Directions

We are located at the 6th floor of the G.O. Jones Building on the Mile End Campus, midway between Stepney Green and Mile End Tube stations, approximately 15-20 minutes from central London on the Central or District lines. If exiting Stepney Green tube station, turn left and walk along the Mile End Road for approximately 300 metres. The G.O. Jones (Physics) building is to the right of the main college building, which is fronted by a clocktower and lawn. If exiting Mile End tube station, turn left and walk approximately 300 metres until you are opposite the main college building. A more detailed description can be found here.

Seminars at Queen Mary University of London

Found at least 20 result(s)

27.01.2022 (Thursday)

Effective Field Theory of Chaotic Spectral Correlations

Regular Seminar Brian Swingle (Maryland U.)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

Ensembles of quantum chaotic systems are expected to exhibit random matrix universality in their energy spectrum. The presence of this universality can be diagnosed by looking for a linear in time 'ramp' in the spectral form factor, but for realistic systems this feature is typically only visible after a sufficiently long time. Given the wide prevalence of this random matrix behavior, it is natural to ask for an effective field theory which predicts the ramp and computes corrections to it arising from physical constraints. I will present such an effective theory based on fluctuating hydrodynamics. The theory can also be adapted to describe the effects of spontaneous symmetry breaking on spectral correlations. [for zoom link please contact jung-wook(dot)kim(at)qmul(dot)ac(dot)uk]

20.01.2022 (Thursday)

Relative Defects and Trapped Higher-Form Symmetries

Journal Club Lakshya Bhardwaj (Oxford)

at:
12:00 QMW
room G.O. Jones 610
abstract:

Relative theories are non-topological theories living at the boundaries of TQFTs in one higher dimension. An interesting and well-studied class of relative theories are 6d N=(2,0) theories. I will introduce the notion of relative defects in relative theories, which are non-topological defects of the relative theory living at the boundary of a topological defect of the above-mentioned TQFT in one higher dimension. I will argue that codimension two defects of 6d N=(2,0) theories are relative defects. Relative defects carry ''trapped'' higher-form symmetries localized on their world-volume which are independent from the higher-form symmetries of the bulk theory. When the bulk theory is compactified with the insertion of relative defects, the trapped higher-form symmetries provide extra contributions to the higher-form symmetries of the lower-dimensional theory resulting from the compactification. For example, when 6d N=(2,0) theories are compactified on a Riemann surfaces with punctures (which are relative codimension-two defects) then the 1-form symmetry of the resulting 4d N=2 Class S theory obtains contributions from the 1-form symmetries trapped at the punctures, along with the well-known contribution coming from the 2-form symmetry of the 6d N=(2,0) theory; part of London TQFT Journal Club; it will be possible to follow this talk on Zoom (please register at https://london-tqft.vercel.app)

13.01.2022 (Thursday)

TQFTs from SCFTs in 3D

Journal Club Hongliang Jiang (QMUL)

at:
12:00 QMW
room G.O. Jones 610
abstract:

I will discuss the paper https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.09283, where 3D non-unitary TQFTs are obtained from 3D N=4 rank 0 SCFTs; It will be possible to follow this talk on Zoom (please visit https://london-tqft.vercel.app to register).

06.01.2022 (Thursday)

Journal Club on Non-Invertible Duality Defects in 3+1 Dimensions

Journal Club Rajath Radhakrishnan (QMUL)

at:
12:00 QMW
room G.O. Jones 610
abstract:

Discussion of https://arxiv.org/pdf/2111.01139.pdf and https://arxiv.org/pdf/2111.01141.pdf. Part of new "London TQFT Journal Club" series at QMUL, please visit https://london-tqft.vercel.app to register for this and future events; some of these future meetings will be more like standard talks with speakers discussing their own work, while some will be--like this meeting--a more traditional journal club event. (Now on Zoom instead!)

09.12.2021 (Thursday)

Some Quantum States of M-Branes under Hypothesis H

Regular Seminar Urs Schreiber (CAS Prague)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

[there will be a pre-seminar for students at 13:30. For zoom link please email s.nagy@qmul.ac.uk] Following a proposal by H. Sati, we have recently stated a hypothesis about the mathematical home of the quantum charges in M-theory. This “Hypothesis H” refines the traditional proposal for quantization of D-brane charge from K-theory to the non-abelian cohomology theory known as 4-Cohomotopy, whose classifying space is the 4-sphere. Besides its motivation from homotopy-theoretic re-analysis of 11d supergravity and of the old brane scan, Hypothesis H is currently justified by its rigorous implication of a list of long-conjectured M-theoretic consistency conditions on C-field flux and M-brane charges – such as shifted C-field flux quantization, dual Page charge quantization and M2/M5-brane tadpole cancellation. But if Hypothesis H is a correct assumption about the nature of M-theory, this suggests that quantum states of full M-theory should be reflected in the positive cohomology of the moduli space of Cohomotopy cocycles, much like quantum states of non-perturbative Chern-Simons theory are in the Dolbeault cohomology of moduli spaces of (flat) connections. In this talk I discuss how, in the topological sector of D6/D8-brane intersections, such quantum states according to Hypothesis H are identified with *weight systems* on *horizontal chord diagrams*, and how these do reflect a range of phenomena expected from the traditional approaches to understanding these brane intersections, such as non-abelian DBI-theory, the BMN matrix model, Rozansky-Witten theory and Hanany-Witten theory. Specifically, we have proven that the sl(2,C)-weight system satisfies the positivity condition that characterizes physical (i.e. non-ghost) quantum states. Under the above identification, this quantum state corresponds to an elementary fuzzy funnel configuration and/or to the elementary transverse M5-brane state in the BMN matrix model – both as expected for D6/D8-brane intersections. Besides possible implications for the elusive formulation of M-theory, this result may provide a unifying explanation for the plethora of unexpected appearances that chord diagrams are recently making in fundamental high energy physics, notably in discussion of holographic entanglement entropy. Slides and further pointers available at: https://ncatlab.org/schreiber/show/Some+Quantum+States+of+M-Branes+under+Hypothesis+H

08.12.2021 (Wednesday)

On-shell bootstrap of a general spontaneously broken gauge theory

Journal Club Zhewei Yin (Uppsala U.)

at:
13:00 QMW
room G.O.Jones rm 410
abstract:

It is well known that the most general renormalizable quantum field theory one can write down for a finite spectrum of spin-0, 1/2, and 1 particles is a gauge theory, with possible spontaneously broken symmetries. The existence of Lie group structures in such a theory is dictated by perturbative unitarity of the on-shell scattering amplitudes. Armed with new tools developed for scattering amplitudes, we demonstrate very explicitly how broken symmetries emerge from the constraints of tree unitarity. We review the on-shell spinor helicity formalism, using which we enumerate all possible 3-pt and 4-pt tree amplitudes of massive spin-0, 1/2 and 1 particles satisfying unitarity constraints. We show in these amplitudes how massive vectors and scalars need to be in the same representation of some Lie group, and how the longitudinal components of these massive vectors are equivalent to scalars in the high energy limit. We will also comment on an extended color-kinematics duality that can be hiding in such a general theory.

07.12.2021 (Tuesday)

The twistor origin of hidden w-infinity symmetries in celestial gravity

Regular Seminar Lionel Mason (University of Oxford)

at:
14:00 QMW
room MB 503 Maths
abstract:

Recently in their celestial holography programme, Strominger and coworkers attempt to provide a holographic description of conventional 4d gravity. In their investigations, they uncovered a hidden w-infinity symmetry in their `celestial soft OPEs' for graviton scattering. This talk will explain the origin of this symmetry in terms of old ideas of Newman and Penrose based on light-cone cuts of null infinity and their description in terms of asymptotic twistors and certain sigma models in asymptotic twistor space. W_n symmetries were introduced by Zamolodchikov as higher spin symmetries in 2d conformal field theories. These were given a geometric interpretation for n=infinity as area-preserving diffeomorphisms of the plane. I will explain how the corresponding loop algebra becomes a hidden symmetry of self-dual gravity via Penrose's nonlinear graviton construction. The action of this symmetry on the tree-level S-matrix of full gravity beyond the self-dual sector will then be obtained from its action on a sigma model in the asymtotic twistor space of a general space-time. This talk is based on https://arxiv.org/abs/2110.06066 and https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.16984.

24.11.2021 (Wednesday)

How well do we know the SMEFT, and how to learn more

Regular Seminar Veronica Sanz (University of Valencia)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

[there will be a pre-seminar for students at 1.30PM; for zoom link please email s.nagy@qmul.ac.uk] The characterization of measurements using the EFT framework is becoming prevalent, not just in its traditional realm of low-energy physics, but now also with LHC high-energy probes. At the LHC, the EFT approach is viewed as a way to transcend models, to exploit the huge range of LHC topologies, and even as a form of data preservation. In this talk we will review this state-of-affairs, point out challenges with this approach and also discuss some new opportunities that more data will bring.

18.11.2021 (Thursday)

Classification of topological quantum field theories

Regular Seminar Theo Johnson-Freyd (Perimeter Inst. Theor. Phys.)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

Modulo some vitally important ansätze, subtleties, provisos, and work in progress, all topological quantum field theories are gauge theories for higher finite groups. [for zoom link please contact jung-wook(dot)kim(at)qmul(dot)ac(dot)uk]

11.11.2021 (Thursday)

Amplitudes, Loops, and Gravity

Regular Seminar Mao Zeng (Edinburgh)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

[for zoom link please email s.nagy@qmul.ac.uk] Next-generation gravitational wave detectors demand highly precise predictions for waveforms. We present advances in binary inspiral dynamics by taking classical limits of scattering amplitudes in perturbative quantum gravity. The amplitudes are calculated efficiently using modern methods for scattering amplitudes and loop integration techniques developed for colliders. Classical physics can be extracted by several complementary approaches, including effective field theory, eikonal exponentiation, and extrapolation of quantum observables defined by the S-matrix. For both conservative and radiative dynamics, we obtain new terms in the post-Minksowskian expansion which represent first advances in decades.

04.11.2021 (Thursday)

21.10.2021 (Thursday)

The Principles of Deep Learning Theory

Regular Seminar Dan Roberts (MIT)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

[for zoom link please email s.nagy@qmul.ac.uk] Deep learning is an exciting approach to modern artificial intelligence based on artificial neural networks. The goal of this talk is to provide a blueprint — using tools from physics — for theoretically analyzing deep neural networks of practical relevance. This task will encompass both understanding the statistics of initialized deep networks and determining the training dynamics of such an ensemble when learning from data. In terms of their "microscopic" definition, deep neural networks are a flexible set of functions built out of many basic computational blocks called neurons, with many neurons in parallel organized into sequential layers. Borrowing from the effective theory framework, we will develop a perturbative 1/n expansion around the limit of an infinite number of neurons per layer and systematically integrate out the parameters of the network. We will explain how the network simplifies at large width and how the propagation of signals from layer to layer can be understood in terms of a Wilsonian renormalization group flow. This will make manifest that deep networks have a tuning problem, analogous to criticality, that needs to be solved in order to make them useful. Ultimately we will find a "macroscopic" description for wide and deep networks in terms of weakly-interacting statistical models, with the strength of the interactions between the neurons growing with depth-to-width aspect ratio of the network. Time permitting, we will explain how the interactions induce representation learning. This talk is based on a book, "The Principles of Deep Learning Theory," co-authored with Sho Yaida and based on research also in collaboration with Boris Hanin. It will be published next year by Cambridge University Press.

14.10.2021 (Thursday)

Lessons and surprises from Kaluza-Klein spectra

Regular Seminar Gabriel Larios (UAM)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

[foor zoom link please email s.nagy@qmul.ac.uk] Infinite towers of massive modes arise for every compactification of higher dimensional theories. Understanding the properties of these Kaluza-Klein towers on non-trivial solutions with an AdS factor has been a longstanding issue with clear holographic interest, as they describe the spectrum of single-trace operators of the dual CFTs at strong coupling and large N. In this talk, I will focus on two classes of solutions of such kind. The first class consists of AdS4 solutions of D=11 and Type II supergravity that can be obtained from maximal gauged supergravities in D=4. For the later part, I will describe new families of solutions in N=(1,1) supergravity in D=6 which uplift from half-maximal supergravity in D=3. In both cases, the spectra can be computed using recent techniques from Exceptional Field Theory, and the information thus obtained leads to several unexpected conclusions.

07.10.2021 (Thursday)

The Gravitino and the Swampland

Regular Seminar Dieter Lust (Munich)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

[for zoom details please email s.nagy@qmul.ac.uk] In this talk we discuss a new swampland conjecture stating that the limit of vanishing gravitino mass corresponds to the massless limit of an infinite tower of states and to the consequent breakdown of the effective field theory. The proposal can be tested in large classes of models coming from compactification of string theory to four dimensions, where we identify the Kaluza-Klein nature of the tower of states becoming light. We point out a general relation between the gravitino mass and an abelian gauge coupling, which allows us to connect our conjecture to the weak gravity conjecture or the absence of global symmetries in quantum gravity. We discuss phenomenological implications of our conjecture in (quasi-)de Sitter backgrounds and extract a lower bound for the gravitino mass in terms of the Hubble parameter.

06.10.2021 (Wednesday)

Constructing the 6 Loop 4 Point N=4 super-Yang-Mills Integrand

Journal Club Alex Edison (Uppsala U.)

at:
16:00 QMW
room G.O. Jones 610
abstract:

In this talk, we'll discuss the current state-of-the-art for constructing multi-loop integrands in N=4 super-Yang-Mills. After briefly covering some of the key goals, background, and ideas behind the multiloop integrand program, we turn to the cutting edge: constructing the complete (planar and non-planar) integrand for the six-loop four-point amplitude in maximal $D\le10$ super-Yang-Mills. This construction employs new advances that combat the proliferation of loops and state-sums when evaluating multi-loop $D$-dimensional unitarity cuts. Concretely, it uses two graph-based approaches, applicable in a range of theories, to evaluating generalized unitarity cuts in $D$ dimensions: 1) recursively from lower-loop cuts, or 2) directly from known higher-loop planar cuts. Neither method relies on explicit state sums or any sewing of tree-level amplitudes. The first method meshes particularly well with the Method of Maximal Cuts to allow direct construction of the complete six-loop integrand.

29.07.2021 (Thursday)

Integrability and chaos in SYM theories from anomalous-dimension spectra

Regular Seminar Anne Spiering (Trinity College Dublin)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

The discovery of integrability in planar N=4 SYM theory led to considerable advances in the computation of its planar anomalous dimension spectrum. Less is known at the non-planar level where the theory is assumed to be non-integrable. I will show how statistical properties of numerical anomalous dimension spectra can give insight into the symmetries of the underlying model and that the N=4 SYM non-planar spectrum and its beta-deformed version are well described by random matrix theory, indicating their quantum-chaotic nature. Doing so I will also discuss on-going work on using on-shell methods to obtain the dilatation operator for deformed versions of N=4 SYM theory. [for zoom link please contact jung-wook(dot)kim(at)qmul(dot)ac(dot)uk]

22.07.2021 (Thursday)

Tidal effects from quantum field theory

Regular Seminar Kays Haddad (Niels Bohr Institute)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

Recently there has been great success in describing the inspiral phase of compact binary coalescence in General Relativity (GR) using scattering amplitudes. These efforts aim to improve the precision of gravitational wave (GW) templates used by detectors to identify GW events and test GR. The majority of this work has focused on describing a pair of objects that do not tidally deform. However real objects do tidally deform, and future GW detectors will be increasingly sensitive to such deformations. It has been shown that scattering amplitudes are applicable to the description of tidal effects as well. In this talk we discuss the application of the Hilbert series to the characterization of an entire class of tidal effects: those involving two powers of the Weyl tensor and objects with spin 0 and 1/2. The Hilbert series guides us in the construction of actions describing these effects, which we then use to calculate the leading-PM tidal scattering amplitude. With the amplitude in hand, we compute several classical quantities and compare to the literature where possible. [for zooom link please contact jung-wook(dot)kim(at)qmul(dot)ac(dot)uk]

13.05.2021 (Thursday)

BPS states and RG flows

Regular Seminar Michele Del Zotto (Uppsala U.)

at:
14:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

The study of possible constraints on RG flows is an important question in our understanding of quantum field theory. In this talk I will discuss a constraint which arises by considering the spectrum of BPS excitations (an H-theorem). Examples are found in the context of four-dimensional supersymmetric quantum field theories with enough supersymmetry that the BPS spectrum is explicitly computable. Among others, we will discuss applications in the context of Maruyoshi-Song flows. [for zoom link please contact jung-wook(dot)kim(at)qmul(dot)ac(dot)uk]

06.05.2021 (Thursday)

Towards a general map from Navier-Stokes to Maxwell via Einstein

Regular Seminar Cynthia Keeler (ASU)

at:
15:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

[for zoom link please email s.nagyATqmul.ac.uk] After a brief review of the cutoff-surface formulation of fluid-gravity duality, we explore the ``square root'' of the fluid-dual metrics via the classical-double copy, highlighting the constant vorticity flows and potential flows which have algebraically special Weyl double copy fields. We then present progress towards building the same map, from fluid solutions to gravitational solutions to Maxwell solutions, for generic fluids in 2+1 dimensions. This talk is based on JHEP 08 (2020) 147 published with ASU students Nikhil Monga and Tucker Manton, and forthcoming work.

29.04.2021 (Thursday)

The Topology of Data: from String Theory to Cosmology to Phases of Matter

Regular Seminar Gary Shiu (Wisconsin U., Madison)

at:
15:00 QMW
room zoom
abstract:

Abstract: We are faced with an explosion of data in many areas of physics, but very so often, it is not the size but the complexity of the data that makes extracting physics from big datasets challenging. As I will discuss in this talk, data has shape and the shape of data encodes the underlying physics. Persistent homology is a tool in computational topology developed for quantifying the shape of data. I will discuss three applications of topological data analysis: 1) identifying structure of the string landscape, 2) constraining cosmological parameters from CMB measurements and large scale structures data, and 3) detecting and classifying phases of matter. Persistent homology condenses these datasets into their most relevant (and interpretable) features, so that simple statistical pipelines are sufficient in these contexts. This suggests that TDA can be used in conjunction with machine learning algorithms and improves their architecture. [for zoom link please contact jung-wook(dot)kim(at)qmul(dot)ac(dot)uk]