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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Past Courses: 2008/2009

Title: Riemann surfaces in a nutshell

Rodolfo Russo

The aim of this lectures is to provide an elementary introduction to the (orientable) Riemann surfaces. A tentative program is:

Lect. 1: The sphere and projective transformations.

Lect. 2: The torus in different parametrizations. Abelian differentials.

Lect. 3: Higher genus Riemann surfaces.

6 Jul 11.00am-1.00pm, Room 410,
8 Jul 11.00am-1.00pm, Room 410,
10 Jul 11.00am-1.00pm, Room 410


Title: Some aspects of flux compactifications

Michela Petrini

In these lectures I will briefly describe the formalism of Generalised Complex Geometry and how it provides a useful framework to analyse formal aspects of flux compactifications. In particular GCG allows to generalise what is knwon for CY compactifications to the flux ones. Rather than entering in the details, I will try to discuss what it is known and what is still an open problem. Finally I will give an overview of the compact flux backgrounds presently known.

13 Mar 2.00pm-4.00pm, Room 410B
16 Mar 3.30pm-5.30pm, Room 208
17 Mar 11.00am-1.00pm. Room 410B


Title: An Introduction to non-geometric backgrounds in string theory

Ron Reid-Edwards

 There has been much progress recently in giving a string theory origin to many gauged supergravities. In particular, a considerable number of gauged supergravities may be understood as arising from a compactification on a conventional manifold; however, there is evidence that many gauged supergravities arise from string theory on a non-geometric background. Examples of non-geometric backgrounds include T-Folds, where the background is patched together by symmetries which may include T-dualities. Such backgrounds do not admit a description in terms of Riemannian geometry and provide a characteristic signature of stringy physics. In these introductory lectures I shall introduce a series of non-geometric backgrounds from both the target space and worldsheet perspective and discuss connections with the duality symmetries of string theory. The focus will be on backgrounds arising from maximal supergravities but, time permitting, I will also discuss supergravities with less supersymmetry.

23 Jan 2.30pm-4.30pm, Room 609,
26 Jan 11.00am-1.00pm, Room 410,
30 Jan 3.00pm-5.00pm. Room 609,


Title: Introduction to Modern Cosmology

Mohab Abou-Zeid and Steve Thomas

The lectures will aim to give a pedagogical overview of the remarkable progress in cosmology over the past thirty years and to introduce the student to current research in the field. Topics to be covered include inflation; large-scale structure formation; the cosmic microwave background; cosmic acceleration; dark matter and dark energy; fluctuations and anisotropies; gravitational waves; the cosmological constant problems; cosmology and elementary particle physics; Dirac-Born-Infeld inflation; and cosmic strings.

A list of useful references is available here.

Schedule: 11 Nov 2.00pm-4.00pm,
14 Nov 4.00pm-6.00pm,
18 Nov 2.00pm-4.00pm,
Room 410A,
26 Nov 4.00pm-6.00pm,
and 28 Nov 4.00pm-6.00pm.
Room 410B.

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