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Delta ITP

ITP Utrecht



The course 'Advanced Topics in Theoretical Physics' is part of the educational program of Delta ITP, a joint initiative between the Universities of Leiden (UL), Utrecht (UU), and Amsterdam (UvA).
The lectures are given by professors from these three universities, on topics that change every year. The course is intended for PhD and Master students who have learned the basis of Quantum Field Theory. It consists of three topics; for each one there are four lectures (2hrs each) and four exercise sessions (2hrs each). At the end of each module there is an exam. PhD students are not obliged to do the exams, which are meant for Master students who intend to use this course as part of their Master Program.

The course will be divided in three modules. The lectures are on Mondays 11:00 - 13:00 (followed by an exercise session 13:00 - 15:00) and will take place in Amsterdam. Please note that the lecture rooms vary throughout the course!

Module 1: Renormalization Group Methods (H. Stoof)
9-16-23 Sept & 7 Oct
Exam: Oct 14 (written, details to be provided later)
Lectures: 11:00 - 13:00
Location: Amsterdam Science Park, room B0.207 (9 Sept.), B0.204 (16, 23 Sept.), A1.10 (7 Oct.), B0.201 (14 Oct.)
Exercise sessions: 13:00 - 15:00
Location: Amsterdam Science Park, room A1.06 (9, 16, 23 Sept.), A1.10 (7 Oct.)

Module 2: Introduction to Conformal Field Theory (J.-S. Caux)
30 Sep, 28 Oct & 4 & 11 Nov
Exam (take-home)
Lectures: 11:00 - 13:00
Location: Amsterdam Science Park, room D1.113 (30 Sept.), A1.04 (28 Oct., 4 & 11 Nov.)
Exercise sessions: 13:00 - 15:00
Location: Amsterdam Science Park, room B0.201 (30 Sept.), D1.112 (28 Oct., 4 & 11 Nov.)

Module 3: AdS/CFT (K. Schalm & R. Davison)
18-25 Nov & 2-9 Dec
Exam: 16 Dec (written)
Lectures: 11:00 - 13:00
Location: Amsterdam Science Park, room A1.04 (18, 25 Nov. & 2, 9 Dec.)
Exercise sessions: 13:00 - 15:00
Location: Amsterdam Science Park, room D1.112 (18, 25 Nov. & 2, 9 Dec.)

Module I: Renormalization-Group Methods (H. Stoof)
Renormalization-group theory was originally developed for the understanding of critical phenomena near a classical phase transition, i.e., a phase transition due to thermal fluctuations. Nowadays, however, it is an indispensible tool for (quantum) field theory in general, both in the context of elementary-particle physics as well as condensed-matter physics. In part I of this course, we will give an introduction to this important topic in theoretical physics, focussing mostly on its applications to classical and quantum phase transitions where there turns out to be a particularly strong connection with parts II and III of this course.

Module 2: Introduction to Conformal Field Theory (J.-S. Caux)
Conformal Field Theory is one of the central pillars in the theory of two-dimensional critical systems. These lectures will provide an introduction to the formalism of CFT, and expose the techniques and methods relevant to its use in statistical physics and condensed matter theory.
The lectures will be based on the following references (it is recommended to bring them along if possible, especially the book by Di Francesco et al.): A. A. Belavin, A. M. Polyakov and A. B. Zamolodchikov, “Infinite conformal symmetry in two-dimensional quantum field theory”, Nucl. Phys. B 241, 333 (1984);
P. Ginsparg, “Applied Conformal Field Theory”, in Fields, Strings and Critical Phe- nomena, (Les Houches, Session XLIX, 1988) ed. by E. Br ́ezin and J. Zinn Justin (1989) (available online as arXiv:hep-th/9108028);
P. Di Francesco, P. Mathieu, and D. S ́en ́echal, “Conformal Field Theory”, Springer- Verlag, New York (1997).

Module 3: AdS/CFT (K. Schalm and R. Davison)
The anti-de Sitter/ Conformal Field theory correspondence provides a unique novel perspective on critical phenomena at second order quantum phase transitions in systems with spatial dimensions d>1. The first half of these lectures will provide technical background to apply the so called "holographic" techniques of the correspondence. The second half discusses the application to quantum phase transitions in condensed matter: how spontaneous symmetry breaking in a quantum critical system is similar and different to the standard case, the notion of semi-local quantum liquids and their connection to non-Fermi liquids and strange metals. Lectures notes will be provided. There are also many lecture notes available for a partial list click here.
A sample of references are:
J. Erdmenger, Introduction to gauge gravity duality, Chapters 1,2,4,5,6;
S.A. Hartnoll, Lectures on holographic methods for condensed matter physics, Class. Quant. Grav. 26, 224002 (2009);
N. Iqbal, H. Liu and M. Mezei, Lectures on holographic non-Fermi liquids and quantum phase transitions.

Prof. Jean-Sébastien Caux
Institute for Theoretical Physics | Institute of Physics
University of Amsterdam
Science Park 904
1098 XH Amsterdam
tel: +31 (0)20 525 5775

Last update: 01-02-2019, 15.13