Theoretical High Energy Particle Physics Group

Paul Dirac


Nathan Seiberg

The 2018 Dirac Lecture

Professor Nathan Seiberg
Institute for Advanced Study

2.30 pm, Friday 18th May 2018
MR2, Centre for Mathematical Sciences
University of Cambridge

Symmetries, Duality and the Unity of Physics

Abstract: Global symmetries and gauge symmetries have played a crucial role in physics. The idea of duality demonstrates that gauge symmetries can be emergent and might not be fundamental. During the past decades it became clear that the circle of ideas about emergent gauge symmetries and duality is central in different branches of physics including Condensed Matter Physics, Quantum Field Theory, and Quantum Gravity.  We will review these developments, which highlight the unity of physics.

Everyone is welcome. 

Biography: Professor Nathan Seiberg has made many ground breaking discoveries in quantum field theory and string theory. These include the discoveries of ''Seiberg dualities", in which seemingly very different quantum field theories secretly describe the same physics. Together with Edward Witten, he solved a class of four-dimensional supersymmetric quantum field theories, an achievement which has acted as a focal point for developments in mathematical physics over the past 20 years. His pioneering work with Greg Moore on 2d conformal field theory uncovered a deep mathematical structure which is now finding application in the theory of anyons and topological quantum computing. He is the winner of the Dirac prize and the Fundamental Physics Prize. 

The Dirac lecture is jointly organised by St John's college and the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.