The Bridge

The workshop has been fantastic, overall. In between discussions, the talks, and some thinking about my own projects, I’ve had some time to wander a bit, and look around. Yesterday after lunch I wandered a bit and then found myself settling down and doing a sketch of a bridge at a junction with lots to see. The Amstel is joined by Prinsengracht canal here, and it was fun to sit a while and put down some pencil lines, followed by firmer ink lines. I pulled the result into the iPad and splashed on some colour for good measure.

Having finished the paper last week, it has been fun to field questions about it from various people, as well as think at a more leisurely pace about the next steps in the program we are carrying out. Various people have been wondering about how to do some of the things we worked out, or have been working on complementary things, and so discussions have been useful for getting ideas about how other people think about some of the things we’d been muddling through on our own. As I said before in the earlier post, we’ve constructed a set of solutions to a certain system with a background magnetic field present. (Einstein-Maxwell-dilaton, with asymptotically AdS spacetime in 4D, if you want to know…) It allows for the study of the further properties of interesting strongly coupled phases of charged matter at finite density and low temperature. People are interested in these things since they can make systems in the lab that have new and interesting behaviour not seen before, and so models of the possibilities are very welcome to understand the physics of what is going on. A lot of the standard toolbox for studying such things is not so useful. Cousins of the sorts of interesting behaviour can be constructed using methods from string theory and M-theory and so there’s a lot of effort to see how much may be learned about the real systems by studying these constructions. They could be a very useful new tool for physics in this area. (I’ve spoken about this sort of thing here before in this context and in the nuclear physics context too, you may recall.) One of the nicest probes of the physics of charged matter in the laboratory is a magnetic field, and so it is natural to consider how to model the systems of interest in the presence of magnetic field. This is what we do. I won’t go into the details here, but feel free to look up the paper and have a look at the details there. You’ll also find some good reviews of this whole area listed in the references, if you’re of a more technical leaning and want to follow up.


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