Modern Developments in M-theory (14w5076)


Keshav Dasgupta (McGill University)

(Indian Institute of Science Education and Research)

Mark Van Raamsdonk (University of British Columbia)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Modern Developments in M-theory" workshop from January 12th to January 17th, 2014.

M-theory is the leading candidate today for a quantum theory of physical laws that is rich enough to
incorporate all the fundamental particles and interactions seen in nature. The challenge is to use this
elegant and highly symmetrical formalism, that operates in a total of eleven space-time dimensions, to
describe the dynamics of the real world with its gravitational and other interactions in four observable
space-time dimensions, with the remaining seven spatial dimensions being curled up into a small volume.

M-theory contains within its structure a number of symmetries and dualities that are closely related to
those observed in nature. Within conventional theories of nature, these dualities are subtle and hard to
demonstrate. However in M-theory many of them almost miraculously become manifest. Thus it serves as a tool
to understand the mathematical structure of quantum theories that are otherwise intractable. The mathematics
of M-theory is related to that of its close cousin, string theory, and poses novel challenges for
mathematicians and theoretical physicists alike.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).