The programme will focus on higher-spin theory, an aspect of quantum field theory that concerns fields of arbitrary spin. Higher-spin theory has recently been shown to have important and surprising implications for a number of areas within physics. In particular, via the AdS/CFT correspondence higher-spin theories are dual to many second order phase transitions in three dimensions, including the three-dimensional Ising model. At the same time, higher-spin theories have thus far successfully passed all tests required for them to be consistent theories of quantum gravity. This provides fascinating new links between previously unrelated areas of physics. It is high time to review these achievements, as well as to facilitate the effective exchange of ideas between the specialists in the different fields drawn together by this dynamic topic.
We expect that the programme will lead to theoretical advances in many directions, including a derivation of the AdS/CFT conjecture, a better understanding of the tensionless limit of string theory, new higher-spin theories as well as applications of higher-spin theories to condensed matter physics and, possibly, cosmology.
The programme will culminate with a topical workshop from 23rd to 25th May 2016 that will bring together experts on higher-spin theories, conformal field theories, the AdS/CFT correspondence and string theory, with higher-spin theory serving as a unifying platform.