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Courses

2024

Winter 2024 Courses

Course Number:
Type: Mini Course
Duration:
Tuesday, March 12, 2024 to Thursday, April 18, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Tuesday and Thursdays from 9am-10am

Classical probability theory makes the (mostly, tacit) assumption that any two random experiments can be performed jointly.  This assumption seems to fail in quantum theory.  A rapidly growing literature seeks to understand QM by placing it in a much broader mathematical landscape of ``generalized probabilistic theories", or GPTs,  in which incompatible experiments are permitted.   Among other things, this effort has led to  (i) a better appreciation that many "characteristically quantum" phenomena (e.g., entanglement)  are in fact generic to non-classical probabilistic theories, (ii) a suite of reconstructions of (mostly, finite-dimensional) QM from small packages of assumptions of a probabilistic or operational nature, and (iii) a clearer view of the options available for generalizing QM.  This course will offer a survey of this literature,  starting from scratch and concluding with a discussion of recent developments. 

Mathematical prerequisites: finite-dimensional linear algebra, ideally including tensor products and duality, plus some exposure to category theory (though I will briefly review this material as needed).  

Scheduling note: There will be 5 lectures from March 12-26, then a gap of two weeks before the final 2 lectures held April 16 & 18.

Format: In-person only; lectures will be recorded for PIRSA but not live on Zoom.

Instructor:
Susquehanna University
Course Number: PHYS785/AMATH872
Type: Credit Course
Duration:
Tuesday, January 9, 2024 to Thursday, April 4, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Tues & Thurs from 4pm-530pm

This course introduces quantum field theory from scratch and then develops the theory of the quantum fluctuations of fields and particles. We will focus, in particular, on how quantum fields are affected by curvature and by spacetime horizons. This will lead us to the Unruh effect, Hawking radiation and to inflationary cosmology. Inflationary cosmology, which we will study in detail, is part of the current standard model of cosmology which holds that all structure in the universe - such as the distribution of galaxies - originated in tiny quantum fluctuations of a scalar field and of space-time itself. For intuition, consider that quantum field fluctuations of significant amplitude normally occur only at very small length scales. Close to the big bang, during a brief initial period of nearly exponentially fast expansion (inflation), such small-wavelength but large-amplitude quantum fluctuations were stretched out to cosmological wavelengths. In this way, quantum fluctuations are thought to have seeded the observed inhomogeneities in the cosmic microwave background - which in turn seeded the condensation of hydrogen into galaxies and stars, all closely matching the increasingly accurate astronomical observations over recent years. The prerequisites for this course are a solid understanding of quantum theory and some basic knowledge of general relativity, such as FRW spacetimes.

https://uwaterloo.ca/physics-of-information-lab/teaching/quantum-field-theory-cosmology-amath872phys785-w2024

https://pitp.zoom.us/j/96567241418?pwd=U3I1V1g4YXdaZ3psT1FrZUdlYm1zdz09

 

Instructor:
University of Waterloo
Course Number: PHYS7840
Type: Credit Course
Duration:
Wednesday, January 10, 2024 to Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Wednesdays, 10:30am-12pm and 1:30pm-3pm

Review of elementary general relativity. Timelike and null geodesic congruences. Hypersurfaces and junction conditions. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of general relativity. Mass and angular momentum of a gravitating body. The laws of black-hole mechanics.

Zoom: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/97183751661?pwd=T0szNnRjdUM2dENYNTdmRmJCZVF1QT09

Instructor:
University of Guelph
2023

Fall 2023 Courses

Course Number:
Type: Mini Course
Duration:
Thursday, November 2, 2023 to Thursday, December 7, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Thursdays from 9:00am-10:30am

This mini-course will introduce twisted holography, which is holography for BPS subsectors of gauge theory and gravity. We will start by introducing the B-model topological string from the space-time perspective, before discussing branes, backreaction, and the holographic duality.

Zoom: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/98839130613?pwd=SExFK0ZVYzJ3NmJhU1RFa21PWU1qQT09

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number:
Type: Mini Course
Duration:
Monday, October 16, 2023 to Friday, October 20, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: 11am and 2pm - see lectures for details

In this mini-course we will describe some recent integrability developments in N=4 SYM. Pedro will start with some overview of three point functions in this theory. Paul will introduce the powerful Quantum Spectral Curve formalism describing the full planar spectrum of N=4 SYM starting with some elementary spin chain introduction. In this formalism, each operator in the theory is governed by a (set of) Q-function(s). In his last lecture Paul will walk us through an explicit example from beginning to end of a QSC solution. Pedro will then describe some explorations on three point correlation functions in this theory. The goal would be to have a machine where three Q-functions are given as input and a three-point function is spit out as output. We will describe where we are in this quest. 

No Zoom link or hybrid participation available. Registration is not required.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number:
Type: Mini Course
Duration:
Friday, October 6, 2023 to Friday, December 8, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Fridays from 2:00pm-3:30pm

A quantum field theory is deemed topological if it exhibits the remarkable property of being independent of any background metric. In contrast to most other types of quantum field theories, topological quantum field theories possess a well-defined mathematical framework, tracing its roots back to the pioneering work of Atiyah in 1988. The mathematical tools employed to define and study topological quantum field theories encompass concepts from category theory, homotopy theory, topology, and algebra.
In this course, we will delve into the mathematical foundations of this field, explore examples and classification results, especially in lower dimensions. Subsequently, we will explore more advanced aspects, such as invertible theories, defects, the cobordism hypothesis, or state sum models in dimensions 3 and 4 (including Turaev-Viro and Douglas-Reutter models), depending on the interests of the audience.
Today, the mathematics of topological quantum field theories has found numerous applications in physics. Recent applications include the study of anomalies, non-invertible symmetries, the classification of topological phases of matter, and lattice models. The course aims to provide the necessary background for understanding these applications.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS786
Type: Grad Course
Duration:
Thursday, September 7, 2023 to Thursday, December 7, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursday, 2pm-3:30pm
This is an advanced graduate course which develops the math and physics of general relativity from scratch up to the highest level. The going will sometimes be steep but I try to be always careful. The purpose is to prepare for studies in quantum gravity, relativistic quantum information, black hole physics and cosmology. Quick summary of the contents: - Coordinate-free Differential Geometry, Weyl versus Ricci curvature versus Torsion, Vielbein Formalism, Spin-connections, Form-valued Tensors, Spectral Geometry, some Cohomology. - Derivations of General Relativity including as a Gauge Theory, Diffeomorphism Invariance vs. Symmetries, Bianchi Identities vs. Local and Global Conservation Laws. - Penrose Diagrams for Black Holes and Cosmology, Types of Horizons, Energy Conditions and Singularity theorems, Properties and Classification of Exact Solutions. - Cosmology and Models of Cosmic Inflation
Instructor:
University of Waterloo

Winter 2023 Courses

Course Number: McMaster
Type: Credit Course
Duration:
Friday, March 3, 2023 to Friday, April 14, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Fridays from 10-11am and 2-4pm

The course is an introduction to quantum field theory in curved spacetime. Upon building up the general formalism, the latter is applied to several topics in the modern theory of gravity and cosmology where the quantum properties of fundamental fields play an essential role.

Topics to be covered:
1) Radiation of particles by moving mirrors 
2) Hawking radiation of black holes  
3) Production of primordial density perturbations and gravity waves during inflation
4) Statistical properties of the primordial spectra  

Required prior knowledge:
Foundations of quantum mechanics and general relativity

Instructor:
McMaster University
Course Number:
Type: Mini Course
Duration:
Tuesday, February 21, 2023 to Thursday, March 2, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-Noon

This mini-course of four lectures is an introduction, review, and critique of two approaches to deriving the Einstein equation from hypotheses about horizon entropy. 

It will be based on two papers: 

We may also discuss ideas in "Gravitation and vacuum entanglement entropy" arxiv.org/abs/1204.6349

Zoom Link: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/96212372067?pwd=dWVaUFFFc3c5NTlVTDFHOGhCV2pXdz09 

 

Instructor:
University of Maryland, College Park
Course Number:
Type: Mini Course
Duration:
Thursday, March 9, 2023 to Thursday, March 16, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs - 10am-Noon

In this mini course, I shall introduce the basic concepts in 2D topological orders by studying simple models of topological orders and then introduce topological quantum computing based on Fibonacci anyons. Here is the (not perfectly ordered) syllabus.                   

  • Overview of topological phases of matter
  • Z2 toric code model: the simplest model of 2D topological orders
  • Quick generalization to the quantum double model
  • Anyons, topological entanglement entropy, S and T matrices
  • Fusion and braiding of anyons: quantum dimensions, pentagon and hexagon identities
  • Fibonacci anyons
  • Topological quantum computing
Instructor:
Fudan University

Spring 2023 Courses

Course Number: PHYS777
Type: Credit Course
Duration:
Monday, March 6, 2023 to Friday, April 14, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10am-11:30am

Can the effectiveness of a medical treatment be determined without the expense of a randomized controlled trial? Can the impact of a new policy be disentangled from other factors that happen to vary at the same time? Questions such as these are the purview of the field of causal inference, a general-purpose science of cause and effect, applicable in domains ranging from epidemiology to economics. Researchers in this field seek in particular to find techniques for extracting causal conclusions from statistical data. Meanwhile, one of the most significant results in the foundations of quantum theory—Bell’s theorem—can also be understood as an attempt to disentangle correlation and causation. Recently, it has been recognized that Bell’s result is an early foray into the field of causal inference and that the insights derived from almost 60 years of research on his theorem can supplement and improve upon state-of-the-art causal inference techniques. In the other direction, the conceptual framework developed by causal inference researchers provides a fruitful new perspective on what could possibly count as a satisfactory causal explanation of the quantum correlations observed in Bell experiments. Efforts to elaborate upon these connections have led to an exciting flow of techniques and insights across the disciplinary divide. This course will explore what is happening at the intersection of these two fields. zoom link: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/94143784665?pwd=VFJpajVIMEtvYmRabFYzYnNRSVAvZz09

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
2022

Fall 2022 Courses

Course Number: PHYS 777-002
Type: Credit Course
Duration:
Tuesday, November 1, 2022 to Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Usual Meeting Time: Tuesdays from 10am-Noon and 230pm-430pm.

This course uses quantum electrodynamics (QED) as a vehicle for covering several more advanced topics within quantum field theory, and so is aimed at graduate students that already have had an introductory course on quantum field theory. Among the topics hoped to be covered are: gauge invariance for massless spin-1 particles from special relativity and quantum mechanics; Ward identities; photon scattering and loops; UV and IR divergences and why they are handled differently; effective theories and the renormalization group; anomalies.

Instructor:
McMaster University

Winter 2022 Courses

Course Number:
Type: Grad Course
Duration: Monday, January 3, 2022
Usual Meeting Time: Mondays and Thursdays from 4:00 pm - 5:20 pm
Instructor:
University of Waterloo
2020

Fall 2020 Courses

Course Number: PHYS 7900
Type: Grad Course
Duration:
Thursday, September 10, 2020 to Thursday, December 3, 2020

Usual Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 - 5:00 pm

This course provides a graduate-level introduction to computational fluid dynamics, covering the theoretical concepts and numerical methods that form the foundation of much of modern theoretical astrophysics and cosmology.  Beyond applications in astrophysics and cosmology the concepts introduced here are of relevance in many other fields of physics and engineering.  Assignments will include both analytical problems and hands-on programming problems.  The latter will be python-based and are designed to provide a deeper understanding of the numerical concepts through practical implementation.  A brief introduction to python and jupyter notebooks will be given.

Instructor:
University of Greifswald

Spring 2020 Courses

Course Number:
Type: Mini Course
Duration:
Monday, May 25, 2020 to Friday, June 5, 2020

This course has two main goals: (1) to introduce some key models from condensed matter physics;  and (2) to introduce some numerical approaches to studying these (and other) models.  As a  precursor to these objectives, we will carefully understand many-body states and operators from  the perspective of condensed matter theory.  (However, I will cover only spin models.  We will not  discuss or use second quantization.)

Once this background is established, we will study the method of exact diagonalization and write  simple python programs to find ground states, correlation functions, energy gaps, and other  properties of the transverse-field Ising model.  We will also discuss the computational limitations  of exact diagonalization.  Finally, I will introduce the concept of matrix product states, and we will  see that these can be used to study ground state properties for much larger systems than can be  studied with exact diagonalization.

Each 90-minute session will include substantial programming exercises in addition to lecture.  Prior programming experience is not expected or required, but I would like everyone to have  python (version 3) installed on their computer prior to the first class, including Jupyter notebooks;  see “Resources” below.

Instructor:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Course Number:
Type: Mini Course
Duration:
Monday, May 25, 2020 to Friday, June 5, 2020

The goal of this course is to introduce the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics and a  few of its applications. We will begin by motivating the path integral formulation and explaining its  connections to other formulations of quantum mechanics and its relation to classical mechanics.  We will then explore some applications of path integrals. Each 90-minute session will include roughly equal amounts of lecture time and activities. The  activities are designed to enhance your learning experience and allow you to assess your own level  of understanding.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number:
Type: Mini Course
Duration:
Monday, May 25, 2020 to Thursday, June 4, 2020

The aim of this course is to understand the thermodynamics of quantum systems and in the  process to learn some fundamental tools in Quantum Information. We will focus on the topics of  foundations of quantum statistical mechanics, resource theories, entanglement, fluctuation  theorems, and quantum machines. 

Instructor:
University of Naples Federico II
Course Number:
Type: Mini Course
Duration:
Monday, May 25, 2020 to Monday, June 15, 2020

The aim of this course is to  explore some of the many ways in which symmetries play a role in  physics. We’ll start with an overview of the concept of symmetries and their description in the  language of  group theory. We will then discuss continuous symmetries and infinitesimal  symmetries, their fundamental role in Noether’s theorem, and their formalisation in terms of Lie  groups and Lie algebras. In the last part of the course we will focus on symmetries in quantum  theory and introduce representations of (Lie) groups and Lie algebras.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Winter 2020 Courses

Course Number: AMATH872/PHYS785
Type: Credit Course
Duration:
Tuesday, January 7, 2020 to Thursday, April 9, 2020
Instructor:
University of Waterloo
2019

Fall 2019 Courses

Course Number:
Type: Grad Course
Duration:
Wednesday, October 2, 2019 to Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Usual Meeting Time: 10:00-12:00
Instructor:
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Dalhousie University

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2023/2024

Type: Elective Course

Course Number: PHYS 777-001
Duration:
Tuesday, April 2, 2024 to Thursday, May 2, 2024
Machine learning has become a very valuable toolbox for scientists including physicists. In this course, we will learn the basics of machine learning with an emphasis on applications for many-body physics. At the end of this course, you will be equipped with the necessary and preliminary tools for starting your own machine learning projects.
Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS 777-005
Duration:
Tuesday, April 2, 2024 to Thursday, May 2, 2024
We will discuss mathematical aspects of classical and quantum field theory, including topics such as: symplectic manifolds and the phase space, symplectic reduction, geometric quantization, Chern-Simons theory, and others.
Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS 623
Duration:
Tuesday, April 2, 2024 to Thursday, May 2, 2024

The course covers the basics of String Theory: bosonic strings, D-branes, a bit of superstrings.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS 644
Duration:
Tuesday, April 2, 2024 to Thursday, May 2, 2024
The course centers on an in-depth study of the symmetry structure of General Relativity and how this is intimately related to its dynamics and to the challenges posed to its quantization. To achieve this understanding, we will introduce a host of concepts and techniques, broadly (and loosely) known under the name of “Covariant Phase Space Method”. This provides a different perspective on GR’s physics, a perspective in which phase space, rather than spacetime, is front and center. We will apply these ideas and techniques to discuss the so-called Problem of Time, Wald's approach to black hole entropy as a Noether charge, and the relationship between Dirac's Hypersurface Deformation Algebra and GR's symmetries and dynamics. We will also discuss the problem of detecting single gravitons as well as crucial analogies and differences between a quantum electromagnetic and gravitational field. Lecture notes specific for the course will be provided.
Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS 777-002
Duration:
Tuesday, April 2, 2024 to Thursday, May 2, 2024
This course will introduce some advanced topics in general relativity related to describing gravity in the strong field and dynamical regime. Topics covered include properties of spinning black holes, black hole thermodynamics and energy extraction, how to define horizons in a dynamical setting, formulations of the Einstein equations as constraint and evolution equations, and gravitational waves and how they are sourced.
Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS635
Duration:
Wednesday, February 28, 2024 to Thursday, March 28, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Mon / Wed / Fri AM & Thurs PM
Instructor:
Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC)
Course Number: PHYS 777
Duration:
Wednesday, February 28, 2024 to Thursday, March 28, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Mon / Wed / Fri AM & Thurs / Fri PM

This survey course introduces some advanced topics in quantum field theory and string theory. Topics may include anomalies, conformal field theory, and bosonic string theory and are subject to change depending on the topics covered in the TBD elective course.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS 646
Duration:
Wednesday, February 28, 2024 to Thursday, March 28, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Mon / Wed / Fri AM & Wed / Fri PM

This course will cover phenomenological studies and experimental searches for new physics beyond the Standard Model, including: naturalness, extra dimension, supersymmetry, grand unification, dark matter candidates (WIMPs and axions) and their detection.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS 621
Duration:
Tuesday, February 27, 2024 to Thursday, March 28, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Mon / Tues PM & Tues / Thurs AM

This Cosmology course will provide a theoretical overview of the standard cosmological model.
Topics will include: FRW universe, Thermal History, Inflation, Cosmological Perturbation Theory, Structure Formation and Quantum Initial Conditions.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS 777
Duration:
Tuesday, February 27, 2024 to Thursday, March 28, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Mon / Tues PM & Tues / Thurs AM

This course will cover quantum phases of matter, with a focus on long-range entangled states, topological states, and quantum criticality.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS639
Duration:
Monday, January 8, 2024 to Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Mon / Wed / Fri AM & Thurs PM
Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS636
Duration:
Monday, January 8, 2024 to Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Mon / Wed / Fri AM & Thurs PM

The Gravitational Physics course takes your knowledge and practice of gravity to the next level. We start by recapping the essential elements of differential geometry, adding some new techniques to the toolbox, then apply some of these methods to learning about submanifolds, extra dimensions, and black hole thermodynamics. Towards the end of the course, we delve into the frontiers, with a sample of recent research topics.

Instructor:
King's College London
Course Number: PHYS622
Duration:
Monday, January 8, 2024 to Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Mon / Tues / Thurs

The Standard Model of particle physics is introduced, and reviewed, from a modern effective field theory perspective.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Type: Core Course

Course Number: PHYS777
Duration:
Monday, January 8, 2024 to Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Usual Meeting Time: Mon / Tues / Thurs

This course will introduce you to some of the geometrical structures underlying theoretical physics. Previous knowledge of differential geometry is not required. Topics covered in the course include: Introduction to manifolds, differential forms, symplectic manifolds, symplectic version of Noether’s theorem, integration on manifolds, fiber bundles, principal bundles and applications to gauge theory.

Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS 777
Duration:
Monday, January 8, 2024 to Thursday, February 8, 2024
Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS602
Duration:
Tuesday, November 14, 2023 to Friday, December 15, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10:45am-12:15pm
Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS603
Duration:
Tuesday, November 14, 2023 to Friday, December 15, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9-10:30am
Instructor:
CEA Saclay
Course Number: PHYS601
Duration:
Tuesday, October 10, 2023 to Friday, November 10, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10:45am-12:15pm
Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Course Number: PHYS604
Duration:
Tuesday, October 10, 2023 to Friday, November 10, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9-10:30am
Instructor:
Charles University
Course Number: PHYS605
Duration:
Wednesday, September 6, 2023 to Friday, October 6, 2023

Usual Meeting Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10:45am-12:15pm
Instructor:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

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