Thursday, June 26, 2014

Strings 2014: talks

Princeton University and the nearby IAS – in combination, the ultimate epicenter of string theory on this planet – are co-hosting Strings 2014 this week (Monday-Friday). By far the most useful page on that server is this
Talks at Strings 2014 (URLs of slides and videos)
You may see that the AdS/CFT (and, more generally, "holographic") talks represent the largest percentage of the contributions. That includes applications in condensed matter physics, topological metals, turbulence, various indices, spectral curves, and so on.

Several talks – including one by the BICEP2 boss John Kováč – are dedicated to inflation and primordial gravitational waves. This set includes Paul Steinhardt's monologue, Daniel Baumann's talk, and Eva Silverstein's monodromy speech, Fernardo Marchesano's thoughts about the same type of models, and Matias Zaldarriaga's musings about the dawn of B-modes (have I missed someone)?

There are four talks by visionaries which, in this context, includes Gross, Strominger, Moore, and Maldacena.

Marcos Mariño would normally work on topological strings only but he gives a talk about non-perturbative effects in M-theory which is refreshing. His talk may count as an exception, much like talks on F-theory (torsion, Abelian sector, duality with heterotic strings), the moonshine, Vasiliev theory embedded to string theory, Monte Carlo in string theory, amplitude industry (including the Amplituhedron discussed by Trnka) and others, and it's hard to summarize all the exceptions without copying the whole program.

A significant theme that expanded is entanglement and entanglement entropy. The research of this concept is composed of two overlapping parts: calculations of the entanglement entropy in CFT simply because you can; and the construction of the spacetime in quantum gravity from the quantum entanglement because it seems conceptually deep.

This leads me to some talks that I may ultimately study most carefully (even though almost everything looks extremely interesting), those about the black hole information puzzle and the physics of the black hole interior. This category includes talks by Warner, Dabholkar, Polchinski – and by Papadodimas and Raju. I've actually read the slides of Raju now that are not yet posted. They seem excellent, clear, and solving the very heart of all the major objections that have been raised against the consistency of the complementary-based principles of quantum gravity of black holes.

I am praising them not only because Suvrat has kindly cited me for two mutually related insights, in one case along with Susskind. ;-) I would surely refer to my adviser Tom Banks as well for some of the general lore connected with these claims, to say the least. I must have learned much more specific stuff from him than what I remember in detail.

We may hope that the slides and the videos will appear on the web page soon enough.

Authors and fans of great talks that were accidentally missed in this summary are invited to complain and promote these talks. ;-)


  1. The work summarized in Rastelli's talk is very interesting I think.

  2. Fascinating. If true, one could put higher-dimensional CFTs under the same - almost complete - control as the 2D ones.

  3. Indeed! Check out the talk by David Simmons-Duffin too.

  4. I'm happy to see that you still work on string theory. Do you intend to start publishing again?

  5. When are they going to put the videos up?

  6. Why? (just curious) Obviously you have ideas and something to say.

  7. I just virtually never had a real pleasure out of this process which has something like dozens of consumers in the world in average and which is laborious and demanding various formalities. This part of what I would be doing was always more or less just work and I was doing these things as a part of the package for the salary.

    I am not getting the income for that, I am not a communist who would think it's really right to do expert work for free, so I won't do these things. I think it's common sense and it's very simple.

  8. Oh yes, I hope that the videos and the rest of the slides will come soon, such that I can peak into some of them at the week end :-)

  9. There's more to "working on string theory" than writing a pathetic blog that everyone except a few losers treats as a huge joke. Please, he isn't working on string theory , he's just playing one on tv for laughs.


    I agree with your last paragraph, but would assert that it not only applies to philosophy, but to science as well.

    When you have < href="">soon to be extinct dinosaurs like Dawkins and his ilk, as well as Mann and his, presented to the public as the pinnacle of scientific achievement, should scientists not also have to worry about their brand?

    Also, there is a reason that one receives a "Doctor Of Philosophy" degree in advanced science. Or, at least, there should be.

  11. Dear Mr. Motl,

    Please could you have a look on my base presentation video of new kind fractal that I developed ReThreeDiG (Reflection 3Dimensional
    Graphical), there is 3d scena only with one core object with reflections only one same pattern or part of it, that serves to
    n-dimensional enlargement. Presently I am working on finalize it, please have a look also on progress that you could find at youtube
    in description.

    Kind regards, Peter

  12. Mr.
    Motl this case price is too high, unified theory of field (formula of
    world) (8

  13. Dear Peter, right. I am doing research. I just answered a question implying that I have no intent to publish in journals in any foreseeable future.

  14. Dear
    Mr. Motl, My boss in Johnson Controls, Heike always tell me “Do it
    now!” This case, when oil is almost spent, too many conflicts in
    the world and between people, there is right time to “Do it!.“

  15. kashyap vasavadaJun 29, 2014, 6:15:00 PM

    Hi Lubos. Now that the conference is over, can you summarize main points discussed ? Thanks.

  16. I haven't been to the conference or watched all the talks!

  17. I was offline for a few days; I apologize for the late response.

    No! No! No!

    "Rationalism" does not mean rational thinking. I should have said so explicitly, since most people are unfamiliar with the term as philosophers use it.

    Rationality (rational thinking) is what I do uphold: the logical integration of observations. "Rationalism" is the claim that one can reason about reality without the need of, and without reference to, sense-perception -- i. e., without observations. Rationalism is not rational, which is why I reject it! (I'm glad for the opportunity to clarify that!)

  18. Hi Lubos,

    I don't know if you ever heard of smbc, but i think you'll like this one ;)

  19. Hi Lubos, as somebody already pointed out, the videos are online now. Raju is referring to your blogpost even in words. :-) (around minute 25)