Particle Physics and Quantum Field Theory

The geometry of the spinning string

Speaker: 
Peter Kristel
Date: 
2021
Location: 
Zoom
PIMS, University of Manitoba
Conference: 
Emergent Research: The PIMS Postdoctoral Fellow Seminar
Abstract: 

The development of quantum electrodynamics is one of the major achievements of theoretical physics and mathematics of the 20th century, called the "Jewel of physics" by Richard Feynman. This talk is not about that. Instead, I explain two of its basic ingredients - Feynman diagrams, and Spinor bundles - and then describe how these can be adapted to "electron-like" strings. This will lead us naturally to the Spinor bundle on loop space, which I will describe in some detail. An element of loop space, i.e. a smooth function from the circle into some fixed manifold, is supposed to represent a string at a fixed moment in time. I will then explain the notion of a fusion product (on this bundle), and argue that this is a manifestation of the principle of locality, which is ubiquitous in physics. If time permits, I will discuss some ongoing work, in collaboration with Matthias Ludewig, Darvin Mertsch, and Konrad Waldorf, where we describe how this fusive spinor bundle on loop space fits beautifully in the higher categorical framework of 2-vector bundles.

Class: 

Combinatorial structures in perturbative quantum field theory

Speaker: 
Karen Yeats
Date: 
2021
Location: 
Zoom
PIMS, University of Saskachewan
Conference: 
quanTA CRG Seminar
CRG: 
quantum-topology
Abstract: 

I will give an overview of a few places where combinatorial structures have an interesting role to play in quantum field theory and which I have been involved in to varying degrees, from the Connes-Kreimer Hopf algebra and other renormalization Hopf algebras, to the combinatorics of Dyson-Schwinger equations and the graph theory of Feynman integrals.

For other events in this series see the quanTA events website.

Class: 

The topology and geometry of the space of gapped lattice systems

Speaker: 
Anton Kapustin
Date: 
2020
Location: 
PIMS, University of Saskachewan
Zoom
Conference: 
quanTA CRG Seminar
CRG: 
quantum-topology
Abstract: 

Recently there has been a lot of progress in classifying phases of gapped quantum many-body systems. From the mathematical viewpoint, a phase of a quantum system is a connected component of the “space” of gapped quantum systems, and it is natural to study the topology of this space. I will explain how to probe it using generalizations of the Berry curvature. I will focus on the case of lattice systems where all constructions can be made rigorous. Coarse geometry plays an important role in these constructions.

Class: 

The Infinite HaPPY Code

Speaker: 
Monica Jinwoo Kang
Date: 
2020
Location: 
University of Saskatchewan
Centre for Quantum Topology and Its Applications
Zoom
Conference: 
quanTA CRG Seminar
CRG: 
quantum-topology
Abstract: 

I will construct an infinite-dimensional analog of the HaPPY code as a growing series of stabilizer codes defined respective to their Hilbert spaces. These Hilbert spaces are related by isometries that will be defined during this talk. I will analyze its system in various aspects and discuss its implications in AdS/CFT. Our result hints that the relevance of quantum error correction in quantum gravity may not be limited to the CFT context.

For other events in this series see the quanTA events website.

Class: 

Conformal field theories and quantum phase transitions: an entanglement perspective

Speaker: 
William Witczak-Krempa
Date: 
2020
Location: 
Zoom
University of Sasktachewan
Conference: 
quanTA CRG Seminar
CRG: 
quantum-topology
Abstract: 

Quantum phase transitions occur when a quantum system undergoes a sharp change in its ground state, e.g. between a ferro- and para-magnet. I will present a remarkable set of transitions, called quantum critical, that are described by conformal field theories (CFTs). I will focus on 2 and 3 spatial dimensions, where the conformal symmetry is powerful yet less constraining than in 1 dimension. We will probe these scale-invariant theories via the structure of their quantum entanglement. The methods will include large-N expansions, the AdS/CFT duality from string theory, and large-scale numerical simulations. Finally, we’ll see that certain quantum Hall states, which are topological in nature, possess very similar entanglement properties. This hints at broader principles that relate very different quantum states.

For other events in this series see the quanTA events website.

Class: 

From the Adinkras of Supersymmetry to the Music of Arnold Schoenberg

Speaker: 
Jim Gates
Date: 
2014
Location: 
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Conference: 
PIMS Public Seminar
PIMS Undergraduate Workshop on Supersymmetry
Abstract: 

The concept of supersymmetry, though never observed in Nature, has been one of the primary drivers of investigations in theoretical physics for several decades. Through all of this time, there have remained questions that are unsolved. This presentation will describe how looking at such questions one can be led to the 'Dodecaphony Technique'  of Austrian composer Schoenberg.

 

Jim Gates is a theoretical physicist known for work on supersymmetry, supergravity and superstring theory. He is currently a Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, a University of Maryland Regents Professor and serves on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Gates was nominated by the US Department of Energy to present his work and career to middle and high school students in October 2010. He is on the board of trustees of Society for Science & the Public, he was a Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar at MIT (2010-11) and was a Residential Scholar at MIT’s Simmons Hall. On February 1, 2013, Gates received the National Medal of Science.

Class: 

Gauge Theory and Khovanov Homology

Speaker: 
Edward Witten
Date: 
2012
Location: 
PIMS, University of Washington
Abstract: 

After reviewing ordinary finite-dimensional Morse theory, I will explain how Morse generalized Morse theory to loop spaces, and how Floer generalized it to gauge theory on a three-manifold. Then I will describe an analog of Floer cohomology with the gauge group taken to be a complex Lie group (rather than a compact group as assumed by Floer), and how this is expected to be related to the Jones polynomial of knots and Khovanov homology.

Class: 

A Functional Integral Representation for Many Boson Systems

Speaker: 
Joel Feldman
Date: 
2007
Location: 
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Conference: 
CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize Lecture
Abstract: 

This is the 2007 CRM-Fields-PIMS prize lecture by Joel Feldman, with citation by David Brydges.

Class: 

String Theory Compactification with/without Torsion

Author: 
Piljin Yi
Date: 
2006
Location: 
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Conference: 
Summer School on Strings, Gravity, and Cosmology
Abstract: 

Topics:

• Geometry and Holomony
• Supersymmetry, Spinors, and Calabi-Yau
• Flux and Backreaction
• Energetics of Heterotic Flux Compactification
• Strominger System and Heterotic Flux as a Torsion
• A Supersymmetric Solution to Heterotic Flux Compactification
• Global Issues: Index Counting, Smoothness, etc

Notes: 
Class: