** **String stars, or Horowitz-Polchinski solutions, are string theory saddles with normalizable condensates of thermal-winding strings. In the past, string stars were offered as a possible description of stringy (Euclidean) black holes in asymptotically flat spacetime, close to the Hagedorn…

The moduli space of curves, M_g, is an object of pivotal interest in mathematics and theoretical physics. Even though it has been studied with tremendous effort, little is known about its topology. For instance, the total dimension of the cohomology of M_g grows quickly with g, but the known constructions for cohomology classes only account for…

The density of states of a unitary conformal field theory is known to have a universal behavior at high energy. In two dimensions, this behavior is described by the Cardy formula. If the theory has symmetry, it is interesting to understand the symmetry resolution, namely the decomposition of its Hilbert space into irreducible representations of…

In this talk, I will discuss the 2d SU(N) gauge theory coupled to an adjoint Majorana fermion using two approaches. First, I will describe the computation of the spectrum at finite N using Discretized Light-Cone Quantization. Then, for the N=2 case, I will introduce a Hamiltonian lattice model that can also be used to compute…

We add non-linear and state-dependent terms to the Hamiltonian of quantum field theory. The resulting low-energy theory, non-linear quantum mechanics, is causal, preserves probability and permits a consistent description of the process of measurement. We explore the consequences of such terms and show that non-linear…

I will review recent progress in understanding perturbative corrections to the large N limit of various observables in holographic 3d SCFTs. For supersymmetric observables, these corrections are obtained from supersymmetric localization and can be used to infer the value of higher-derivative couplings in the dual…

The irreversibility of RG flows on conformal defects has been a subject of great interest recently. In this talk I will present an entropy function defined on 2D spherical defects, interpolating between the defect anomaly coefficient at the fixed points. We reproduce the IR sum-rule proving irreversibility and show…

For certain black hole spacetimes, we are fortunate to have three complementary views of the same physics: (1) the low-energy gravity theory on the spacetime M, (2) worldsheet string theory with target space M, and (3) a holographic description living on the boundary of M. In this talk, I describe ongoing efforts to compare these perspectives…

I will showcase the computation of the next-to-leading order scattering waveform in classical gravity using amplitude techniques. I will first give an overview of how to compute generic classical observables in gravity using scattering amplitude techniques in the KMOC formalism. In particular, I will…

I will start with some comments about the theoretical and experimental status of conformal invariance in critical phenomena, first proposed by A. Polyakov in 1970. I will then focus on a couple of experimentally significant models of statistical physics (ferromagnets in presence of strong dipolar forces, fluctuating…

"Saturons" are macroscopic objects that exhibit maximal micristate degeneracy within the validity of a given quantum field theoretic description. Due to this feature, saturons and black holes belong to the same universality class with common key properties. However, as opposed to black holes, saturons…

Some aspects of the black hole spectrum, coming from spacetime wormhole contributions, can be modeled by a random matrix ensemble. It is important to understand the appropriate ensemble for theories with extended supersymmetry, since for example this is the case for systems with known gravity duals coming from string…

Perhaps the most important problem in physics or quantum chemistry is to determine properties of the ground state of an interacting system of fermions. As a quantum mechanical problem, there may be no efficient classical witness to the ground state energy, or even to an approximation of that energy. A…

I will explain recent work with S. Mizera in which we give explicit evaluations of one-loop open string amplitudes at finite alpha’. Our method involves various deformations of the contour integral over the modular parameter. We directly verify that the one-loop string amplitude satisfies unitarity constraints. I…

The CνB is a cosmological relic analogous to the CMB, and contains information about the universe before it was one-second-old. Reflection of relic neutrinos from the surface of the Earth creates a significant local neutrino-antineutrino asymmetry in a shell seven meters thick around the Earth's surface. This asymmetry…

Supersymmetric black holes in Anti de-Sitter space have recently been shown to have a large number of exactly degenerate microstates. In the first part of the talk, we will review how AdS5 black hole microstates may be reliably counted in the dual N=4 SYM theory using the superconformal index, a partition function preserving 1/16-supersymmetry…

I will describe the correlators of fermion bilinears in the n-flavor massless Schwinger model. These are exactly calculable generalized free theories. For n > 1, there is a massive particle and a conformal sector. I have argued that in the n = 2 theory, very special mass terms can be added to introduce interactions…

We consider a model of Parisi where a single particle hops on an infinite-dimensional hypercube, under the influence of a uniform but disordered magnetic flux. We reinterpret the hypercube as the Fock-space graph of a many-body Hamiltonian, and the flux as a frustration of the return amplitudes in Fock space. We…

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