IAS High Energy Theory Seminar

Solving Random Matrix Models with Positivity

Henry Lin
Princeton University
March 27, 2020
Abstract: A new approach to solving random matrix models directly in the large N limit is developed. First, a set of numerical values for some low-pt correlation functions is guessed. The large N loop equations are then used to generate values of higher-pt correlation functions based on this guess. Then one tests whether these higher-pt functions are consistent with positivity requirements, e.g., tr M^{2k} > 0. If not, the guessed values are systematically ruled out.

How to See Everything in the Entanglement Wedge

Adam Levine
Member, School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study
March 20, 2020
Abstract: We will describe work in progress in which we argue that a generalization of the procedure developed by Gao-Jafferis-Wall can allow one to see the entirety of the entanglement wedge. Gao-Jafferis-Wall demonstrated that one can see excitations behind the horizon by deforming the boundary Hamiltonian using a non-local operator. We will argue in a simple class of examples that deforming the boundary Hamiltonian by a specific modular Hamiltonian can allow one to see (almost) everything in the entanglement wedge.

Covariant Phase Space with Boundaries

Daniel Harlow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
March 16, 2020
The Hamiltonian formulation of mechanics has many advantages, but its standard presentation destroys manifest covariance. This can be avoided by using the "covariant phase formalism" of Iyer and Wald, but until recently this formalism has suffered from several ambiguities related to boundary terms and total derivatives. In this talk I will present a new version of the formalism which incorporates boundary effects from the beginning.

An Effective Field Theory of Quantum Black Hole Horizons

Walter Goldberger
Yale University
February 10, 2020
I develop an effective theory which describes black holes with quantum
mechanical horizons that is valid at scales long compared to the
Schwarzschild radius but short compared to the lifetime of the black
hole. The formalism allows one to calculate the quantum mechanical
effects in scattering processes involving black hole asymptotic states.
The EFT Wightman functions which describe Hawking radiation in the Unruh
vacuum are not Planck suppressed and are actually enhanced relative to

Deforming Holomorphic Chern-Simons at Large N

Si Li
Member, School of Natural Sciences, IAS; Tsinghua University
November 15, 2019

We describe the coupling of holomorphic Chern-Simons theory at large N with Kodaira-Spencer gravity. This gives a complete description of open-closed string field theory in the topological B-model. We explain an anomaly cancellation mechanism at all loops in perturbation theory in this model. At one loop this anomaly cancellation is analogous to the Green-Schwarz mechanism. This is joint work with Kevin Costello.