Theoretical Physics Wednesday Seminar: Michele Del Zotto

The Spectral Problem of Quantum Fields - Lessons from String Theory

Determining the whole spectrum of stable excitations of a quantum field theory (QFT) is a well-known open problem. To tackle this question a good theoretical laboratory is provided by supersymmetric field theories (SQFTs) with enough conserved supercharges to constrain the QFT dynamics towards exact results. In this context, string theory techniques can be exploited to compute the spectrum of excitations of infinitely many classes of SQFTs in various dimensions. After a brief overview of these methods, we will discuss some concrete applications. Here the string theory formalism can be viewed as a tool that on one hand provides several surprising insights about the physics of this problem, and on the other unveils novel insightful connections among the theory of quantum fields and mathematics.