amplitude. I will outline these new developments along with their application to both QCD and N=8 supergravity amplitudes.
In topological quantum computation, a quantum algorithm is performed by braiding and fusion of certain quasi-particles called anyons. Therein, the performed quantum circuit is encoded in the topology of the braid. Thus, small inaccuracies in the world-lines of the braided anyons do not adversely affect the computation. For this reason, topological quantum computation has often been regarded as error-resilient per se, with no need for quantum error-correction. However, newer work ,  shows that even topological computation is plagued with (small) errors.