The Morris Loeb Lectures in Physics: Juan Maldacena

February 19, 2016
Poster for Juan Maldacena, "Black holes, gravity, and quantum systems"

The lectures are free and open to the public.

Colloquium: "Black holes and the structure of spacetime"

Monday, March 21, 2016 @ 4:15pm
Jefferson 250, 17 Oxford Street, Cambridge
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We discuss quantum aspects of black holes. We review black hole thermodynamics and the expectation that a black hole has finite entropy. We show how the gauge/gravity duality can describe black holes as seen from the outside. We describe some puzzles regarding the description of the interior. We emphasize the connection between entanglement and geometry, which is thought to play an important role in the emergence of gravity.

Lecture I: "Introduction to the gauge gravity duality I"

Tuesday, March 22 @ 4:15pm
Science Center Hall D, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge
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We present the relationship between quantum systems and gravity for non-specialists.

Lecture II: "Introduction to the gauge gravity duality II"

Wednesday, March 23 @ 4:15pm
Science Center Hall D, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge
(Watch video)

We present the relationship between quantum systems and gravity for non-specialists.

Lecture III: "Entanglement entropy in quantum field theory and gravity"

Thursday, March 24 @ 4:15pm
Jefferson 250, 17 Oxford Street, Cambridge
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We describe the area formula computing entanglement in gravity theories (the Ryu Takayanagi formula) and we use it to explore how the degrees of freedom are organized.

Lecture IV: "Chaos and black holes"

Friday, March 25 @ 4:15pm
Jefferson 250, 17 Oxford Street, Cambridge
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We describe how the dynamics near the black hole horizon is connected to the development of chaos in the dual description.


Juan Maldacena was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1968. He completed his undergraduate education in 1991 at Instituto Balseiro in Bariloche, Argentina. He received his Ph.D. in 1996 from Princeton University. After being a Research Assistant at Rutgers University, he went to Harvard as a Visiting Professor, an Associate Professor and became a Professor of Physics in 1999. Since 2001, he has been at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where he is the Carl Feinberg Professor.

In 1999 he was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship. Some of his other prizes and fellowships include the Sloan Fellowship, Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, the UNESCO Husein Prize for Young Scientists, the Sackler Prize in Physics, the Xanthopoulos Prize in General Relativity, the Pius XI Medal, the APS Edward A. Bouchet Award, the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, the ICTP Dirac Medal, the I.Ya.Pomeranchuk Prize, and in 2012 the Milner Foundation Fundamental Physics Prize. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the National Academy of Science.

Juan Maldacena’s work focuses on quantum gravity, string theory and quantum field theory. He has proposed a relationship between quantum gravity and quantum field theories that elucidates various aspects of both theories. He is studying this relationship further in order to understand the deep connection between black holes and quantum field theories, and he is also exploring the connection between string theory and cosmology.