37th North British Mathematical Physics Seminar

The 37th meeting of the North British Mathematical Physics Seminar will be held on Wednesday 20 March 2013 in Newhaven lecture theatre of the ICMS in central Edinburgh. For all general information about the North British Mathematical Physics Seminar, including instruction for claiming travel expenses follow this link


Coffee/Tea at ICMS
Andreas Recknagel (King's College London)
Topological branes and matrix factorisations
D-branes in Calabi-Yau manifolds are interesting objects from the point of view of string theory and of pure mathematics. They have a microscopic worldsheet description as boundary states in two-dimensional superconformal field theory, but their topological "skeleton" can be captured in much simpler structures, namely as matrix factorisations of Landau-Ginzburg potentials. In this talk, I will try to give an overview of such physics applications of matrix factorisations.
Lunch Some suggestions ()
Frank Goehmann (Wuppertal)
Thermal form factors of the anisotropic Heisenberg chain
We have derived expressions for the form factors of the quantum transfer matrix of the spin-1/2 XXZ chain which allow us to take the infinite Trotter number limit. This solves the longstanding problem of describing analytically the large-distance asymptotics of the finite temperature correlation functions of the model. Taking the zero temperature limit in the critical regime we confirm the predictions of conformal field theory. In addition, we obtain the non-universal amplitudes to leading order in temperature as functions of the applied longitudinal magnetic field.
Rafael Maldonado (Durham)
Nahm transform and dynamics of periodic monopoles
I will discuss how the Nahm transform applies to periodic arrays of SU(2) magnetic monopoles of charge 2. It is possible to extract geodesic submanifolds, leading to scattering both of the monopole chains and of lumps on the dual cylinder. Finally, we will look at the dependence of the moduli space metric on the ratio of monopole size to period.
Tea at ICMS
Anne Taormina (Durham)
Mathieu Moonshine
I will explain what Mathieu Moonshine means, and argue that a way towards unveiling (some of) its mysteries is to `surf and twist' at a subtle interface between geometry and conformal field theory.
James Edwards (Durham)
Strings, Wilson Loops and QED
The connection between string theories and gauge theories runs deep and has a long history. There are many cases where a calculation in string theory can provide an answer to a problem in field theory. In this talk I will present ongoing work which reformulates Maxwell's electromagnetism as a statistical average over surfaces whose dynamics are described by a string theory with a very particular interaction. Interestingly the string theory can be evaluated in non-critical dimension because metric degrees of freedom decouple from the calculation. I will briefly explain how this idea can provide an arrow of time for classical electromagnetism and will go on to describe current work relating this theory to QED, following and extending Strassler's method of forming Wilson loops from heavy quarks.

Practical Information

The ICMS is located at 15 South College Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AA which is a 15 min walk from the Waverley train station. A map can be obtained here .

Train information can be obtained from here.

Limited funds are available to help with travel expenses of participants with no other source of funding. We hope that this will encourage postgraduate students and postdocs to attend the meeting. Please email Douglas Smith in advance if you would like to apply for support.

Postscript: the meeting took place successfully on 20 March 2013. Click here to view a list of people who took part.

Anatoly Konechny
Last modified: 22 March 2012