Forthcoming events in this series


Tue, 28 Nov 2023
13:00
L1

Global structures of SQFTs from rank-one Seiberg-Witten geometries

Cyril Closset
(Birmingham)
Abstract

 I will explore subtle aspects of rank-one 4d N=2 supersymmetric QFTs through their low-energy Coulomb-branch physics. This low-energy Lagrangian is famously encoded in the Seiberg-Witten (SW) curve, which is a one-parameter family of elliptic curves. Less widely appreciated is the fact that various properties of the QFTs, including properties that cannot be read off from the Lagrangian, are nonetheless encoded into the SW curve, in particular in its Mordell-Weil group. This includes the global form of the flavour group, the one-form symmetries under which defect lines are charged, and the "global form" of the theory. In particular, I will discuss in detail the difference between the pure SU(2) and the pure SO(3) N=2 SYM theories from this perspective. I will also comment on 5d SCFTs compactified on a circle in this context.

Tue, 21 Nov 2023
13:00
L1

KLT for windings strings and nonrelativistic string theory

Matthew Yu
(Oxford )
Abstract

I will discuss a KLT relation of closed string amplitudes into open string amplitudes for closed string states carrying winding and momentum in toroidal compactifications. The goal is to introduce an interesting D-brane set up in the target space in order to accommodate both quantum numbers of the closed string. I will then discuss KLT factorization of amplitudes for winding closed strings in the presence of a critical Kalb-Ramond field and the relevance of this work for nonrelativistic string theory when taking the zero Regge limit. 

Tue, 14 Nov 2023
13:00
L1

Carrollian perspective on celestial holography

Romain Ruzziconi
(Oxford)
Abstract

I will review some aspects of gravity in asymptotically flat spacetime and mention important challenges to obtain a holographic description in this framework. I will then present two important approaches towards flat space holography, namely Carrollian and celestial holography, and explain how they are related to each other. Similarities and differences between flat and anti-de Sitter spacetimes will be emphasized throughout the talk. 
 

Tue, 07 Nov 2023
13:00
L1

3D gravity, Virasoro TQFT, and ensembles of approximate CFT’s

Gabriel Wong
(Oxford)
Abstract

Recent progress in AdS/CFT has provided a good understanding of how the bulk spacetime is encoded in the entanglement structure of the boundary CFT. However, little is known about how spacetime emerges directly from the bulk quantum theory. We address this question in AdS3 pure gravity, which we formulate as a topological quantum field theory. We explain how gravitational entropy can be viewed as bulk entanglement entropy of gravitational edge modes.  These edge modes transform under a quantum group symmetry. This suggests an effective description of bulk microstates in terms of collective, anyonic degrees of freedom whose entanglement leads to the emergence of the bulk spacetime.  Time permitting we will discuss a proposal for how our bulk TQFT arises from an ensemble of approximate CFT’s, generalizing the relation between JT gravity and random matrix ensemble.

Tue, 31 Oct 2023
13:00
L1

Theories with 8 Supercharges, the Higgs Mechanism, and Symplectic Singularities

Julius Grimminger
(Oxford )
Abstract

I will talk about supersymmetric quantum field theories with 8 supercharges in dimensions 3-6. After a brief introduction I will mostly speak about the moduli space of vacua of such theories, and in particular their Higgs branches, which are so called symplectic singularities (or mild generalisations thereof). Powerful theorems from mathematics say that a singular Higgs branch is stratified into a disjoint union of smooth open subsets, so called symplectic leaves. This stratification matches exactly the pattern of partial Higgsings of the theory in question. After introducing the stratification and explaining its physical interpretation, I will show how brane systems and so called magnetic quivers can be used to compute it.

Tue, 24 Oct 2023
13:00
L1

Duality defects, anomalies and RG flows

Christian Copetti
(Oxford)
Abstract

We review the construction of non-invertible duality defects in various dimensions. We explain how they can be preserved along RG flows and how their realization on gapped phases contains their 't Hooft anomalies. We finally give a presentation of the anomalies from the Symmetry TFT. Time permitting I will discuss some possible future applications.

Tue, 17 Oct 2023
13:00
L1

An exact solution to cosmological bootstrap using 6j symbols

Sourav Sarkar
(Uppsala)
Abstract

We shall consider a crossing equation of the Euclidean conformal group in terms of conformal partial waves and in particular, a position independent representation of this equation. We shall briefly discuss the relevance of this equation to the problem of cosmological bootstrap. Thereafter, we shall sketch the derivation of the Biedenharn-Eliiot identity (a pentagon identity) for the 6j symbols of the conformal group and show how this provides us with an exact solution to said crossing equation. For the conformal group (which is non-compact), this involves some careful bookkeeping of the spinning representations. Finally, we shall discuss some consistency checks on the result obtained, and some open questions. 

Tue, 10 Oct 2023
13:00
L1

Generalized Symmetries in Argyres-Douglas Theories

Alessandro Mininno
(DESY)
Abstract
In this talk, I will discuss the dynamical consequences of having 1-form, 2-group and non-invertible symmetries in Argyres-Douglas (AD) theories.
I will first review how to construct (G,G') and D_p(G) theories from geometric engineering. Then, I will briefly introduce how 1-form symmetries are found in these AD theories, focusing on their dynamical consequences in the study of the Higgs branch for such theories.  Analogously, I will show how certain D_p(G) theories enjoy a 2-group structure due to a non-trivial extension between a discrete 1-form symmetry and a continuous 0-form symmetry, emphasizing the dynamical consequences that a 2-group structure entails, and the family of AD theories that have it. This analysis allowed us to "bootstrap" families of D_p(G) theories sharing the same properties. Finally, I discuss the presence of non-invertible symmetries in AD theories obtained by gauging the flavor symmetry of multiple D_p(SU(N)) theories. 

 

Mon, 19 Jun 2023
13:00
L3

Evaluating one-loop string amplitudes

Sebastian Mizera
(IAS)
Abstract

Scattering amplitudes in string theory are written as formal integrals of correlations functions over the moduli space of punctured Riemann surfaces. It's well-known, albeit not often emphasized, that this prescription is only approximately correct because of the ambiguities in defining the integration domain. In this talk, we propose a resolution of this problem for one-loop open-string amplitudes and present their first evaluation at finite energy and scattering angle. Our method involves a deformation of the integration contour over the modular parameter to a fractal contour introduced by Rademacher in the context of analytic number theory. This procedure leads to explicit and practical formulas for the one-loop planar and non-planar type-I superstring four-point amplitudes, amenable to numerical evaluation. We plot the amplitudes as a function of the Mandelstam invariants and directly verify long-standing conjectures about their behavior at high energies.

Mon, 12 Jun 2023
17:15
L3

Evaluating one-loop string amplitudes

Sebastian Mizera
(IAS)
Abstract

Scattering amplitudes in string theory are written as formal integrals of correlations functions over the moduli space of punctured Riemann surfaces. It's well-known, albeit not often emphasized, that this prescription is only approximately correct because of the ambiguities in defining the integration domain. In this talk, we propose a resolution of this problem for one-loop open-string amplitudes and present their first evaluation at finite energy and scattering angle. Our method involves a deformation of the integration contour over the modular parameter to a fractal contour introduced by Rademacher in the context of analytic number theory. This procedure leads to explicit and practical formulas for the one-loop planar and non-planar type-I superstring four-point amplitudes, amenable to numerical evaluation. We plot the amplitudes as a function of the Mandelstam invariants and directly verify long-standing conjectures about their behavior at high energies.

Mon, 12 Jun 2023
14:15
L1

Holographic description of code CFTs

Anatoly Dymarsky
(Kentucky)
Abstract

Recently, a relation was introduced connecting codes of various types with the space of abelian (Narain) 2d CFTs. We extend this relation to provide holographic description of code CFTs in terms of abelian Chern-Simons theory in the bulk. For codes over the alphabet Z_p corresponding bulk theory is, schematically, U(1)_p times U(1)_{-p} where p stands for the level. Furthermore, CFT partition function averaged over all code theories for the codes of a given type is holographically given by the Chern-Simons partition function summed over all possible 3d geometries. This provides an explicit and controllable example of holographic correspondence where a finite ensemble of CFTs is dual to "topological/CS gravity" in the bulk. The parameter p controls the size of the ensemble and "how topological" the bulk theory is. Say, for p=1 any given Narain CFT is described holographically in terms of U(1)_1^n times U(1)_{-1}^n Chern-Simons, which does not distinguish between different 3d geometries (and hence can be evaluated on any of them). When p approaches infinity, the ensemble of code theories covers the whole Narain moduli space with the bulk theory becoming "U(1)-gravity" proposed by Maloney-Witten and Afkhami-Jeddi et al.

Mon, 12 Jun 2023
13:00
L1

Spacetime and Duality symmetries

Peter West
(KCL )
Abstract

We argue that the existence of solitons in theories in which local symmetries are spontaneously broken requires spacetime to be enlarged by additional coordinates that are associated with large local transformations. In the context of gravity theories the usual coordinates of spacetime can be thought of arising in this way. E theory automatically contains such an enlarged spacetime. We propose that spacetime appears in an underlying theory when the local symmetries are spontaneously broken.

Mon, 05 Jun 2023
13:00
L1

Gravity’s Attractive Blocks

Seyed Morteza Hosseini
(Imperial College )
Abstract

There has been recent advances in understanding the microscopic origin of the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy of supersymmetric ant de Sitter (AdS) black holes using holography and localization applied to the dual quantum field theory. In this talk, after a brief overview of the general picture, I will propose a BPS partition function -- based on gluing elementary objects called gravitational blocks -- for known AdS black holes with arbitrary rotation and generic magnetic and electric charges. I will then show that the attractor equations and the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy can be obtained from an extremization principle.

Mon, 29 May 2023
13:00
L1

Operator dynamics in Floquet many-body systems

Takato Yoshimura
(All Souls. Oxford Physics)
Abstract

Random unitary circuits (RUCs) have served as important sources of insights in studying operator dynamics. While the simplicity of RUCs allows us to understand the nature of operator growth in a quantitative way, randomness of the dynamics in time prevents them to capture certain aspects of operator dynamics. To explore these aspects, in this talk, I consider the operator dynamics of a minimal Floquet many-body circuit whose time-evolution operator is fixed at each time step. In particular, I compute the partial spectral form factor of the model and show that it displays nontrivial universal physics due to operator dynamics. I then discuss the out-of-ordered correlator of the system, which turns out to capture the main feature of it in a generic chaotic many-body system, even in the infinite on-site Hilbert space dimension limit.

Mon, 22 May 2023
13:00
L1

Generalized Charges of Symmetries

Lakshya Bhardwaj
(Oxford)
Abstract

I will discuss various possible ways a global symmetry can act on operators in a quantum field theory. The possible actions on q-dimensional operators are referred to as q-charges of the symmetry. Crucially, there exist generalized higher-charges already for an ordinary global symmetry described by a group G. The usual charges are 0-charges, describing the action of the symmetry group G on point-like local operators, which are well-known to correspond to representations of G. We find that there is a neat generalization of this fact to higher-charges: i.e. q-charges are (q+1)-representations of G. I will also discuss q-charges for generalized global symmetries, including not only invertible higher-form and higher-group symmetries, but also non-invertible categorical symmetries. This talk is based on a recent (arXiv: 2304.02660) and upcoming works with Sakura Schafer-Nameki.

Mon, 15 May 2023
13:00
L1

From Poisson’s Ratio to Cosmology

Chris Herzog
(KCL )
Abstract

I will discuss how to place conformal boundary conditions on free higher derivative theories of scalars and spinors as well as the zoo of boundary renormalization group flows that connect the different boundary conditions.  Historically, there are connections to Poisson’s ratio and classical equations governing the bending of thin steel plates.  As these higher derivative theories are often invoked in the context of cosmology, there may be cosmological applications for the boundary conditions discussed here.
 

Mon, 08 May 2023
13:00
L1

Star-shaped quivers in four dimensions

Shlomo Razamat
(Technion)
Abstract
We will review the notion of across dimension IR dualities. As a concrete example we will  discuss such 4d across dimensions dual Lagrangian descriptions of compactifications of the 6d  minimal D type conformal matter theory on a sphere with arbitrary number of punctures. The Lagrangian has the form of a ``star shaped quiver'' with the rank of the central node depending on the 6d theory and the number and type of punctures. Using these Lagrangians one can construct across dimensions duals for arbitrary compactifications (any genus and type of punctures) of the D type conformal matter.

 

Mon, 01 May 2023
13:00
L1

Keeping matter in the loop in dS_3 quantum gravity

Alejandra Castro
(Cambridge)
Abstract

In this talk I will discuss a novel mechanism  that couples matter fields to three-dimensional de Sitter quantum gravity. This construction is based on the Chern-Simons formulation of three-dimensional Euclidean gravity, and it centers on a collection of Wilson loops winding around Euclidean de Sitter space. We coin this object a Wilson spool.  To construct the spool, we build novel representations of su(2). To evaluate the spool, we adapt and exploit several known exact results in Chern-Simons theory. Our proposal correctly reproduces the one-loop determinant of a free massive scalar field on S^3 as G_N->0. Moreover, allowing for quantum metric fluctuations, it can be systematically evaluated to any order in perturbation theory.   

Mon, 24 Apr 2023
13:00
L1

G2-Manifolds from 4d N = 1 Theories, Part I: Domain Walls

Evyatar Sabag
(Oxford)
Abstract

We propose new G2-holonomy manifolds, which geometrize the Gaiotto-Kim 4d N = 1 duality
domain walls of 5d N = 1 theories. These domain walls interpolate between different extended
Coulomb branch phases of a given 5d superconformal field theory. Our starting point is the
geometric realization of such a 5d superconformal field theory and its extended Coulomb
branch in terms of M-theory on a non-compact singular Calabi-Yau three-fold and its Kahler
cone. We construct the 7-manifold that realizes the domain wall in M-theory by fibering the
Calabi-Yau three-fold over a real line, whilst varying its Kahler parameters as prescribed by
the domain wall construction. In particular this requires the Calabi-Yau fiber to pass through
a canonical singularity at the locus of the domain wall. Due to the 4d N = 1 supersymmetry
that is preserved on the domain wall, we expect the resulting 7-manifold to have holonomy G2.
Indeed, for simple domain wall theories, this construction results in 7-manifolds, which are
known to admit torsion-free G2-holonomy metrics. We develop several generalizations to new
7-manifolds, which realize domain walls in 5d SQCD theories.

Mon, 06 Mar 2023
13:00
L1

Bounds on quantum evolution complexity via lattice cryptography

Marine De Clerck
(Cambridge)
Abstract

I will present results from arXiv:2202.13924, where we studied the difference between integrable and chaotic motion in quantum theory as manifested by the complexity of the corresponding evolution operators. The notion of complexity of interest to us will be Nielsen’s complexity applied to the time-dependent evolution operator of the quantum systems. I will review Nielsen’s complexity, discuss the difficulties associated with this definition and introduce a simplified approach which appears to retain non-trivial information about the integrable properties of the dynamical systems.

Mon, 27 Feb 2023
13:00
L1

Towards Hodge-theoretic characterizations of 2d rational SCFTs

Taizan Watari
(Kavli IPMU)
Abstract

A 2d SCFT given as a non-linear sigma model of a Ricci-flat Kahler target 

space is not a rational CFT in general; only special points in the moduli 

space of the target-space metric, the 2d SCFTs are rational. 

Gukov-Vafa's paper in 2002 hinted at a possibility that such special points 

may be characterized by the property "complex multiplication" of the target space, 

which has its origin in number theory. We revisit the idea, refine the Conjecture, 

and prove it in the case the target space is T^4. 
 

This presentation is based on arXiv:2205.10299 and 2212.13028 .

Mon, 20 Feb 2023
13:00
L1

Generalized Toric Polygons, T-branes, and 5d SCFTs

Antoine Bourget
(ENS/Saclay)
Abstract

5d Superconformal Field Theories (SCFTs) are intrinsically strongly-coupled UV fixed points, whose realization hinges on string theoretic methods: they can be constructed by compactifying M-theory on local Calabi-Yau threefold singularities or alternatively from the world-volume of 5-brane-webs in type IIB string theory. There is a correspondence between 5-brane-webs and toric Calabi-Yau threefolds, however this breaks down when multiple 5-branes are allowed to end on a single 7-brane. In this talk, we extend this connection and provide a geometric realization of brane configurations including 7-branes. Along the way, we also review techniques developed in the past few years to describe the Higgs branch of these 5d SCFTs, including magnetic quivers and Hasse diagram for symplectic singularities. 

Mon, 13 Feb 2023
13:00
L1

Knot Homologies from Landau Ginsburg Models

Miroslav Rapcak
(Cern)
Abstract

In her recent work, Mina Aganagic proposed novel perspectives on computing knot homologies associated with any simple Lie algebra. One of her proposals relies on counting intersection points between Lagrangians in Landau-Ginsburg models on symmetric powers of Riemann surfaces. In my talk, I am going to present a concrete algebraic algorithm for finding such intersection points, turning the proposal into an actual calculational tool. I am going to illustrate the construction on the example of the sl_2 invariant for the Hopf link. I am also going to comment on the extension of the story to homological invariants associated to gl(m|n) super Lie algebras, solving this long-standing problem. The talk is based on our work in progress with Mina Aganagic and Elise LePage.

Mon, 06 Feb 2023
13:00
L1

Distinguishing SCFTs in Four and Six Dimensions

Craig Lawrie
(DESY)
Abstract

When do two quantum field theories describe the same physics? I will discuss some approaches to this question in the context of superconformal field theories in four and six dimensions. First, I will discuss the construction of 6d (1,0) SCFTs from the perspective of the "atomic classification", focussing on an oft-overlooked subtlety whereby distinct SCFTs in fact share an effective description on the generic point of the tensor branch. We will see how to determine the difference in the Higgs branch operator spectrum from the atomic perspective, and how that agrees with a dual class S perspective. I will explain how other 4d N=2 SCFTs, which a priori look like distinct theories, can be shown to describe the same physics, as they arise as torus-compactifications of identical 6d theories.

Mon, 30 Jan 2023
13:00
L1

Double holography and Page curves in Type IIB

Christoph Uhlemann
(Oxford )
Abstract

In recent progress on the black hole information paradox, Page curves consistent with unitarity have been obtained in 2d models and in bottom-up braneworld models using the notion of double holography. In this talk we discuss top-down models realizing 4d black holes coupled to a bath in Type IIB string theory and obtain Page curves. We make the ideas behind double holography precise in these models and address causality puzzles which have arisen in the bottom-up models, leading to a refinement of their interpretation.