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This Week at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Linear social interactions models
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Steven Durlauf, UW Department of Economics
Abstract: This talk will provide an overview of recent efforts by economists to understand social influences on economic behavior. The talk will emphasize the difficulties involved in uncovering evidence of social forces from observational data. Links to the growing literature on social networks will be made.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Approaching the string landscape, in principle and in practice
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Jim Halverson, University of Pennsylvania
Abstract: Though string theory provides a unified framework for physics which generically gives rise to gauge theories and quantum gravity, the existence of a landscape of string vacua makes it difficult to make contact with our world, even in principle. Solving the problem would ultimately require having a complete understanding of string theoretic moduli spaces, perhaps including dynamics, but the appropriate first steps are unclear. In this talk I will discuss three approaches to the problem. I will discuss generic issues of computing physical effects across the landscape by casting them into the language of diophantine equations and relating to Hilbert's 10th problem. I will then discuss phenomenological implications of a class of gauge theories very strongly motivated by string theory, including constraints on chiral matter which are necessary for string consistency but apparently do not appear in field theory. If time permits, I also plan to discuss important connections between non-perturbative effects, gauge theories, and moduli space that are crucial for understanding the landscape.
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