Monday, June 25, 2007

Strings '07

Strings 2007 starts today in Madrid. The videos from the week of talks on the year's progress should be available online, linked from this page.

It was pointed out last year the importance of keeping close connections between the experimental community so that those working in the many interesting but often deeply theoretical aspects of string theory do not lose sight of the ultimate goal of science.
The first talk this year is on 'Status and prospects of the LHC machine and experiments'. (Schedule here).

With some interesting and appropriate timing Witten has today released his long awaited paper on three dimensional gravity. I look forward to watching this talk in particular but the others which are of particular interest to me are Beisert on 'strong/weak interpolation in the spectrum of AdS/CFT', Kallosh on 'testing string theory with the CMB', Bern on 'the UV finiteness of N=8 SUGRA' and Sugimoto on 'baryons from instantons in holographic QCD', though there's lots more of interest besides.

Besides Witten's paper today there is the pre-print 'Quark Mass in the Sakai-Sugimoto Model of Chiral Symmetry Breaking' From Evans and Threlfall where it is claimed that by studying the rotations around the vacuum manifold in a holographic model of QCD the goldstone mode studied in the original Sakai-Sugimoto model is not the correct physical state and that the original formulation which only includes massless quarks can be extended simply to incorporate massive fundamental matter and a massive pseudo-goldstone boson. The similarity of the quark bilinear condensate as a function of quark mass compared to the form in the non-supersymmetric D3/D7 cases with non-constant dilaton is interesting and it looks like there is more to explore here, especially in looking for agreement with the Gellmann-Oakes-Renner relation.

The weekend has been enjoyable and there's plenty to write up when I have a chance.

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