School of Natural Sciences

Two Important Milestones in the History of the Universe: The Last Scattering Surface, the Black Body Photosphere of the Universe and Distortions of the CMB Spectrum

Rashid Sunyaev
Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Natural Sciences, IAS; Max-Planck-Institute für Astrophysik; Space Research Institute, Moscow
May 15, 2019

Our Universe is filled with Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation having an almost perfect black body spectrum with a temperature of To=2.7K. The number density of photons in our Universe exceeds the number density of electrons by a factor of more than a billion. In the expanding Universe the temperature at early times was higher than today: Tr = To (1+z), where z is the redshift. 

Globally Consistent Three-family Standard Models in F-theory

Mirjam Cvetic
University of Pennsylvania
April 29, 2019

We present recent advances in constructions of globally consistent 
F-theory compactifications with the exact chiral spectrum of the minimal 
supersymmetric Standard Model. We highlight the first such example and 
then turn to a subsequent systematic exploration of the landscape of 
F-theory three-family Standard Models with a gauge coupling unification. 
Employing algebraic geometry techniques, all global consistency 
conditions of these models can be reduced to a single criterion on the 

Anomalies in the Space of Couplings and Dynamical Applications

Clay Cordova
Member, School of Natural Sciences, IAS
April 26, 2019

Anomalies are invariants under renormalization group flow which lead to powerful constraints on the phases of quantum field theories.  I will explain how these ideas can be generalized to families of theories labelled by coupling constants like the theta angle in gauge theory.  Using these ideas we will be able to prove that certain systems, such as Yang-Mills theory in 4d, necessarily have a phase transition as these parameters are varied.  We will also show how to use the same ideas to constrain the dynamics of defects where coupling constants vary in spacetime.

Anyonic-String/Brane Träumerei: Quantum 4d Yang-Mills Gauge Theories and Time-Reversal Symmetric 5d TQFT

Juven Wang
Member, School of Natural Sciences, IAS
April 19, 2019

My talk will aim to be a friendly introduction for condensed matter friends, mathematicians, and QFT theorists alike ---  I shall quickly review and warm up the use of higher symmetries and anomalies of gauge theories and condensed matter systems. Then I will present the results of recent work [arXiv:1904.00994].

Open Strings on the Rindler Horizon

Edward Witten
IAS
December 5, 2018

Please Note: This workshop is not open to the general public, but only to active researchers.

This workshop will focus on quantum aspects of black holes, focusing on applying ideas from quantum information theory.

This meeting is sponsored by the “It from Qubit collaboration” and is followed by the collaboration meeting in New York City.