Index Concordia

Summer stuff

Posted in Organizational by Index Guy on April 23, 2008

Every single day I find stuff I would like to learn more about during the coming summer. Last year I pretended to learn general relativity and quantum field theory. I only got around to learn the basics. It was not enough, in my opinion, but I was very distracted and not motivated.

This summer is going to be different. Well, it has to be. Or else I am really done. Besides working on my research (more on that later),  I want to learn about stuff. Stuff like what? A fair topic is supersymmetry and supergravity. During this semester I saw a bit of supersymmetry in the advanced field theory class. That was fun, but I feel like I still need more “practice”. My plan is to go through GGRS’ book Superspace. I still do not know how much, but I want to cover some of the quantum calculations in supergravity.

Something I wish to understand in more detail is the quantization of gauge fields. I saw some particular gauges this semester, but I want to learn more about the Faddeev-Popov construction and everything that comes with gauge fixing. That means learning more about BRST symmetry. I also wish to understand better the background gauge method. Also, I need to learn some renormalization. For all these I guess I will use some of the text books I have plus copies of the lecture notes I got from last year’s AQFT course taught by van Nieuwenhuizen.

Finally, and this is for fun, I want to learn more about monopoles in gauge theories. For that I think I will go with Harvey’s notes on the arXiv. This is all very ambitious, and it is pretty bad since at the end of the summer I only accomplish a fraction of all these and it looks small.

Oh, and maybe some string theory.


Posted in References by Index Guy on April 15, 2008

I have re-discovered

Superspace, or one thousand and one lessons in supersymmetry by S. J. Gates, et al. hep-th/0108200

This adds one more item to the list of things to cover during the summer…

Another summer list

Posted in Organizational by Index Guy on April 8, 2008

Here are some topics I want to learn more about (and some I want to really understand) during the summer:

  • BRST symmetry
  • renormalization
  • renormalization of gauge theories
  • supersymmetry and supergravity
  • some string theory (whatever I need to learn more about the AdS/CFT correspondence)
  • instantons
  • general monopoles
  • some fancy mathematics

Hopefully this list will motivate me to write something about each topic on this list.

Summer readings

Posted in Hiatus by Index Guy on April 1, 2008

I have been thinking what to read during the coming summer 2008 “break”. Here are some items:

  • Aspects of Symmetry by Sydey Coleman
  • 50 years of Yang-Mills theory by a lot of very smart people…
  • Gauge fields and strings by A. Polyakov
  • hep-th/9603086Magnetic monopoles, duality and supersymmetry by J. A. Harvey
  • Gauge fields, knots and gravity by John Baez
  • A review on AdS/CFT perhaps?

Most of these do not share a common theme. Knowing last summer’s experience I will probably jump from topic to topic and get very little out of each. So instead I plan to just pick one of these (whichever seems more pertinent at the moment) and go through most of the material. I guess the lecture notes on monopoles and the knot theory book are just for fun, since I have been learning about this topics lately and am hungry for more. Alas, it might not be so important for my research. I should also learn renormalization at some point, maybe from Peskin and Schroeder. Unless the QFT course really picks up on this last month of classes…