String Theory

String Theory

Date:  Saturday, May 21, 2016 - 10:30

Venue:  Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Laboratory

For half a century physicists have explored and developed "string theory" which continues to be a major area of theoretical physics research today. What is string theory, and why are theoretical physicists willing to devote their lives to it?






Prof Joseph Conlon

String Theory: Then and Now

Video Podcast Presentation (PDF)

Joseph Conlon opened the event by outlining the key ideas and by explaining how they arose and have matured historically. String theory concerns the dynamics of one-dimensional "strings" that move in a ten-dimensional space-time. Originally, the theory was proposed in 1968 as a possible model of strong interactions and it has since provided a wide range of applications to mathematics, particle physics and quantum field theory.


Prof Andre Lukas

String Theory and Particle Physics

Video Podcast Presentation (PDF)

Andre Lukas' talk discussed efforts aimed at recovering known particle physics as a limit of string theory. This requires "folding up" six of the ten dimensions to a microscopic size. The various observed particles are then obtained as different oscillatory modes of the string.



Dr Andrei Starinets

String Theory, Holography and Quark-Gluon Plasma

Video Podcast Presentation (PDF)

Andrei Starinets' talk explained how methods originating from string theory can be used to solve difficult problems in quantum field theory, by mapping them into problems in classical gravity. In particular, this allows one to understand properties of the quark-gluon plasma formed in heavy ion collisions at modern accelerators such as the LHC.