Past String Theory Seminar

23 February 2015
12:00
Abstract
The spectrum of BPS states in four-dimensional gauge theories and string vacua with N=2 supersymmetry is well-known to be jump across certain walls in moduli space, where bound states can decay. In this talk I will survey how the discontinuity can be understood in terms of the supersymmetric quantum mechanics of mutually non-local point particles. This physical picture 
suggests that, at any point in moduli space, the BPS spectrum can be viewed as a sum of bound states of absolutely stable `single-centered' constituents. This idea appears to be vindicated in the context of quiver moduli spaces. Finally, I shall explain how the discontinuous BPS indices can be combined into a `new' supersymmetric index, a function which sums up multi-particle state contributions and is continuous across the wall.
  • String Theory Seminar
16 February 2015
12:00
Sakura Schafer-Nameki
Abstract

I will discuss how singular fibers in higher codimension in elliptically fibered Calabi-Yau fourfolds can be studied using Coulomb branch phases for d=3 supersymmetric gauge theories. This approach gives an elegent description of the generalized Kodaira fibers in terms of combinatorial/representation-theoretic objects called "box graphs", including the network of flops connecting distinct small resolutions. For physics applications, this approach can be used to constrain the possible matter spectra and possible U(1) charges (models with higher rank Mordell Weil group) for F-theory GUTs.

  • String Theory Seminar
9 February 2015
12:00
Charles Strickland-Constable
Abstract

Motivated by the study of supersymmetric backgrounds with non-trivial fluxes, we provide a formulation of supergravity in the language of generalised geometry, as first introduced by Hitchin, and its extensions. This description both dramatically simplifies the equations of the theory by making the hidden symmetries manifest, and writes the bosonic sector geometrically as a direct analogue of Einstein gravity. Further, a natural analogue of special holonomy manifolds emerges and coincides with the conditions for supersymmetric backgrounds with flux, thus formulating these systems as integrable geometric structures.
 

  • String Theory Seminar
2 February 2015
12:00
John Dixon
Abstract

The chiral scalar superfield has interesting BRST cohomology, but the relevant cohomology objects all  have spinor indices. So they cannot occur in an action. They need to be coupled to a chiral dotted spinor superfield. Until now, this has been very problematic, since no sensible action for a chiral dotted spinor superfield was known.  The most obvious such action contains higher derivatives and tachyons.

Now,  a sensible  action has been found. When coupled to the cohomology, this action removes the supersymmetry charge from the theory while maintaining the rigidity and power of supersymmetry.The simplest example of this phenomenon has exactly the fermion content of the Leptons or the Quarks.  The mechanism has the potential to get around the cosmological constant problem, and also the problem of the sum rules of spontaneously broken supersymmetry.

  • String Theory Seminar
26 January 2015
12:00
Philip Candelas
Abstract

This is a report on an ongoing project to construct Calabi-Yau manifolds for which the Hodge numbers $(h^{11}, h^{21})$ are both relatively small. These manifolds are, in a sense, the simplest Calabi-Yau manifolds. I will report on joint work with Volker Braun, Andrei Constantin, Rhys Davies, Challenger Mishra and others.

  • String Theory Seminar
1 December 2014
12:00
Dmytro Volin
Abstract

The planar N=4 SYM is believed to be integrable. Following this thoroughly justified belief, its exact spectrum had been encoded recently into a quantum spectral curve (QSC). We can explicitly solve the QSC in various regimes; in particular, one can perform a highly-efficient weak coupling expansion.

I will explain how QSC looks like for the harmonic oscillator and then, using this analogy, introduce the QSC equations for the SYM spectrum. We will use these equations to compute a particular 6-loop conformal dimension in real time and then discuss explicit results (found up to 10-loop orders) as well as some general statements about the answer at any loop-order.

  • String Theory Seminar
24 November 2014
12:00
Mario Garcia Fernandez
Abstract

I will give an overview of ongoing joint work with R. Rubio and C. Tipler, in which we study the moduli problem for the Strominger system of equations. Building on the work of De la Ossa and Svanes and, independently, of Anderson, Gray and Sharpe, we construct an elliptic complex whose first cohomology group is the space of infinitesimal deformations of a solution of the strominger system. I will also discuss an intriguing link between this moduli problem and a moduli problem for holomorphic Courant algebroids over Calabi-Yau threefolds. Finally, we will see how the problem for the Strominger system embeds naturally in generalized geometry, and discuss some perspectives of this approach.

  • String Theory Seminar
17 November 2014
12:00
Paul Richmond
Abstract

I will describe the computation of the supersymmetric Renyi entropy across an entangling 3-sphere for five-dimensional superconformal field theories. For a class of USp(2N) gauge theories I’ll also construct a holographic dual 1/2 BPS black hole solution of Euclidean Romans F(4) supergravity. The large N limit of the gauge theory results will be shown to agree perfectly with the supergravity computations.

  • String Theory Seminar

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