Introduction to Gauge/Gravity Duality

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 course will introduce the students to the necessary background material and present the formulation of the duality. 


MSc Programme in Physics

Learning outcome

At the end of the course, the student will:

  • Know 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).
  • Be familiar with the origin of the gauge/gravity (or AdS/CFT) duality, and know its precise formulation and some of its simplest tests. 
  • Have an overview of important generalizations and consequences of the duality. 


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.
  • Have a general understanding of the main properties of D-branes and their supergravity descriptions
  • Be able to explain the properties of anti-deSitter spacetime and black holes in this spacetime.
  • Be able to explain the formulation of the AdS/CFT correspondence and some of the simplest tests.  


This course builds on the knowledge of,quantum field theory, general relativity and some parts of string theory (which is not mandatory though). 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.

Lectures and exercises

See Absalon for final course material. The following is an example of expected course litterature.

Gauge/Gravity Duality
Foundations and Applications


Martin Ammon, Johanna Erdmenger, Cambridge University Press

It is recommended that the student has followed courses on the following subjects at M.Sc. level:
General Relativity and Cosmology
Elementary Particle Physics
Quantum Field Theory
and possibly String Theory

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 minutes
Type of assessment details
Oral exam, 30 minutes, no preparation time
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More internal examiners.
Criteria for exam assessment

see learning goals

Single subject courses (day)

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


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 4
No restrictions.
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Physics, Chemistry and Nanoscience
Contracting department
  • The Niels Bohr Institute
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Niels Anne Jacob Obers   (5-8073768384517f737a3f7c863f757c)
Saved on the 28-02-2022

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students