Unless otherwise stated, seminars
will take place in 7.01 of the
at
the University of Edinburgh.

Please contact the organisers Tim Adamo (UoE) or Richard Davison (HW)
with any questions regarding the seminars.

Wednesday,
29 April 2009
at
14:30

11.18

David Tong
(DAMTP, Cambridge)

Non-Abelian Berry phase is a generic feature in quantum mechanics, where states
undergo a holonomy as one changes parameters. I will give an introduction to this
phenomenon and explain why it is particularly natural in supersymmetric quantum
mechanics. I will also show how supersymmetry allows us to find exact expressions for the
Berry phase in strongly coupled, or many-body, systems.

Monday,
27 April 2009
at
14:30

EM183

Frederic Schuller
(AEI Potsdam)

All we know about the structure of physical spacetime, we ultimately infer
from the behaviour of matter inhabiting it. Restricting attention to classical
matter, Einstein showed in this fashion how the properties of electromagnetic
fields reveal an underlying metric structure of spacetime. General relativity
then builds on taking the Lorentzian metric seriously as a dynamical object in
its own right, providing a phenomenally successful theory of gravity.
But all matter is quantum, and in this talk I will show how this leads to
the emergence of a refined `area metric' geometry. Gravitational dynamics for
four-dimensional area metric manifolds then provide a theory of spacetime and
matter, which surprisingly addresses the observed late-time accelerated expansion of the universe without a need for dark energy. The emergence of an area
metric spacetime structure has further remarkable consequences for singularity
theory and our understanding of physics in strong gravitational fields.

Wednesday,
15 April 2009
at
14:30

José Figueroa-O'Farrill
(University of Edinburgh)

Superconformal Chern-Simons + matter theories in
three dimensions can be formulated in terms of 3-algebras, and
this has intensified their study recently. I will introduce the
notions of a metric 3-Lie and more generally 3-Leibniz algebra,
the associated Leibniz algebra. I will then present the
deformation problem for general 3-Leibniz algebras and show that they are
governed by the cohomology of the associated Leibniz algebra with coefficients in a certain representation. I will
then specialize to the 3-algebras of physical interest and end
with an example. Although the topic is inherently technical, I
hope to give an overview emphasising the ideas and not the details.

Computational aspects of Riemann surfaces and integrable systems

Friday,
13 March 2009
at

Wednesday,
4 March 2009

14:30

Neil Lambert
(King's College London)

Multiple M2-brane dynamics

16:00

Christian Sämann
(Trinity College Dublin)

About a year ago, Bagger, Lambert and Gustavsson proposed a candidate model for an effective description of multiple M2-branes. In this talk, I will present a number of recent results on this model such as superfield formulations, extensions of the gauge algebraic structures involved and an interpretation within strong homotopy Lie algebras.

Wednesday,
18 February 2009
at
16:00

Volker Braun
(Dublin IAS)

Metrics, connections, and laplacians in Calabi-Yau compactifications

Wednesday,
28 January 2009
at
14:30

Daniel Friedan
(Rutgers)

Gradient property of the boundary RG flow for supersymmetric 1+1d quantum field theories

Wednesday,
21 January 2009

14:30

Fernando Izaurieta
(Chile)

It has been pointed out several times in the past that eleven-dimensional Chern-Simons supergravity would make a natural candidate for M-theory, due to its appealing good behaviour as a gauge theory.
However, according to our current understanding of string theory and M-theory, in that case it should be possible to recover standard Cremmer-Julia-Scherk supergravity as some kind of limit of Chern-Simons supergravity. All efforts notwithstanding the issue remains open until now.
A possible solution to the problem could be to compare not the dynamics of both theories but directly their action principles. It seems standard supergravity could correspond to higher order corrections to a length parameter.

16:00

James Lucietti
(Durham)

Extremal black holes