We identify the universal mechanism behind the thermalization of (1+1)d QFTs at high and low temperatures. Viewing these theories as CFTs perturbed by relevant or irrelevant deformations, we show that conformal perturbation theory in the thermal state breaks down at late times allowing for the emergence of hydrodynamics. This breakdown occurs universally due to the unsuppressed exchange of stress tensors near the lightcone. Furthermore, for theories with central charge $c\rightarrow\infty$ we solve for the emergent hydrodynamic theory to all orders in the gradient expansion by arguing that all transport parameters appearing in two-point functions have universal expressions in terms of the scaling dimension $\Delta$ of the perturbation. The radius of convergence of the hydrodynamic dispersion relations provides an early time cutoff for hydrodynamics, which agrees with the time scale at which conformal perturbation theory breaks down.

These lecture notes cover the Standard Model (SM) course for Part III of the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos, taught during the years 2020-2023. The course comprised 25 lectures and 4 example classes. Following a brief historical introduction, the SM is constructed from first principles. We begin by demonstrating that essentially only particles with spin/helicity $0, \frac{1}{2}, 1, \frac{3}{2}, 2$ can describe matter and interactions, using spacetime symmetries, soft theorems, gauge redundancies, Ward identities, and perturbative unitarity. The remaining freedom lies in the choice of the Yang-Mills gauge group and matter representations. Effective field theories (EFTs) are a central theme throughout the course, with the 4-Fermi interactions and chiral perturbation theory serving as key examples. Both gravity and the SM itself are treated as EFTs, specifically as the SMEFT (Standard Model Effective Field Theory). Key phenomenological aspects of the SM are covered, including the Higgs mechanism, Yukawa couplings, the CKM matrix, the GIM mechanism, neutrino oscillations, running couplings, and asymptotic freedom. The discussion of anomalies and their non-trivial cancellations in the SM is detailed. Simple examples of calculations, such as scattering amplitudes and decay rates, are provided. The course concludes with a brief overview of the limitations of the SM and an introduction to the leading proposals for physics beyond the Standard Model.

We investigate $\beta$-functions of quantum gravity using dimensional regularisation. In contrast to minimal subtraction, a non-minimal renormalisation scheme is employed which is sensitive to power-law divergences from mass terms or dimensionful couplings. By construction, this setup respects global and gauge symmetries, including diffeomorphisms, and allows for systematic extensions to higher loop orders. We exemplify this approach in the context of four-dimensional quantum gravity. By computing one-loop $\beta$-functions, we find a non-trivial fixed point. It shows two real critical exponents and is compatible with Weinberg's asymptotic safety scenario. Moreover, the underlying structure of divergences suggests that gravity becomes, effectively, two-dimensional in the ultraviolet. We discuss the significance of our results as well as further applications and extensions to higher loop orders.

Many theories of quantum gravity propose Lorentz-violating dispersion relations of the form $\omega_{|\mathbf{k}|}=|\mathbf{k}|f(|\mathbf{k}|/M_\star)$, which approximately recover to the Lorentz invariance, $\omega_{|\mathbf{k}|}\approx|\mathbf{k}|$, at the energy scales much below $M_\star$. However, usually such a scale is assumed to be near the Planck scale, thus the feature of the Lorentz-violating theory is weak and its experimental test becomes extremely challenging. Since the geometric phase (GP) is of accumulative and sensitive nature to weak effects, here we explore the GP acquired by an inertial atomic detector that is coupled to a quantum field with this kind of Lorentz-violating dispersion. We show that for the Lorentz-violating field theory case the GP depends on the velocity of the detector, which is quite different from the Lorentz symmetry case where the GP is independent of the detector's velocity. In particular, we show that the GP may present a drastic low-energy Lorentz violation for any $f$ that dips below unity somewhere. We apply our analysis to detecting the polymer quantization motivated by loop quantum gravity, and show the detector acquires an experimentally detectable GP with the assist of detector's velocity that below current ion collider rapidities. Furthermore, the accumulative nature of GP might facilitate the relevant detection significantly.

We consider how charging performances of a quantum battery, modeled as a two-level system, are influenced by the presence of vacuum fluctuations of a quantum field satisfying the Dirichlet, transparent, and Neumann boundary conditions in the BTZ spacetime. The quantum battery is subjected to an external static driving which works as a charger. Meanwhile, the quantum field is assumed to be coupled to both longitudinal and transverse spin components of the quantum battery including decoherence and pure dephasing mechanisms. Charging and discharging dynamics of the quantum battery are derived by extending the previous open quantum system approach in the relativistic framework to this more general scenario including both the driving and multiple coupling. Analytic expressions for the time evolution of the energy stored are presented. We find that when the driving amplitude is stronger/weaker than the energy-level spacing of the quantum battery the pure dephasing dissipative coupling results in better/worse charging performances than the decoherence dissipative coupling case. We also find that higher Hawking temperature helps to improve the charging performance under certain conditions compared with the closed quantum buttery case, implying the feasibility of energy extraction from vacuum fluctuations in curved spacetime via dissipation in charging protocol. Different boundary conditions for quantum field may lead to different charging performance. Furthermore, we also address the charging stability by monitoring the energy behaviour after the charging protocol has been switched off. Our study presents a general framework to investigate relaxation effects in curved spacetime, and reveals how spacetime properties and field boundary condition affect the charging process, which in turn may shed light on the exploration of the spacetime properties and thermodynamics via the charging protocol.

We consider the nonplanar universal anomalous dimension of twist-two operators at four loops in N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory and push its direct diagrammatic calculation through Lorentz spin j=20, one unit beyond the state of the art, so as to confirm the correctness of the general, all-j result conjectured previously by us [1] imposing certain constraints on its analytic form. Thanks to our new result, such constraints can be eliminated altogether. By the same token, this allows us to re-derive, in a completely independent way, the nonplanar four-loop cusp anomalous dimension by taking the large-j limit of the general result.

In this paper, we study the scattering amplitudes and soft theorems for the sigma models with two scalars. We show that if the particles are Goldstone bosons, then you necessarily get Adler zero with no possibility for non-trivial soft theorems. For non-Goldstone bosons, the soft behavior is generically captured by the geometric soft theorem studied by Cheung et al., and the right-hand side contains derivatives of lower-point amplitudes. Inspired by the recent work on the 2D sigma models, we study one special two-scalar sigma model, where the presence of symmetries in the target space translates into a special but non-trivial soft theorem without derivatives. We further generalize the construction to two larger classes of such models and derive certain soft theorem sum rules, again avoiding the derivatives of amplitudes. Our analysis provides an interesting hierarchy of two-scalar sigma models and soft theorems, ranging from Goldstone boson case to a generic target space, and showing that there are interesting theories in between.

The hypergeometric amplitude is a one-parameter deformation of the Veneziano amplitude for four-point tachyon scattering in bosonic string theory that is consistent with $S$-matrix bootstrap constraints. In this article we construct a similar hypergeometric generalization of the Veneziano amplitude for type-I superstring theory. We then rule out a large region of the $(r,m^2,D)$ parameter space as non-unitary, and establish another large subset of the $(r, m^2, D)$ parameter space where all partial wave coefficients are positive. We also analyze positivity in various limits and special cases. As a corollary to our analysis, we are able to directly demonstrate positivity of a wider set of Veneziano amplitude partial wave coefficients than what has been presented elsewhere.

In this paper, I construct a bouncing cosmology by considering the backreaction of the winding condensate on a 1+1 dimensional cosmological model with a periodic spatial coordinate. I based my work on previous results that considered the backreaction of the winding condensate on a 1+1 dimensional Euclidean black hole. This cosmological model is obtained as an analytic continuation of a Euclidean black hole. I solved the equations and obtained non-singular solutions at near-Hagedorn temperatures, both numerically and analytically. To remain within the weak coupling regime, it is necessary to connect two solutions; otherwise, the dilaton, which determines the string coupling, would grow quadratically. This connection is achieved through a smooth coordinate transformation, ensuring the model's validity. As a result, the model becomes geodesically complete and non-singular. The connection is made at a time in which the curvature is small, thereby avoiding higher-order $\alpha'$ corrections.

We consider an enlarged $(1+1)$-dimensional model with two real scalar fields, $\phi$ and $\chi$ whose scalar potential $V(\phi,\chi)$ has a standard $\chi^4$ sector and a sine-Gordon one for $\phi$. These fields are coupled through a generalizing function $f(\chi)$ that appears in the scalar potential and controls the nontrivial dynamics of $\phi$. We minimize the effective energy via the implementation of the BPS technique. We then obtain the Bogomol'nyi bound for the energy and the first-order equations whose solutions saturate that bound. We solve these equations for a nontrivial $f(\chi)$. As the result, BPS kinks with internal structures emerge. They exhibit a two-kink profile. i.e. an effect due to geometrical constrictions. We consider the linear stability of these new configurations. In this sense, we study the existence of internal modes that play an important role during the scattering process. We then investigate the kink-antikink collisions, and present the numerical results for the most interesting cases. We also comment about their most relevant features.

Chern-Simons gravity is known to suffer from graviton ghost production during inflation, which suppresses the parity-violating power spectrum at scales relevant to cosmic microwave background observations. In this work, we show that allowing the initial conditions of inflation to deviate from the standard Bunch-Davies state can enhance parity-violating non-Gaussianity in the scalar-tensor cross-bispectra. Our results reveal a significant additional contribution to the cross-bispectra in the flattened configuration, offering a new avenue to constrain parity-violating gravity.

We investigate the non-perturbative production of scalar particles within the Higgs-$R^2$ inflation model, focusing on a massive spectator field that interacts gravitationally via a non-minimal coupling to the Ricci scalar $R$. By transforming the model to the Einstein frame, where direct couplings between inflationary dynamics and the spectator field emerge, we analyze both perturbative and non-perturbative particle production. We solve the spectator field equation numerically, using the Bogolyubov transformation, to calculate the comoving particle density. Our findings indicate that particle production occurs for light particles with conformal coupling and for masses $m_\chi > M/2$ in the minimally coupled scenario.

This thesis investigates the role of the quantum gravity cut-off for effective field theories (EFTs) coupled to Einstein gravity, with an emphasis on its implications at low energies within the context of the Swampland program. Part I reviews the relevant aspects of string theory compactifications in different number of spacetime dimensions and with different amounts of supersymmetry preserved. In Part II a model-independent approach is employed so as to determine the maximum regime of validity of any such EFT, identifying the species scale as the natural candidate for the quantum gravity cut-off. We review various arguments proposed in the literature as well as include several new considerations on the matter. Part III provides a systematic study of this framework in string theory compactifications, yielding significant agreement with the previous perturbative and non-perturbative analysis. We also analyze various applications of this concept within the Swampland program, including the purported phenomenon of Emergence. Finally, in Part IV we explore the most immediate implications that this picture would have in the infrared regime, thus uncovering intriguing universal properties associated to the aforementioned energy scale, such as precise lower bounds on its exponential decay rates as well as certain patterns holding within the infinite distance corners of moduli space. The thesis includes new results scattered over the different chapters therein, which have not appeared in the author's original publications.

In this work, we consider the off-diagonal coupling between two supersymmetric SYK models, which preserves both supersymmetry and solvability. We found that the interaction terms of the N=2 supersymmetric SYK have a holographic interpretation as a possible supersymmetric traversable wormhole. First we introduce the coupling in the trivial Homologic N=1 SYK model as a simplified example. Similar couplings can be implied in N=2 chiral SYK model with BPS states. We propose a special form of N=4 SYK by introducing supermultiplets, and which also naturally include the coupling terms. The holographic picture of N=4 SYK does not have an eternal solution in the low energy limit. And the effective actions are studied in both thermal limit and low energy limit. We also investigate the SYK-like thermal field double states of the supersymmetric SYK and the transmission amplitude between single-side N=2 models in Lorentz time. Additionally, the multi-side N=2,4 OTOCs are also studied.

Extending local gauge tansformations in a suitable way to Faddeev-Popov ghost fields, one obtains a symmetry of the total action, i.e., the Yang-Mills action plus a gauge fixing term (in a lambda-gauge) plus the ghost action. The anomalous Master Ward Identity (for this action and this extended, local gauge transformation) states that the pertinent Noether current -- the interacting ``gauge current'' -- is conserved up to anomalies. It is proved that, apart from terms being easily removable (by finite renormalization), all possible anomalies are excluded by the consistency condition for the anomaly of the Master Ward Identity, recently derived in refenrence [8].

String scattering amplitudes in the high energy asymptotic region have been studied by saddle point approximation. Recently, it was pointed out that infinitely many complex saddles contribute to string amplitudes even at tree-level after redefining the original formal integration contour so that the new contour analytically continues amplitudes appropriately. It is a challenging problem to identify which saddles contribute to higher genus corrections of string amplitudes. In this paper, we construct QFT toy models which have the same infinite mass tower as string amplitudes but ignoring degeneracies. Their higher loop Feynman diagrams are evaluated by identifying their contributing complex saddles. We find that the saddles associated with infinitely many stringy excitations provide highly oscillatory terms to the amplitudes. We conjecture that string amplitudes, as functions of momenta, approach multi-fractal functions in the high energy asymptotic regions if higher genus contributions are fully included. Their fractal dimensions should be determined purely by the type of string theory and the spacetime dimension where string scatterings occur.

It is well known that the propagator for a massive scalar field is ill-defined in the coordinate space for $d\geq2$, in particular it diverges at the light-cone; we show that by using Lorentz symmetry breaking weighted measures, an infinite family of propagators can be constructed in an in\-finite\-simal strip near the light-cone, which are labeled by the weight of the measure; hence, the results will provide a finite quantum amplitude for a massive particle for propagating on the light-cone. The propagators regarded as smooth two-points functions, increase within a region smaller than the Compton wavelength, and decrease beyond that wavelength, and eventually drop off for large arguments. Although the time ordered propagators retain negative values regions for arbitrary values of the weight $s$ for the measures, the restriction $2<s\leq d+1$ will guarantee the positivity for the amplitudes near the light cone.

Chiral currents influence the parity-odd sector of CFT correlators in momentum space, playing a crucial role in the evolution of the quark-gluon plasma in the early universe. We demonstrate that these parity-odd interactions, which couple quarks and gluons to gravitons, can be fully determined in terms of their anomaly content by solving the conformal constraints in momentum space. This process involves a single nonlocal, massless axion-like interaction in the longitudinal channel, which remains protected against thermal and finite density effects.

We examine the Einstein-Cartan (EC) theory in first-order form, which has a diffeomorphism as well as a local Lorentz invariance. We study the renormalizability of this theory in the framework of the Batalin-Vilkovisky formalism, which allows for a gauge invariant renormalization. Using the background field method, we discuss the gauge invariance of the background effective action and analyze the Ward identities which reflect the symmetries of the EC theory. As an application, we compute, in a general background gauge, the self-energy of the tetrad field at one-loop order.

Recently, the complete landscape of three-family supersymmetric Pati-Salam models from intersecting D6-branes on a type IIA $\mathbb{T}^6/(\mathbb{Z}_2\times \mathbb{Z}_2)$ orientifold has been enumerated consisting of 33 independent models with distinct gauge coupling relations at the string scale. Here, we study the phenomenology of all such models by providing the detailed particle spectra and the analysis of the possible 3-point and the 4-point Yukawa interactions in order to accommodate all standard-model fermion masses and mixings. We find that only 17 models contain viable Yukawa textures to explain quarks masses, charged-leptons' masses, neutrino-masses, quarks' mixings and leptons' mixings. These viable models split into four classes, viz. a single model with 3 Higgs fields from the bulk and sixteen models with either 6, 9 or 12 Higgs from the $\mathcal{N}=2$ sector. The models perform successively better with the increasing number of Higgs pairs. Remarkably, the class of models with 12 Higgs naturally predicts the Dirac-type neutrino masses in normal ordering consistent with both the experimental constraints as well as the bounds from the swampland program.

In this work we investigate several phenomenological and technical aspects related to electroweak (EW) corrections at a high-energy muon collider, focusing on direct production processes (no VBF configurations). We study in detail the accuracy of the Sudakov approximation, in particular the Denner-Pozzorini algorithm, comparing it with exact calculations at NLO EW accuracy. We also assess the relevance of resumming EW Sudakov logarithms (EWSL) at 3 and 10 TeV collisions. Furthermore, we scrutinise the impact of additional Heavy Boson Radiation (HBR), namely the weak emission of $W, Z$, and Higgs bosons in inclusive and semi-inclusive configurations. All results are obtained via the fully automated and publicly available code MadGraph5_aMC@NLO.

The construction of general amplitudes satisfying symmetries and $S$-matrix constraints has been the primary tool in studying the spectrum of hadrons for over half a century. In this work, we present a new parameterization, which can fulfill many expectations of $S$-matrix and Regge theory and connects the essential physics of hadron scattering in the resonance region and in asymptotic limits. In this construction, dynamical information is entirely contained in Regge trajectories that generalize resonance poles in the complex energy plane to moving poles in the angular momentum plane. We highlight the salient features of the model, compare with existing literature on dispersive and dual amplitudes, and benchmark the formalism with an initial numerical application to the $\rho$ and $\sigma/f_0(500)$ mesons in $\pi\pi$ scattering.

Starting from the Wheeler-DeWitt equation for the Schwarzschild black hole interior, which is derived from a Hamiltonian formulated in terms of canonical phase space coordinates, we show that by applying a simple reparametrization, this equation can be expressed as the eigenvalue equation of a quantum linear harmonic oscillator. Within the standard quantization framework, we find that the resulting wave function diverges in the region of the classical singularity, and the expectation value of the Kretschmann scalar is undefined for all states within the black hole. However, when we apply the minimal uncertainty approach to the quantization process, we obtain a wave function that is both well-defined and square-integrable. Additionally, the expectation value of the Kretschmann scalar for these states remains finite throughout the black hole's interior, suggesting that the classical singularity is resolved in this approach, replaced it by a minimum radius.

In this work, we investigate the universal classifications of black hole states by considering them as topological defects within the thermodynamic parameter space. Through the asymptotic behaviors of the constructed vector, our results indicate the existence of four distinct topological classifications, denoted as $W^{1-}$, $W^{0+}$, $W^{0-}$, and $W^{1+}$. Within these classifications, the innermost small black hole states are characterized as unstable, stable, unstable, and stable, respectively, while the outermost large ones exhibit an unstable, unstable, stable, and stable behavior. These classifications also display contrasting thermodynamic properties in both low and high Hawking temperature limits. Furthermore, we establish a systematic ordering of the local thermodynamically stable and unstable black hole states as the horizon radius increases for a specific topological classification. These results reveal the universal topological classifications governing black hole thermodynamics, providing valuable insights into the fundamental nature of quantum gravity.

We point out that dark matter and dark energy arise naturally in a recently proposed model of combinatorial quantum gravity. Dark energy is due to the ground-state curvature at finite coupling, dark matter arises from allotropy in the discrete structure of space-time. The stable structure of the space-time "crystal" represents the curved background, the coexisting metastable allotropes of higher curvature and energy are natural candidates for dark matter.

Isospin-equilibrating weak processes, called ``Urca" processes, are of fundamental importance in astrophysical environments like (proto-)neutron stars, neutron star mergers, and supernovae. In these environments, matter can reach high temperatures of tens of MeVs and be subject to large magnetic fields. We thus investigate Urca rates at different temperatures and field strengths by performing the full temperature and magnetic-field dependent rate integrals for different equations of state. We find that the magnetic fields play an important role at temperatures of a few MeV, especially close to or below the direct Urca threshold, which is softened by the magnetic field. At higher temperatures, the effect of the magnetic fields can be overshadowed by the thermal effects. We observe that the magnetic field more strongly influences the neutron decay rates than the electron capture rates, leading to a shift in chemical equilibrium.

We explore the possibility of $B$ and $B-L$ violating processes, specifically proton decay and neutron-antineutron oscillation, using explicit realization of operators in the $SU(5)$ grand unified theory with an $S^1/Z_2 \times Z_2'$ orbifold space.

This is an expanded version of the notes by the second author of the lectures on Hitchin systems and their quantization given by the first author at the Beijing Summer Workshop in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics ``Integrable Systems and Algebraic Geometry" (BIMSA-2024).

We explore wormhole solutions sourced by Casimir energy density involving generalized uncertainty principle corrections within the framework of Rastall-Rainbow gravity. The questions of traversability and stability, as well as the presence of exotic matter, are carefully investigated. In particular, the stability issue is addressed via an approach that has not been previously employed in the context of wormholes. This method, which represents an improved version of the so-called Herrera cracking technique, has the potential to yield novel insights in the field of wormhole geometries.

We propose a reinforcement learning-based search strategy to explore new physics beyond the Standard Model. The reinforcement learning, which is one of machine learning methods, is a powerful approach to find model parameters with phenomenological constraints. As a concrete example, we focus on a minimal axion model with a global $U(1)$ flavor symmetry. Agents of the learning succeed in finding $U(1)$ charge assignments of quarks and leptons solving the flavor and cosmological puzzles in the Standard Model, and find more than 150 realistic solutions for the quark sector taking renormalization effects into account. For the solutions found by the reinforcement learning-based analysis, we discuss the sensitivity of future experiments for the detection of an axion which is a Nambu-Goldstone boson of the spontaneously broken $U(1)$. We also examine how fast the reinforcement learning-based searching method finds the best discrete parameters in comparison with conventional optimization methods. In conclusion, the efficient parameter search based on the reinforcement learning-based strategy enables us to perform a statistical analysis of the vast parameter space associated with the axion model from flavor.

Scattering calculations in curved spacetime are technically complicated and, in the case of a general spacetime metric, quite impossible. Even in the cases where perturbative scattering calculations can be done one has to be careful about what kind of particles are sensible to measure. Curved spacetime quantum field theories are then less conceptually clear than those in flat spacetime. In this article, we investigate an aspect of this conceptual confusion - the use of wave packets in defining the S-matrix. Wave packets are used in most standard textbook treatments to construct particle states and remove certain singularities in the definition of the S-matrix. We show that this method does not completely work in curved spacetimes first in a general way and then by way of a specific model. We also discuss related effects and suggest a method for doing curved spacetime scattering calculations. Our conclusion is that the most general method for scattering calculations in curved spacetimes requires the use of wave packets, which are typically absent in the literature.

Understanding quantum chaos is of profound theoretical interest and carries significant implications for various applications, from condensed matter physics to quantum error correction. Recently, out-of-time ordered correlators (OTOCs) have emerged as a powerful tool to quantify quantum chaos. For a given quantum system, the OTOCs measure incompatibility between an operator evolved in the Heisenberg picture and an unevolved operator. In the first part of this thesis, we employ OTOCs to study the dynamical sensitivity of a perturbed non-Komogorov-Arnold-Moser (non-KAM) system in the quantum limit as the parameter that characterizes the $\textit{resonance}$ condition is slowly varied. For this purpose, we consider a quantized kicked harmonic oscillator (KHO) model that displays stochastic webs in the phase space. The OTOC analysis is followed by a study of quantum Fisher information (QFI) at the resonances and a comparison with the non-resonance cases. We shall show that scaling of the QFI in time is enhanced at the resonances, making the dynamics of the non-KAM systems good candidates for quantum sensing. In the following chapter, we study the OTOCs in a bipartite system of kicked coupled tops with a special focus on the mixed phase space OTOC dynamics. The last part of the thesis is devoted to the study of the emergence of quantum state designs as a signature of quantum chaos and the role of symmetries in this phenomenon. Recently proposed projected ensemble framework utilizes quantum chaos as a resource to construct approximate higher-order state designs. Despite being ubiquitous, the effects of symmetries on the emergence of quantum state designs remain under-explored. We thoroughly investigate this by demonstrating the interplay between symmetries and measurements in constructing approximate state designs. Finally, we outline a few open directions relevant to the current thesis.

Anomalous dimensions of twist-two operators govern the scale evolution of parton distribution functions. For off-shell external states, the physical twist-two operators mix with unknown gauge-variant operators under renormalization. In this talk, we apply the method proposed by us in~\cite{Gehrmann:2023ksf} to compute all gauge-variant one-loop counterterm Feynman rules with five legs, which enter the determination of the four-loop splitting functions in QCD.