Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Introduction to Gauge/Gravity Duality

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Block 4
Programme level Full Degree Master
Course responsible
  • Niels Anne Jacob Obers (5-71646774754270646b306d7730666d)
  • The Niels Bohr Institute
Course number: NFYK16005U

Course content

This course gives an introduction to the foundations and formulation of the gauge/gravity duality which is a correspondence between (supersymmetric) quantum field theories and gravity (string) theories. The first part of the course will introduce the necessary background material and the second part will present the duality along with some of the main tests and applications.

Learning outcome

At the end of the course, the student will know about:

  • The necessary background material which includes non-abelian gauge theories, large N limit, supersymmetry, conformal symmetry, supergravity, anti-deSitter space times, black holes and D-branes in string theory.
  • The origin of the gauge/gravity (or AdS/CFT) duality, its precise formulation and some of its simplest tests.
  • As an application we will consider the duality at finite temperature and discuss the relation between hydrodynamics of quantum field theory and black holes in gravity.
  • An overview of important generalizations and consequences of the duality will be also be presented.


At the end of the course, the student is expected to:

  • Be able to explain the formulation of non-abelian gauge theories and the large N limit.
  • Be able to explain the concept of supersymmetry, conformal symmetry, superconformal symmetry and the main properties of field theories with such symmetries.
  • Be able to explain the main properties of D-branes and their supergravity and string theory descriptions
  • Be able to explain the properties of anti-deSitter spacetime and black holes in this spacetime.
  • Be able to explain the origin and formulation of the AdS/CFT correspondence.
  • Be able to explain some of the simplest tests of the AdS/CFT correspondence
  • Be able to explain the features and consequences of the AdS/CFT correspondence for finite temperature quantum field theories.


This course builds on the knowledge of,quantum field theory, general relativity and some parts of string theory. The course will provide the students with a competent background for further studies within this research field, i.e. a M.Sc. project in theoretical high energy physics. It will also provide those that plan to continue into experimental high energy physics, or cosmology with the necessary background to understand the main elements of the gauge/gravity duality.
This course will provide the students with tools that have application in a range of fields in physics (including condensed matter theory) and mathematics.

Recommended prerequisites

General Relativity and Cosmology(or equivalent)
Elementary Particle Physics (or equivalent)
Quantum Field Theory (or equivalent)
Introduction to String Theory recommended

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M.Sc. Physics


Study Board of Physics, Chemistry and Nanoscience

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


1 block


---- SKEMA LINK ----

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and exercises


No restrictions.




We will use the book:

Gauge/Gravity Duality
Foundations and Applications


Martin Ammon, Johanna Erdmenger

Published May 2015, Cambrdige University Press


Category Hours
Lectures 35
Exercises 21
Exam 0,5
Preparation 149,5
English 206,0


Type of assessment

Oral examination, 30 minutes
Oral exam, 30 minutes, no preparation time

Marking scale

7-point grading scale

Criteria for exam assessment

The highest mark (12) is given for excellent exam performance that demonstrates full mastery of the above mentioned learning goals with no or only minor gaps.

The mark 2 is given to a student who has only minimally achieved the course goals

Censorship form

No external censorship
More internal examiners.


same as regular exam

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