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Toward microphysics of the AdS/CFT correspondence


One of the most surprising predictions of string theory is the AdS/CFT
correspondence, which states that string theory in a certain spacetime
is dual and equivalent to a quantum field theory. The power of this
correspondence lies in the fact that it is a strong-weak duality,
relating strongly coupled field theory and weakly coupled string theory,
and vice versa. This correspondence is well understood at the level of
macrophysics, i.e., thermodynamics and hydrodynamics. One example is the
case where the field theory is (a cousin of) QCD; the macrophysics of
quark-gluon plasma has been successfully analyzed using the string
theory dual.

However, macrophysics is merely an effective, coarse-grained description
of the underlying microphysics. The goal of the proposed research is to
advance the understanding of AdS/CFT to non-equilibrium microscopic
aspects, making use of phenomena linking macro- and microphysics. Such
research will provide a foundation on which the known macrophysics of
strongly coupled systems can be based, and further allows us to explore
quantum physics of gravity. Strongly coupled systems are ubiquitous in
nature and quantum gravity effects are important e.g. for the early
universe. Therefore, studies of microphysics via AdS/CFT are of major

One phenomenon linking macro- and microphysics is Brownian motion. On
the field theory side, a quark immersed in plasma undergoes Brownian
motion. One goal is, by studying the string dual of this Brownian
particle, to reveal the microphysics of the plasma constituents.
Conversely, we can learn about quantum gravity using Brownian motion
in field theory. Another link is the Boltzmann equation describing the
time evolution of one-particle distribution. On the field theory side
this provides a way to study non-equilibrium processes in strongly
coupled plasma, while on the gravity side it allows us to study black
hole formation systematically.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/astrophysics/black hole
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/string theory
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/quantum physics/quantum field theory

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)


Esplanade Des Particules 1 Parcelle 11482 De Meyrin Batiment Cadastral 1046
1211 Geneva 23
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 233 282,40
Administrative Contact
Luis Alvarez Gaume (Dr.)