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  1. Which is the definition of a conformal field theory?

  2. Which are the physical prerequisites one would need to start studying conformal field theories? (i.e Does one need to know supersymmetry? Does one need non-perturbative effects such as instantons etc?)

  3. Which are the mathematical prerequisites one would need to start studying conformal field theories? (i.e how much complex analysis should one know? Does one need the theory of Riemann Surfaces? Does one need algebraic topology or algebraic geometry? And how much?)

  4. Which are the best/most common books, or review articles, for a gentle introduction on the topic, at second/third year graduate level?

  5. Do CFT models have an application in real world (already experimentally tested) physics? (Also outside the high energy framework, maybe in condensed matter, etc.)

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closed as too broad by Qmechanic Oct 28 '13 at 19:28

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I've seen that tend to ask too many questions in one. In general, you should avoid this practice so people can answer one at a time. And wrt. the first question, doesn't Wikipedia answer it? –  jinawee Oct 28 '13 at 18:01
Thanks for the note. From now on I will ask only one question at a time. Do you think I can leave this as it is, or should I edit and split it? –  Federico Carta Oct 28 '13 at 18:02
In general Yes, jinawee is right: only one question per post; but unfortunately in this case it seems to be No. All five subquestions seem closable for various reasons (such as, e.g., question answered by a simple wiki-search, primarily opinion-based question, list-type question). –  Qmechanic Oct 28 '13 at 19:34
This particular list-of-questions is actually a good one - they are not unreasonable, they go together, they are aspects of the theme (CFTs) which an answer providing a general introduction to that subject might cover anyway. –  Mitchell Porter Oct 28 '13 at 19:51
The questions are being answered here: physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=719388 –  Mitchell Porter Oct 28 '13 at 23:50