The Conformal Bootstrap: Magnets, Boiling Water, and Quantum Gravity

Dr. David Simmons-Duffin (host Ogilvie), Institute for Advanced Study/CalTech
October 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm
204 Crow
Event Description 

Conformal Field Theory (CFT) describes the long-distance limit of quantum and/or statistical many-body systems. Often, this limit is so complicated that traditional computational tools fail. However, powerful new techniques for understanding CFTs have emerged in the last decade, based on the old idea of the "conformal bootstrap". I will describe how the bootstrap lets us calculate critical exponents in the 3d Ising Model to world-record precision, how it explains striking relations between magnets and boiling water, and how it can be applied to questions across theoretical physics.

Coffee: 3:30 pm, 245 Compton