The research-level tag applies to questions that arise in graduate and post-secondary work. These questions often require domain-specific knowledge and could not be answered from a general source or may be beyond the level typically covered by Wikipedia and other popular sources. research-level ...

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12
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2answers
1k views

Vasiliev gravity and “holographic” entanglement

It has been proposed that AdS/CFT arises because of the entanglement structure of quantum field theories, e.g. see the discussion which occurred right here. Until now I have been skeptical of the ...
4
votes
1answer
451 views

Katz and Vafa's work on F-theory

I would like to know about the larger picture, current state and future prospects of the sequence of papers that were written by Sheldon Katz and Cumrun Vafa on F-theory. (Freddy Cachazo was also a ...
2
votes
0answers
384 views

An alternative, algebraic way to introduce interactions. Are there other ways out there?

An opening paragraph: The usual approach to introducing interactions in quantum field theory is to make the constraint on the amplitude of the field towards smaller values more forceful than ...
8
votes
3answers
592 views

Why are some solitons formed from bosonic fields fermionic?

Some topological solitons formed from bosonic fields have fermionic statistics. Why?
5
votes
5answers
372 views

Making and keeping a reading list

Seeing this as an academic community, I hope this question is on-topic. Academia is still a long way from beta :( I have a few questions about reading journal ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How Non-abelian anyons arise in solid-state systems?

Recently it has been studied non-abelian anyons in some solid-state systems. These states are being studied for the creation and manipulation of qubits in quantum computing. But, how these ...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

What does it mean for a Hamiltonian or system to be gapped or gapless?

I've read some papers recently that talk about gapped Hamiltonians or gapless systems, but what does it mean? Edit: Is an XX spin chain in a magnetic field gapped? Why or why not?
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is there a deep mysterious relation between string theory and number theory, elliptic curves, $E_8$ and the Monster group?

Why is there a deep mysterious relation between string theory and number theory (Langlands program), elliptic curves, modular functions, the exceptional group $E_8$, and the Monster group as in ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Diff(M) as a gauge group and local observables in theories with gravity

In a gauge theory like QED a gauge transformation transforms one mathematical representation of a physical system to another mathematical representation of the same system, where the two mathematical ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

What is the name of the principle saying it is meaningless to talk/ask questions that can not be measured/tested?

Watching quantum mechanics lectures and it was mentioned that it is pointless/meaningless to try to talk/question things that can not be tested/measured. Is this a principle? And if so what is it's ...
9
votes
2answers
423 views

Heterotic string as worldvolume theory of two coincident 9-branes in 27 dimensions?

The heterotic string is a combination of right-moving excitations from a D=10 superstring and left-moving excitations from a D=26 bosonic string, with the left-movers behaving as if the extra 16 ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Simple models that exhibit topological phase transitions

There are a number of physical systems with phases described by topologically protected invariants (fractional quantum Hall, topological insulators) but what are the simplest mathematical models that ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a T-dual of Witten's twistor topological string theory?

In late 2003, Edward Witten released a paper that revived the interest in Roger Penrose's twistors among particle physicists. The scattering amplitudes of gluons in $N=4$ gauge theory in four ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a resonating valence bond (RVB) state?

There's something known as a "resonating valence bond" (RVB) state, which plays a role in at least some attempts to understand physics of high-$T_c$ superconductors. This, roughly, involves a state ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Wormholes & Time Machines - for *experts* in GR/maths

EDIT: Further clarification in the context of answers/comments received to 20 Jan has been appended EDIT: 21 Jan - Response to the Lubos Expansion appended [in progress, not yet complete] EDIT: 23 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Discussion of the Rovelli's paper on the black hole entropy in Loop Quantum Gravity

In a recent discussion about black holes, space_cadet provided me with the following paper of Rovelli: Black Hole Entropy from Loop Quantum Gravity which claims to derive the Bekenstein-Hawking ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

A pedestrian explanation of conformal blocks

I would be very happy if someone could take a stab at conveying what conformal blocks are and how they are used in conformal field theory (CFT). I'm finally getting the glimmerings of understanding ...
11
votes
2answers
584 views

Is there a method for differentiating fractional quantum Hall states aside from finding Chern numbers?

The ground state for a quantum Hall system on a torus with fractional filling factor can be classified by the Chern number, which is why the Hall conductance is quantized. Is there another method or ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Could gravity be an emergent property of nature?

Sorry if this question is naive. It is just a curiosity that I have. Are there theoretical or experimental reasons why gravity should not be an emergent property of nature? Assume a standard model ...
10
votes
1answer
315 views

Which qubit states are accessible with linear optics operations?

Given a quantum state of $n$ qubits, and being restricted to linear optics (that is, the output annihilation operators are linear combinations of the input annihilation operators): Which states are ...