String theory has evolved into a powerful framework which is capable of providing fresh insights into well established frameworks like quantum field theory (QFT). One such set of new perspectives have been on conformal field theories (CFTs) which are central to our understanding of QFTs. This talk will be centred on some very "down-to-earth CFTs" such as the Wilson-Fisher fixed point (and its analogues and generalisations) that governs critical phenomena in statistical mechanics. We will aim to bring out the utility as well as beauty of the new angles that string theory methods bring to these well studied systems.
Rajesh Gopakumar is Senior Professor and Director of ICTS-TIFR. He is a theoretical physicist who did his undergraduate studies at IIT, Kanpur and then went on to do his Ph.D. at Princeton University with Prof. David Gross. After a few years as research associate at Harvard University, he returned to India in 2001. He also held a visiting membership at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton from 2001-2004. His research work has been on topics in Quantum Field Theory and String theory, particularly at the interface of these two subjects. He is the recipient of the 2006 ICTP Prize, the S. S. Bhatnagar award in 2009 and the TWAS Prize in 2013. He is a fellow of all the national science academies as well as that of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).â€‹