22 January 2007

Latin American School on Strings 2007

Every two or three years a string school is being held in Latin America since 1998. The first school happened in Cuba, then in Mexico in 2000, São Paulo in 2003 and now in Bariloche, Argentina. It is addressed to graduate students and physicists or mathematicians living in Latin America. There are around 80 participants this time. It is funded by ICTP and regional research agencies. The program can be found here and some lectures notes are already available here.

Bariloche is a very famous sky resort in South America. Right now it is summer (we are in the south!) but somewhat surprisingly it is also high season and the town in crowded with tourists. All hotels are full up. It is a small town with many mountains, lakes, nice people and where the McNaught comet can easily be seen if you can get rid of the mountains. I saw it yesterday in a completely cloudless night. It was splendid. Its tail is incredible huge. Unfortunately all pictures taken were not good. It is raining today so no hope to see it again.

The school started two weeks ago with the more elementary courses. So I came only for the last week. Today was a quite good day. Tomas Ortin gave a very clear lecture on p-branes, T-duality and Killing spinors. Carlos Nunez talked about AdS/CFT. As usual he did not write many formulae, he tried to explain the ideas instead. Today he explained the global symmetries in the AdS5XS5 case and then started to talk about Wilson loops and confining theories. Fernando Marchesano started his set of lectures on string phenomenology so today he only gave a review on the standard model. The last lecture was by Angel Uranga. He started to talk about flux compactification beginning with Calabi-Yau and explaining why you should turn on the B2 and C2 fields in IIB theories. At some point it became a bit technical and many students clearly get lost.

As you probably noticed all speakers for this week are Latin (but not necessarily from or leaving in Latin America). That is the idea.

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