Theoretical High Energy Particle Physics Group

50 years of Skyrmions - a celebration



(please note that these talks vary on days and locations)

Michaelmas term 2010

Weds 06-Oct-10: 50 years of Skyrmions, an overview

MR2, 2.15 pm

Nick Manton (DAMTP, Cambridge)

Abstract: T.H.R. Skyrme published his seminal paper on what are now called Skyrmions in 1961. It was the first proposal to model a particle (in this case a nucleon) as a topological soliton. Skyrmions give a remarkable topological interpretation of the conservation of baryon number, and of the spin/statistics of nucleons. Subsequently, many other topological solitons have been studied, like monopoles, instantons, and branes. The original Skyrmions have been applied to understand the structure of nuclei, and a two-dimensional variant (a Baby Skyrmion) has in 2010 been observed in an exotic magnet.

To celebrate 50 years of Skyrmions, we have arranged a series of occasional lectures in DAMTP over the coming six months on their different aspects and applications. This talk will introduce Skyrmions, and give a brief history of Skyrme's thinking and how studies of skyrmions have evolved over the last 50 years.


Thurs 14-Oct-10: Doubly-periodic monopoles -- a 3D integrable system

MR14, 3 pm

Richard Ward (Durham University)

Abstract: The set of PDEs describing static non-Abelian Yang–Mills–Higgs monopoles in three dimensions forms an integrable system. Solutions which are periodic in x & y, and suitably localized in z, may be visualized as monopole domain walls. A few explicit solutions of this type are known; and various analytic techniques (such as the generalized Nahm transform) are available for understanding them. I shall review what is known, and describe some numerical results.


Tues 19-Oct-10: Narcissistic Skyrmions

MR11, 4 pm

Claude Warnick (DAMTP, Cambridge)


Weds 20-Oct-10: Nuclear Structure and Skyrme's Interaction

MR2, 2.15 pm

Martin Freer (Birmingham University)

Abstract: Nuclear structure is a manifestation of the nature of the strong interaction which binds the system. Aside from Skyrmions, Skyrme devisedan effective interaction designed to reproduce the binding energies of a wide range of nuclear systems - the Skyrme interaction. This interaction remains popular today and we will follow it to its breaking point. Modern ab inito approaches will be touched upon as will some of their predictions for the structure of light nuclear systems. The range of structural possibilities for light nuclei, some of them rather exotic, will be presented together with experimental techniques used to gain access to them.


Weds 10-Nov-10: Skyrmions in Condensed Matter Systems

MR2, 2.15 pm

Nigel Cooper (Dept of Physics, Cambridge)


Tues 16-Nov-2010: Noncommutative Baby Skyrmions

MR11, 4 pm

Theodora Ioannidou (Aristotle University, Thessaloniki)

Abstract: We subject the Baby Skyrme model to a Moyal deformation, for unitary or Grassmannian target spaces and without a potential term. In the abelian case, the radial BPS configurations of the ordinary noncommutative sigma model also solve the Baby Skyrme equation of motion. This gives a class of exact analytic noncommutative Baby Skyrmions, which have a singular commutative limit but are stable against scaling due to the noncommutativity. We compute their energies, investigate their stability and determine the asymptotic two-Skyrmion interaction.


Weds 17-Nov-10: Skyrmions and Nuclei

MR2, 2.15 pm

Paul Sutcliffe (Durham University)


Lent term 2011

Weds 02-Feb-11: The Structure and Dynamics of Halo Nuclei

MR2, 2.15 pm

Jim Al-Khalili (University of Surrey and University College, London)


Tues 15-Feb-11: The Skyrme model and Nuclear Physics

MR11, 4 pm

Steffen Krusch (University of Kent)


Weds 16-Feb-11: Baryons as Solitons in holographic QCD

MR2, 2.15 pm

Shigeki Sugimoto (IPMU, Japan)


Thurs 17-Feb-11: Mesons as Open Strings in holographic QCD

B1.19, 1 pm

Shigeki Sugimoto (IPMU, Japan)


Tues 15-Mar-11: Skyrmion Solutions

MR11, 4 pm

Richard Battye (Manchester University)


Organisers: Maciej Dunajski, Nick Manton and David Tong