14 September 2020 to 2 October 2020
Mainz Institute for Theoretical Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University
Europe/Berlin timezone


This program has been postponed from 2020. New event dates will be in the second half of 2021. Please visit us again soon; we will announce the exact dates shortly.
For more information, please contact: BQFT2020@uni-mainz.de

Boundaries and defects have been at the heart of crucial developments in theoretical physics in the last 20 years: holography (field theories could live at the boundary of a higher- dimensional gravitational theory), entanglement (the entangling surface can be treated as a defect), black holes (the horizon is a boundary), topological insulators and semi-metals (the topologically-protected massless modes live at the boundary), and non-local operators such as Wilson and ‘t Hooft lines (defects defined by appropriate boundary conditions). Additionally, many other areas have made major advances in recent years whose implications for quantum field theory with boundaries and defects have yet to be explored fully: the conformal bootstrap, dualities among (2+1)d quantum field theories, supersymmetric localization, integrability, and so on.

However, progress in these areas has largely been carried out by separated communities working in isolation from the others. This scientific program thus aims to bring together a diverse group of leading theorists interested in boundaries and defects in quantum field theory, from the formal/mathematical to the applied, to forge collaborations between different areas, identify common subjects and complementary approaches, and set the agenda for future developments and new applications. The three broad focus areas will be:

  • Conformal field theories with boundaries and defects

  • Supersymmetry and Duality with boundaries and defects

  • Curved space, gravity and entanglement

The participation of prominent experts will ensure top-quality research output, with significant impact on several sub-fields, including string theory, particle physics, condensed matter physics, and beyond.

Organizing Committee

Matthew Buican (Queen Mary U. of London)
Luca Griguolo (INFN Parma/U. Parma)
Chris Herzog (King's College London)
Kristan Jensen (San Francisco State U.)
Andy O'Bannon (Southampton U.)
Silvia Penati (INFN Milano Bicocca/U. Milano-Bicocca)
Domenico Seminara (INFN Florence/U. Florence)

Key Participants

Ilka Brunner (LMU Munich)
Nadav Drukker (King's College London)
Johanna Erdmenger (Univ. Wuerzburg)
Valentina Forini (City University London)
Charlotte Kristjansen (Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen)
Natalie Paquette* (Caltech)
Sara Pasquetti (INFN Milan-Bicocca and Milan Bicocca U.)
Silviu Pufu* (Univ. Princeton)
Leonardo Rastelli* (Stony Brook U.)
Hubert Saleur (U. of Southern California)
Gordon Semenoff (Univ. British Columbia)
*to be confirmed
Mainz Institute for Theoretical Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University
Staudingerweg 9 / 2nd floor, 55128 Mainz

Organized by Christopher Herzog (King's College London), Kristan Jensen (San Francisco State Univ.), Andrew O'Bannon (Univ. Southampton / diversity officer), Silvia Penati (INFN Milano Bicocca / Univ. Milano-Bicocca)

The program is co-organized by Matthew Buican (Queen Mary University of London), Luca Griguolo (INFN Parma/ Univ. Parma), and Domenico Seminara (INFN Florence / Univ. Florence)

MITP supports equal opportunities in science.