Scientific Advisory Committee: Mihalis Dafermos (Cambridge), Veronika Hubeny (Durham), Xiao-Gang Wen (MIT), Peter Littlewood (Argonne National Laboratory) and Joseph Polchinski (California, Santa Barbara)
Holographic duality (also called gauge/gravity duality or the AdS/CFT correspondence) relates a string theory i.e. a quantum theory of gravity to a quantum field theory without gravity. Currently it is an area of research located at the confluence of previously seemingly distant fields in physics and mathematics including superconductivity and other exotic phases of strongly coupled quantum matter, string theory, numerical general relativity and the theory of non-linear partial differential equations.
The main aim of the programme is to bring together experts in these diverse fields to tackle questions which the traditional methods within each discipline have proved inadequate to address, with special emphasis on strongly correlated condensed matter systems and non-equilibrium dynamics. Indeed, such cross-field fertilization has already provided new insights and in some cases tantalizing preliminary progress. The most striking examples include the application of the duality to concrete experimental questions about the quark-gluon plasma and the emergence of various fascinating condensed matter phenomena from the physics of AdS black holes.
We anticipate this programme will open new avenues of research and further blur traditional boundaries among different communities.