mathematical string theory meeting
This is the webpage for the southeastern regional mathematical string theory
meeting, held every six months (early April and early October), often at
Duke University but occasionally elsewhere.
The spring 2018 meeting will be held on Saturday April 7, 2018,
at Duke University, in Durham, NC.
- Friday April 6, 2018: Optional informal dinner, starting at 7:30 pm
Sitar Indian Cuisine.
UPDATE: Friday dinner cancelled.
- Saturday April 7, 2018, at Duke University, physics room 130:
- 10:00-11:00: Daniel Roberts (IAS / FAIR),
"Chaos and the growth of operators"
- Abstract: We will consider (a very small subset of) recent work on quantum
chaos. We will connect the butterfly effect to the growth of operators
through the lens of different model quantum systems: spin chains,
holographic CFTs, and the SYK model. We will also enumerate different
diagnostics for chaos including out-of-time-order correlation functions
(OTOCs) and discuss different speeds at which information can propagate in
- 11:15-12:15: Laura Schaposnik (Univ Illinois Chicago),
"On Cayley and Langlands type correspondences for Higgs bundles"
- Abstract: The Hitchin fibration is a natural tool through which one
can understand the moduli space of Higgs bundles and its interesting
subspaces (branes). After reviewing the type of questions and methods
considered in the area, we shall dedicate this talk to the study of
certain branes which lie completely inside the singular fibres of the
Hitchin fibrations. Through Cayley and Langlands type correspondences,
we shall provide a geometric description of these objects, and
consider the implications of our methods in the context of
representation theory, Langlands duality, and within a more generic
study of symmetries on moduli spaces.
- 12:30-2: Lunch
- 2:00-3:00: Fei Yan (UT Austin),
"Line defect Schur indices, Verlinde algebras and U(1) fixed points"
- Abstract: Given a 4d N=2 superconformal field theory,
one could consider Schur index in presence of a half line defect L.
Recently Cordova-Gaiotto-Shao found that such index admits an expansion
in terms of characters of the chiral algebra introduced by Beem et al.
In this talk I will report a puzzling new feature of this expansion:
the q → 1 limit of the expansion coefficients is linearly related to the
vacuum expectation values < L > in the U(1)_r-invariant vacua
of the theory compactified on a circle. This relation can be expressed as a
commutative diagram involving three algebras: the OPE algebra of line defects,
the algebra of functions on the U(1)_r-invariant vacua,
and a Verlinde-like algebra associated to the chiral algebra.
This is joint work with Andy Neitzke.
- 3:15-4:15: Eugene Rabinovich (UC Berkeley),
"A Mathematical Discussion of the Axial Anomaly in the Batalin-Vilkovisky Formalism"
- Abstract: One general perspective on anomalies is that they are a measure of the obstruction to giving the partition function a well-defined value. Using the Batalin-Vilkovisky formalism---as developed by Costello and Gwilliam---we give a mathematical justification of this perspective for the case of perturbative anomalies of the massless free fermion. In particular, for the case of the axial anomaly, we recover the index of the Dirac operator as the relevant obstruction.
If you are interested in speaking, please contact
Some group photos from the spring 2018 meeting are
Some group photos from the fall 2017 meeting are
Some group photos from the spring 2017 meeting are
Some group photos from the spring 2016 meeting are
A group photo from the fall 2015 meeting is
There are several coffee shops located close to the Duke physics department:
- There are two coffee shops in the Bryan Center.
- Another coffee shop, ``Twinnies,'' is located in the Fitzpatrick Center.
- Coffee is served in the LSRC cafeteria.
- There is a coffee shop in the Perkins Library.
- Caribou Coffee, 110 West Franklin Street
- Starbucks, 103 East Franklin Street
- Alpine Bagel Cafe, in the Carolina Union
For visitors to the area:
- For those flying in, the closest airport is
Raleigh-Durham International (RDU).
- A map of Duke's campus can be found here.
- We have parking passes for the lot beside the physics department building,
email Eric Sharpe for such a pass if you will drive in.
- If you don't have a pass, convenient visitor parking at Duke
can often (though not always) be found in the parking deck behind the
Bryan Center, off of Science Drive. On rare occasion, that parking deck
may be closed or full. In such an event, there is a visitor information
center located at the traffic circle on Towerview Road, and the staff there
can provide other visitor parking options. (For example, there is a parking
deck on Erwin Road, across from the main entrance to the hospital -- but
getting from there to the physics department is nontrivial.)
for a comprehensive list of Duke visitor parking options.
- For those driving in from out of town,
it should be noted that I-40 typically gets jammed with RTP traffic during
morning and afternoon rush hours.
- A map of UNC-CH's campus can be found
- For parking in Chapel Hill, there are several municipal parking lots and
decks off of Rosemary St., parallel and next to Franklin St.,
or find a map
We have (limited) funding available to reimburse students and postdocs,
both those speaking and those merely attending who,
because of distance travelled, need to spend
a night in a hotel, courtesy of NSF grant PHY-1643420.
IMPORTANT: If you wish to be reimbursed, see here
for the paperwork you will need to provide, and also let Eric Sharpe
know that you will wish to be reimbursed.
Previous regional meetings:
For information on previous meetings, see here.
Other upcoming meetings of interest:
A list of upcoming events in VA can be found
Raleigh-Durham area attractions:
For those not acquainted with the area, there are a number of things
to see. In no particular order, a few include:
- Morehead Planetarium
in Chapel Hill,
- There is a small
Museum of NC history
on the UNC-CH campus.
- Nasher Museum of Art at Duke
University, open late on Thursday evenings,
- NC Museum of Art in Raleigh,
open late on Friday evenings,
- NC Museum of Natural Sciences,
which has movies on the evening of the
last Friday of each month,
- NC Museum of History
- Reader's Corner,
a used book store on Hillsborough St. in Raleigh,
Price Books, another used book store on Hillsborough St. in Raleigh,
- Other Raleigh events held on the first Friday of every month are
- Full Frame Documentary Film
Festival, held in April of each year.
in Chapel Hill are often listed