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Wilczek's 8 Lectures:Advanced Topics in Theoretical Physics

The first lecture or two will be devoted to the confinement problem of QCD, leading including new ideas about flux tubes and their junctions (“treeons”), channeling flux, and a new approach to hadronic matter that these insights suggest.

The next 5-6 lectures will revolve around time reversal symmetry (T). This will lead us through the foundational work that establishes the “strong T problem” as a shortcoming of the standard model of fundamental physics. Topics include Kramers’ theorem, anomalies, instantons, and the deep structure of the standard model itself. Then I will discuss axion physics: how addressing the strong T problem leads us to introduce axions, their properties, their potential to make the “dark matter” of the universe, and the ongoing quest to detect the cosmic axion background experimentally. I will discuss in some detail the ALPHA project, which is one such effort, that brings in new ideas for resonator design, metamaterials, and quantum sensing. Then I will discuss how T violation manifests itself in laboratory experiments, both as a fundamental phenomenon and as an emergent characteristic of several interesting, technologically significant materials. Finally, in this series, I will discuss the established and potential role of T violation in biology, also touching on biological P violation as a interesting role model.

Finally, if time permits, I will discuss metastability in matter and cosmology; specifically, indicators of eventual decay that can be seen well before that happens (or not). This leads in several interesting directions …

Click the links to listen to the lectures. Wilczek's lectures 1, Lecture 2, Lecture 3, Lecture 4, Lecture 5, Lecture 6, Lecture 7,Lecture 8

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