D-ITP Advanced topics fall 2021 - Register now!



Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden


This fall the D-ITP will organize the Course Advaced Topics in Theoretical Physics. The course is divided into three 5-week modules, which will cover Techniques in Stochastic Processes, TBA and the SYK model.

Each module consists of four lectures and exercise sessions. Lectures will take place on Mondays at 11:15 - 13:00, followed by a study/exercise session from 13:45 - end. At the end of the module there is an exam. All exams are pass/fail, and you need to pass all three exams to receive credit for the course.

We expect that in-person (or hybrid) teaching will be possible, with the location of this course rotating between the three institutes.  The first module is in Utrecht. Directions to the institutes can be found here: AmsterdamUtrecht, Leiden. Students who do not have an OV-card from the Dutch government can have their travel costs reimbursed from D-ITP. Please contact the local coordinator (below) for details.

Please register here the course begins, even if you do not take the course for credit. We cannot process your grade or send important notices if you do not register.

Module 1: Techniques in Stochastic Processes
Farshid Jafarpour (UU)
Lectures and exercises: Sept 6, 13, 20, 27 (Oct 4 is a UL holiday), room: BBG 7.12 and MS Teams 
Exam: Oct 11, room TBA

Abstract: An overview of three classes of stochastic processes, their relationships, and applicable techniques. (1) Discrete-time, discrete-state processes: Bernoulli Process, Branching Processes, Discrete Random Walks, (2) Continuous-time, discrete-state: Poisson Process, Birth-Death Processes, Radioactive Decay, Chemical Reactions (3) Continuous-time, continuous state: Brownian Motion and Continuous Random Walks, Langevin Equation, Stochastic Differential Equations. In this course, students will learn the following concepts and techniques: Generating Functions, Master Equations, Kramers-Moyal Expansion, Fokker-Planck Equation, Dynamics of Moments and Temporal Statistics, Decomposition of Noise to Intrinsic and Extrinsic Components, and time permitting, Numerical Techniques such as Gillespie Algorithm and Euler Method for Simulating SDEs. Abstract:
Propelled by progress in quantum information, experimental developments in condensed matter physics and especially the holographic duality of string theory mankind is in the process of discovering states of matter that are completely different from the textbook lore. These are in the grip of “quantum supremacy”, the exponential complexity of quantum many body physics. I will present an elementary overview that revolves around recent developments in high energy-, condensed matter and computational physics. Quantum field theory 2.0: densely many body entangled quantum matter.


Module 2: 
Jan Zaanen (UL)
Lectures and exercises: Oct 18, 25, Nov 1, 8, room TBA
Exam: Nov 15; room TBA

Lecture 1: Stoquastic physics: short range entanglement versus the quantum critical point.
Lecture 2: The Fermion sign problem, introduction to AdS/CFT.
Lecture 3: The holographic strange metals
Lecture 4: quantum supremacy and the physics of high Tc superconductors.

Module 3: The SYK model, quantum chaos and low dimensional gravity

Micha Berkooz (Weizmann/UvA)
Lectures and exercises: Nov 22, 29, Dec 6, 13
Rooms: lecture on Nov 22 room TBA, exercises on Nov 22, Nov 29, Dec 6, and Dec 13 rooms TBA
Exam: Dec 20; room TBA

Abstract: The Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev (SYK) model, and its generalizations, sit at the interface of quantum gravity, condensed matter physics and quantum chaos. It is a tractable large N model of interacting particle, with a random all-to-all p-local interaction, and it is dual to 2D gravity on nearly-AdS spacetime. In the lectures we will discuss 1) basic aspects and observables of classical and quantum chaos, 2) set up the SYK model and solve it using the replica method and using combinatorial tools (related to non-commutative geometry), 3) discuss the dual JT gravity model and use the above to discuss wormholes in low dimensional gravity.


Dr. Lars Fritz
Institute for Theoretical Physics
Utrecht University
Princetonplein 5
3584 CC Utrecht
tel: +31 30 253 3880

Prof. Koenraad Schalm
Instituut-Lorentz for Theoretical Physics
Leiden University
Niels Bohrweg 2 
2335 CA Leiden

Dr. Wouter Waalewijn
Institute for Theoretical Physics 
University of Amsterdam
Science Park 904
1098 XH Amsterdam