Past String Theory Seminar

25 April 2016
12:00
Yang-Hui He
Abstract

We establish a correspondence between the ABC Conjecture and N=4 super-Yang-Mills theory. This is achieved by combining three ingredients:

(i) Elkies' method of mapping ABC-triples to elliptic curves in his demonstration that ABC implies Mordell/Faltings;

(ii) an explicit pair of elliptic curve and associated Belyi map given by Khadjavi-Scharaschkin; and

(iii) the fact that the bipartite brane-tiling/dimer model for a gauge theory with toric moduli space is a particular dessin d'enfant in the sense of Grothendieck. 
 

We explore this correspondence for the highest quality ABC-triples as well as large samples of random triples. The Conjecture itself is mapped to a statement about the fundamental domain of the toroidal compactification of the string realization of N=4 SYM.

  • String Theory Seminar
7 March 2016
12:00
Sara Pasquetti
Abstract

I will present several new  3d N=2 dualities with super-potentials involving monopole operators. Some of the theories that I will discuss describe systems of D3 branes ending on pq-webs. In these cases  3d mirror symmetry is a consequence of S-duality.

 

  • String Theory Seminar
29 February 2016
12:00
Sameer Murthy
Abstract

It was discovered in the 1970s that black holes are thermodynamic objects carrying entropy, thus suggesting that they are really an ensemble of microscopic states. This idea has been realized in a remarkable manner in string theory, wherein one can describe these ensembles in a class of models. These ensembles are known, however, to contain configurations other than isolated black holes, and it remains an outstanding problem to precisely isolate a black hole in the microscopic ensemble. I will describe how this problem can be solved completely in N=4 string theory. The solution involves surprising relations to mock modular forms -- a class of functions first discovered by S. Ramanujan about 95 years ago. 

  • String Theory Seminar
26 February 2016
13:00
Abstract

The possibility of a landscape of metastable vacua raises the question of what fraction of vacua are truly long lived. Naively any would-be vacuum state has many nearby decay paths, and all possible decays must be suppressed. An interesting model of this phenomena consists of N scalars with a random potential of fourth order. We show that the scaling of the typical minimal bounce action with N is readily understood. We discuss the extension to more realistic landscape models as well as the effects of gravity. 

  • String Theory Seminar
15 February 2016
12:00
Andreas Braun
Abstract

A large number of examples of compact G2 manifolds, relevant to supersymmetric compactifications of M-Theory to four dimensions, can be constructed by forming a twisted connected sum of two appropriate building blocks times a circle. These building blocks, which are appropriate K3-fibred threefolds, are shown to have a natural and elegant construction in terms of tops, which parallels the construction of Calabi-Yau manifolds via reflexive polytopes.

  • String Theory Seminar
8 February 2016
12:00
Jose Edelstein
Abstract

I will consider higher derivative corrections to the graviton 3-point coupling within a weakly coupled theory of gravity. Lorentz invariance allows further structures beyond that of Einstein’s theory. I will argue that these structures are constrained by causality, and show that the problem cannot be fixed by adding conventional particles with spins J ≤ 2, but adding an infinite tower of massive particles with higher spins. Implications of this result in the context of AdS/CFT, quantum gravity in asymptotically flat space-times, and non-Gaussianity features of primordial gravitational waves are discussed.

 
 
 
  • String Theory Seminar
1 February 2016
12:00
Sven Krippendorf
Abstract

It is unknown whether a bound on axion field ranges exists within quantum gravity. We study axion field ranges using extended supersymmetry, in particular allowing an analysis within strongly coupled regions of moduli space. We apply this strategy to Calabi-Yau compactifications with one and two Kähler moduli. We relate the maximally allowable decay constant to geometric properties of the underlying Calabi-Yau geometry. In all examples we find a maximal field range close to the reduced Planck mass (with the largest field range being 3.25 $M_P$). On this perspective, field ranges relate to the intersection and instanton numbers of the underlying Calabi-Yau geometry.

 
 
  • String Theory Seminar
18 January 2016
12:00
Philip Candelas
Abstract

I will give an introductory account of the zeta-functions for one-parameter families of CY manifolds. The aim of the talk is to point out that the zeta-functions corresponding to singular manifolds of the family correspond to modular forms. In order to give this introductory account I will give a lightning review of finite fields and of the p-adic numbers.

 
 
  • String Theory Seminar
23 November 2015
12:00
Oscar Varela
Abstract

It has been recently pointed out that maximal gauged supergravities in four dimensions often come in one-parameter families. The parameter measures the combination of electric and magnetic vectors that participate in the gauging. I will discuss the higher-dimensional origin of these dyonic gaugings, when the gauge group is chosen to be ISO(7). This gauged supergravity arises from consistent truncation of massive type IIA on the six-sphere, with its dyonically-gauging parameter identified with the Romans mass. The (AdS) vacua of the 4D supergravity give rise to new explicit AdS4 backgrounds of massive type IIA. I will also show that the 3D field theories dual to these AdS4 solutions are Chern-Simons-matter theories with a simple gauge group and level k also given by the Romans mass.

 
  • String Theory Seminar

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