Thursday, July 03, 2008

Halfday Wednesday

Well Wednesday of Eurostrings 2008 was a half day - the afternoon was left free to enjoy the pleasures of Amsterdam, or to work furiously on the latest Bagger-Lambert paper. So, of course, in honour of the half day here's a half-blog entry. Instead of writing only half sentences I will aim to halve my number of full sentences.

The weather in Amsterdam understood that it was a half day for our conference. Upto midday it was a balmy 27 degrees and sunny, but as I settled in for lunch an almighty, apocalyptic thunder storm came in, as you can perhaps see in the photo (starring Erik Tonni [left] and Diederik Roest [not left]). Erik and Diederik suggested that Bagger-Lambert theory may be getting too close to the truth for the almighty being's liking, and like the Tower of Babel, was about to be toppled by the ensuing thunderstorm. The storm passed, while I ate a very nice sandwich. I am not suggesting any causal connection between the weather and my digestion, but let's not rule it out.

Due to a lack of sleep here in Amsterdam, I all but missed the morning session (not a smart move on a half-day) so I am one of the worst people to tell you what was discussed. However let me put up the titles and one or two suggested papers. Perhaps a fellow Eurostring-ite who may stumble this way can let me know some more about the talks? The schedule was:
  • "Strongly coupled Quark-Gluon Plasma and AdS/CFT" by Edward Shuryak, see, perhaps, the paper here
  • "Is the AdS S-matrix simple?" by Romuald Janik (I was told that the short answer is: no)
  • Herman Verlinde gave a blackboard talk.
  • "Building a holographic superconductor" by Gary Horowitz.
I caught the final talk, on the relatively hot ;) topic of trying to undertand superconduction through the AdS/CFT correspondence. This was the same topic that Denef discussed on Tuesday, but today the role of the AdS background was emphasised in order to capture the charged scalar field around the black hole. The picture does not carry over to the Minkowksi background. Recall that the AdS/CFT correspondence has been invoked to describe heavy ion collisions and condensed matter physics, and even the quantum Hall effect has had a dual gravitational description given. The aim at present is to find the gravitational dual picture of superconductivity. The aim is to find a black hole solution that at some point grows hair. To read more about this see the preprint here.

The afternoon was filled with discussion and imported Coca-Cola.

The evening with discussion and beer.

Your humble correspondent flagellates himself gently for missing the talks.

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