Physics & Astronomy Colloquium – Fall 2018 – Heckman
October 3 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Jonathan Heckman (University of Pennsylvania)
Title: Top Down Approach to Quantum Fields
Abstract: Quantum Field Theory (QFT) is the common language of particle physicists, cosmologists, and condensed matter physicists. Even so, many fundamental aspects of QFT remain poorly understood. In this talk, I highlight some of the recent progress made in understanding QFT using the geometry of extra dimensions predicted by string theory. This includes the discovery of entirely new kinds of field theories such as examples of phase transitions in more than four spacetime dimensions known as 6D SCFTs, as well as fresh insights into many lower-dimensional systems in four or less spacetime dimensions. Time permitting, I will also discuss the remarkable interplay between physics and geometry and how it leads to surprising mathematical structures.
Speaker Biography: Homepage