Graduate Student Lunch Club

When & Where

The CTP Lunch Club meets every Friday at noon in the Cosman seminar room, 6C-442 (provided that there are sufficient speakers). A light lunch will be provided begining at 11:50am (usually pizza, however some other options may be explored).

About the Seminar

The seminars are designed for graduate students and should be accessible to all students. First year students are particularly encouraged to attend so that they may learn about research being performed in the CTP. The goal is learning, and to encourage participation, the seminars will be for students only.

Email notification of the club will be sent to the ctp-all, ctp-postdocs and ctp-students email lists as appropriate. If you wish to speak, or have suggestions about speakers and/or possible workshop topics, please contact the organizers, Jae Hoon Lee at jaehlee_at_mit[dot]edu, Josephine Suh at sjsuh_at_mit[dot]edu and Mindaugas Lekaveckas at lekaveck_at_mit[dot]edu.


  • October 9
    Surjeet Rajendran

    Can Dark Matter Decay?

  • October 16
    Jesse Thaler

    Beyond the Standard Model at the Energy Frontier

    This talk will give an overview of my present work on model building and LHC phenomenology.

  • October 23
    Mike Mulligan

    Introduction to the classification of topological insulators

    My rough plan would be to first define what is meant by a topological phase. I would do this in the context of the quantum hall effect and its description via Chern-Simons theory. Some properties that I'd describe are how you get this theory, its groundstate degeneracy, anyonic excitations, and its gapless edge modes. I would then give an overview of the above paper (, and discuss a relation to K-theory if there was time.

  • October 30
    Diego Hofman

    Fundamental Aspects and Applications of AdS/CFT

    In this talk I will give an introduction to the AdS/CFT correspondence and I will discuss two different ways of approaching work in the field. On the one hand I will discuss how the correspondence can be used to obtain powerful and concrete results about some very special type of theories. On the other hand, I will also talk about how we can take a more phenomenological point view to explore ideas and general results in more generic theories, hopefully closer to real world systems.

  • November 6
    Paul Chesler

    Jets in strongly coupled plasma

    Energetic quarks moving though quark-gluon plasma can provide a valuable probe of dynamical processes in heavy ion collisions. Quarks produced in hard processes during the initial stages of a collision can traverse the fireball and excite hydrodynamic modes such as sound waves. Analysis of particle correlations in produced jets can provide useful information about the quark energy loss rate as well as the speed and attenuation length of sound waves. I will discuss jets both from the perspective of hydrodynamics and from that of gauge/gravity duality. Most of what I will discuss can be found in

  • November 13
    Wouter Waalewijn

    Factorization at the LHC: From PDFs to Initial State Jets

    Measurements at the LHC often impose restrictions on the hadronic final state, e.g. requiring a certain number of jets. In calculations these restrictions should be implemented in a factorization theorem. We find that imposing such restrictions does not yield the standard parton distribution functions (PDFs) for the initial state.

    Instead, the measurement of the hadronic final state probes the proton before the hard collision, which then forms an initial state jet. The hard collision occurs between partons inside these jets rather than inside protons. The proper description of these initial-state jets requires “beam functions”.

    I discuss a new factorization theorem with beam functions for "isolated Drell-Yan" pp -> X l+l-, where X is restricted to contain no central jets. I will also talk about the properties of beam functions and how they can be related to the standard PDFs.

  • November 20
    Michal Heller
  • Applied gauge/gravity duality: holographic hydrodynamics and beyond

    It's been almost 12 years by now since the foundations of the AdS/CFT correspondence were laid down. Since then, gauge/gravity duality has emerged as an unique and powerful tool for describing the non-equilibrium properties of strongly coupled gauge theories. This talk focuses on a pedagogical introduction to the subject of fluid/gravity duality, which provides the gravity dual to hydrodynamic evolution. Special emphasis will be put on the following subjects

    1) Hydrodynamics as an "effective field theory"

    2) Transport properties of strongly coupled plasmas from the gravity

    3) Universality of transport coefficients (famous KSS bound η/s = 1/(4π)) in supergravity and beyond

    4) What people actually learned about hydrodynamics itself from the gauge/gravity duality

    5) Attempts to go beyond the hydrodynamic description -- far-from-equilibrium physics (if time allows)

  • November 27
    Thanksgiving holiday
  • December 4
    Jorge Camalich

    Properties of Hyperons in Chiral Effective Field Theory

    The development of chiral effective field theory in hyperon phenomenology has been troubled due to power-counting subtleties and to a possible slow convergence. Furthermore, the presence of baryon-resonances, e.g. the lowest-lying decuplet, complicates the approach, and the inclusion of their effects may become necessary. Recently, we have shown that a fairly good convergence is possible using a renormalization prescription of the loop-divergencies which recovers the power counting, is covariant and consistent with analyticity. Moreover, we have systematically incorporated the decuplet resonances taking care of both power-counting and consistency problems. A model-independent understanding of diferent properties including the magnetic moments of the baryon-octet, the electromagnetic structure of the decuplet resonances and the hyperon vector coupling f1(0), has been successfully achieved within this approach. We will briefly review these developments and stress the important role they play for an accurate determination of the CKM matrix element Vus from hyperon semileptonic decay data. The importance of the latest application is that an accurate determination of Vus allows for an indirect search of new physics beyond standard model through the first-row unitarity of the CKM matrix.

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