Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Mathematische Physik von Raum, Zeit und Materie

Introduction to the AdS/CFT Correspondence

Lecturer: Dr. Elli Pomoni

Friday 9-13 (every second week)
First lecture: 13.4.2012
RUD 25, Room 1.411

The dates of the lecture are: 13.4., 27.4., 11.5., 25.5., 22.6., 29.6., 6.7.


There will be an oral exam at the end of the semester.

The topics that we will cover include:

  • Large N counting ('t Hooft's topological argument)
  • The holographic principle
  • Supersymmetry and CFT (Algebra, multiplets, Lagrangians)
  • Anti de Sitter space (and review GR basics)
  • Supergravity (4D, IIA/IIB in 10D, 11D; the low energy limit of closed string theory)
  • Branes (Dirichlet branes, sugra solitons, Polchinski's argument)
  • The statement of the duality (Maldacena's decoupling limit)
  • AdS = CFT (Bulk to Boundary dictionary, Witten diagrams)
  • 1/2 BPS protected multiplet of N = 4 SYM = KK reduction of 10D IIB sugra on S^5


Some prior knowledge of QFT and GR will be assumed.
For any questions, please contact Elli Pomoni:



    Assignment Date
Sheet 1 pdf 13.04.12
Sheet 2 pdf 27.04.12
Sheet 3 pdf 11.05.12
Sheet 4 pdf 25.05.12
Sheet 5 to appear 22.06.12
Sheet 6 pdf 29.06.12
Sheet 7 pdf 06.07.12



AdS/CFT reviews
  • O. Aharony, S. S. Gubser, J. M. Maldacena, H. Ooguri and Y. Oz, "Large N field theories, string theory and gravity" hep-th/9905111
  • E. D'Hoker and D. Z. Freedman, "Supersymmetric gauge theories and the AdS/CFT correspondence," hep-th/0201253
  • Horatiu Nastase, "Introduction to AdS-CFT" arXiv:0712.0689
Supersymmetry and Supergravity
  • Richard J. Szabo, "An Introduction to String Theory and D-brane Dynamics"
  • Barton Zwiebach, "A First Course in String Theory"
  • M. J. Duff, "TASI Lectures on Branes, Black Holes and Anti-de Sitter Space" hep-th/9912164
Other links:

By now there are many websites with notes, videos