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Lecture course "Conformal Field Theory", WS 2014/2015

Conformal field theory is a quantum field theory that is invariant under all conformal transformations of space-time, including scale transformations. In 1+1 or 2 dimensions the conformal symmetry implies the existence of an infinite number of conserved charges which allows for an exact and non-perturbative determination of spectra and correlation functions. In contrast to the perturbative approach to quantum field theory, the focus here is on the formulation and solution of consistency conditions based on the symmetries of the theory.

Over the years, conformal field theory has developed into a powerful tool with applications to critical systems (in condensed matter theory & statistical physics), string theory and probability theory. It also exhibits crosslinks to various topics of modern mathematics such as knot theory and quantum groups.

In the lecture we will discuss the fundamental principles and the mathematical framework of conformal field theory. In addition, we intend to cover a few of the many concrete applications in physics.

Monday 12:00-13:30 (Seminarraum Theoretische Physik), Friday 10:00-11:30 (Container). The lecture on Wednesday will be split into lecture and on-the-spot exercises.

Outline of topics:

Prerequisites:

Literature:

Schedule