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String Theory

Doctoral School 2019 Amsterdam

December 2 - December 20

The aim of the Amsterdam-Brussels-Geneva-Paris Doctoral School on “Quantum Field Theory, Strings and Gravity” is to provide first-year PhD students with advanced courses that help bridge the gap between Master-level courses and the most recent advances in the field. Responsible for the organization as well as for teaching the courses are the ULB, the VUB, the University of Amsterdam, various institutions in Paris led by Ecole Normale Supérieure, and various institutions in Switzerland led by the Swiss network "SwissMap" (ETH, U. Bern, U. Geneva, CERN).

Information for participants Doctoral School 2019

Welcome to Amsterdam!

The program will start on Monday morning December 2nd at 9h00. When you arrive in the central hall of Science Park 904, please go up the big stairs, take a left and at the end of the corridor you will find classroom D1.112 .


For detailed information about the schedule, including lecture rooms,  follow the link below. 

References and Lecture related information


Resurgence (Marcel Vonk)

Background material (roughly in order of accessibility):
and for those who like a more mathematical treatment:

Note: these cover much more material than I will cover in the lectures, and are mostly intended for additional reading. The introductory sections of these references will give a good impression of what resurgence is about.

There might be a Mathematica tutorial, so bring your laptop!

Topological Strings (Ioana Coman)

The most relevant background is based on : 

These cover properly and pedagogically the field theory derivation of topological strings. See also

Modern Methods in CFT (Agnese Bissi)

Topics will cover conformal bootstrap,  integrability in AdS/CFT, plus applications to N=4 SYM. Reading list for conformal bootstrap:

Reading list for integrability:


Thermalization (Mert Besken)

We will discuss the familiar phenomenon of thermalization and identify universal aspects of it. What kind of systems evolve to thermal equilibrium? We will address this question in classical mechanics and quantum mechanics. The main tools will be chaos, ergodicity and eigenstate thermalization hypothesis.

References: For a short review see 1805.01616, and the in depth review is 1509.06411.

Axions and Instantons (John Stout)

An introduction and overview of what they are, why they are important theoretically, and what mechanisms make them phenomenologically relevant.


Practical information

The lectures will take place in various rooms in building Science Park 904, 1090 GL Amsterdam (see map of our campus below).

You can use all public areas to work. The lounge of the institute (C4.278, on the 4th floor) is also an option whenever there is no meeting going on.

The restaurant on the ground floor of building 904 serves lunch and dinner. It is open from 11h00 to 18h00. On the same floor you can also find a  Coffee Corner open from 8h30 to 16h30 (at 17h00 from Wednesday to Friday the coffee corner changes into a café, open until 21h00).

Note that you can not pay by cash in the restaurant/café and vendingmachines at Science park 904. You have to pay by card.

Other options for lunch and/or dinner on the campus are: Restaurant Polder open from 10h00 until 00h00 and Eetcafe de Oerknal open from 10h00 until 00h30 am.

All buildings on the campus are off limits before 7h00 and after 22h00 during weekdays. On Saturdays the building is open from 10h00 to 18h00.The building is closed on Sundays.

Science Park 904

Room Location Doctoral School 2019

Science Park 904
1098 XH Amsterdam

General information

The use of public transportation requires the use of a “OV-chipkaart”. You can purchase an OV-chipkaart at the railway station and at various other locations (for more information see link below).

You can also rent a bike at e.g. MacBike . Even though Amsterdam is a very bike-friendly city, you should pay attention to the rules. In particular, don't bike on a car lane if there's a bike path, don't bike on side walks and pedestrian areas, and don't bike on the wrong side of the street. Also, don't count on getting the right-of-way from taxi drivers and watch the tram tracks!


For more information about the accommodation that will be used by part of the  students of  the Amsterdam part of the doctoral school 2019 see link below (participants will receive a mail about the booking details). 

Route from Stayokay Zeeburg to Science park 904