The end of term project for 8.821 will be a half-hour presentation or short (say 5 pages) paper summarizing a topic of interest, relevant to our class. The topic needn't be about string theory or gauge/gravity duality specifically.

An appropriate topic could also be a system that you think may be amenable to study with a gravity dual and want to learn more about.

Your goal in deciding what to say should be to try to save the rest of us from having to read the papers. Give some context, say what the crucial point is, say what the implications are.

If you are planning to give a talk, I can't recommend highly enough the advice from Geroch, gr-qc/9703019.

Below are some topic suggestions, involving wildly varying levels of difficulty. The list is certainly not in any sense exhaustive. Creative topics are encouraged.

Some Topic Suggestions

  1. Holographic RG flows and an 'a-theorem'
  2. String duals of gauge theories with matter in the fundamental and thermal aspects
  3. More systematic understanding of thereal-time AdS/CFT prescription
  4. Gravity duals of supersymmetric confining gauge theories with chiral symmetry breaking
  5. AdS/QCD
  6. Entanglement entropy from the gravity dual
  7. 2d strong-coupling transport in a magnetic field; constraints from EM duality in the bulk
  8. Holographic models of superfluidity and superconductivity
  9. Expanding strongly-coupled plasma
  10. Charged particles in strongly-coupled plasma: jet, and/or string dragging
  11. Attempts to see a fermi surface in the gravity dual
  12. Finite-N effects: the stringy exclusion principle and giant gravitons
  13. A solvable limit of AdS/CFT
  14. Spin chains and the dilatation operator
  15. Cusp anomalous dimension from string theory
  16. BPS Wilson loops
  17. C ≤ 1 strings and matrix models, an example of holography
  18. AdS3and 2d CFT
  19. Holography for large-N vector models?
  20. Behind the horizon by analyticity
  21. Matrix models of black hole information con-sumption
  22. String theory and the physics of hadrons
  23. Microscopic accounting of Bekenstein-Hawking entropy for BPS black holes
  24. Birkhoff/no-hair, quasinormal modes, and thermalization
  25. Computation of hydrodynamic green functions

Annotated list of topics (PDF)