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Tuesday, November 19th 2019

11:15 am:

Two-dimensional quantum field theories are often used as tractable toy models for interesting real world phenomena like quark confinement and chiral symmetry breaking. I'll explain the puzzling story of one famous example: two-dimensional adjoint QCD. This theory was studied intensively in the 1990s, with a consensus that --- to the surprise of the people who studied it --- it was not a confining gauge theory. Recently we examined this QFT using modern techniques not available in the 1990s, and found exactly the opposite conclusion: this model does in fact feature both quark confinement and chiral symmetry breaking. Along the way, I'll mention some connections to interesting recent developments in condensed matter physics related to symmetry-protected topological order.

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