3rd Joint Dutch-Brazil School on Theoretical Physics


Start time:
February 2, 2015

Ends on: February 6, 2015

Location: São Paulo, Brazil



Ana Achucarro (Leiden Univ.), Nathan Berkovits (IFT-UNESP/ICTP-SAIFR), Jan de Boer (Amsterdam Univ.), Rob Timmermans (Groningen Univ.)

Minicourse lecturers:

  • Nima Arkani-Hamed (IAS Princeton) – Scattering Amplitudes and the Amplituhedron
  • Jan de Boer (Univ. of Amsterdam) – Entanglement Entropy and its Uses
  • Cumrun Vafa (Harvard Univ.) – Topological Strings and Supersymmetric Amplitudes


The Joint Dutch-Brazil School on Theoretical Physics is now in its third edition with previous schools in 2007 and 2011. This edition of the school will feature minicourses by Nima Arkani-Hamed (IAS Princeton), Jan de Boer (University of Amsterdam) and Cumrun Vafa (Harvard University), as well as student presentations. The school is jointly organized with the Dutch Research School of Theoretical Physics (DRSTP) and is intended for graduate students and researchers in the field of high-energy theoretical physics. There is no registration fee and limited funds are available for local and travel support of participants. This school in São Paulo will be preceded by the XVIII J. A. Swieca School in Campos de Jordão.


dutch-brazil school


Satisfaction Survey

Lectures – Reading material:

Cumrun Vafa (Harvard Univ.) – Topological Strings and Supersymmetric Amplitudes

Twistorial Topological Strings and a tt* Geometry for N=2 Theories in 4d
Sergio Cecotti, Andrew Neitzke, Cumrun Vafa

arXiv:1312.1008 [pdf, other]
tt* Geometry in 3 and 4 Dimensions
Sergio Cecotti, Davide Gaiotto, Cumrun Vafa

Topological strings and their physical applications
Andrew Neitzke, Cumrun Vafa

Topological antitopological fusion (Download pdf here)
Sergio Cecotti (SISSA, Trieste & INFN, Trieste), Cumrun Vafa (Harvard U.). Jun 1991. 122 pp.
Published in Nucl.Phys. B367 (1991) 359-461

Video: Topological Strings review lecture

Nima Arkani-Hamed (IAS Princeton) – Scattering Amplitudes and the Amplituhedron

In these lectures, a new formulation for scattering amplitudes in planar N=4 SYM will be described where the usual picture of unitary evolution though space-time is not primary.  Instead, amplitudes are associated the “the volume” of a new geometric object, “the Amplituhedron”, closely connected to another object studied by algebraic geometers and physicists in recent years, known as “the Positive Grassmannian”. It wil be described how locality and unitarity arise as derived notions from the positive geometry.
The following reading material is recommended:

(1) There is an excellent review of scattering amplitudes by Elvang and Huang,  arXiv:1308.1697

(2) The Introduction of this early paper of Arkani-Hamed and Cachazo,  arXiv:0808.1446

(3) The positive grassmannian paper  arXiv:1212.5605

(4) The amplituhedron paper  arXiv:1312.2007

Jan de Boer (Univ. of Amsterdam) – Entanglement Entropy and its Uses
In these lectures we first review a few basic notions from quantum information theory with an emphasis on entanglement and its properties. We then discuss properties of entanglement in various systems, how they can be used to diagnose various phases, and how it can be computed in weakly and some strongly coupled field theories. Finally, we will discuss some aspects of the relation between entanglement and space-time geometry that has emerged in recent years.

some reading:
* Lindesay, Susskind, “An introduction to black holes, information, and the string theory revolution”, world scientific, 2005
* chapter 2 and 4 of the lectures notes of John Preskill, http://www.theory.caltech.edu/~preskill/ph219/index.html#lecture
* Daniel Harlow, Jerusalem lectures on black holes and quantum information, http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.1231


Presentation files:





Registration: ALL participants should register. The registration will be on February 2 at the institute from 10:00 to 11:00 am. You can find arrival instruction at http://www.ictp-saifr.org/?page_id=195

BOARDING PASS: All participants, whose travel has been provided or will be reimbursed by the institute, should bring the boarding pass upon registration, and collect an envelope to send the return boarding pass to the institute.

List of Participants: Updated on January 29

General Information: General Information Sheet - Useful information specially for those who are not from São Paulo.

Accommodation: Participants whose accommodation has been provided by the institute will stay at Paulista Flat and The Universe Flat. Each participant whose accommodation has been provided by the institute has received the details on the accommodation individually by email.

Emergency number: 9 8233 8671 (from São Paulo city); +55 11 9 8233 8671 (from abroad), 11 9 8233 8671 (from outside São Paulo).

Ground transportation instructions: 

Ground transportation from Guarulhos Airport to The Universe Flat

Ground transportation from Congonhas Airport to the Universe Flat

Ground transportation from The Universe Flat to the institute

Ground transportation from Paulista Flat to the institute