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IITS Courses

Although primarily intended for first years PhD students in Theoretical Physics, everybody is welcome to take part in the IITS courses.

During the Academic year 2016/2017 the following course will take place

Effective theories for the dynamics of interfaces:
from fluid membranes to relativistic soap bubbles and black holes

Jay Armas (ULB)

13-17 February 2017

Abstract: For small deformations or for slow time scales, the physics of interfaces can be modelled by long-wavelength effective theories. These theories are theories of continuous media and can be purely hydrodynamic, purely elastic or contain elements of both. Using a covariant formulation, this general class of theories can be put into a single framework, allowing to describe the dynamics of (fluid) membranes, soap bubbles, space-filling fluids with or without boundaries and also confined fluids. Starting with simple examples, such as the dynamics of membranes and space-filling fluids, two different approaches will be highlighted, namely, a phenomenological approach to hydrodynamics and an approach based on an effective action (or equilibrium partition function). The mathematics of embedded (minimal) surfaces, which has a variety of possible applications in physics, will be dwelt with. As an example of such application, a connection with gravity will be highlighted, in particular, in the effective description of black holes. It will be shown how these effective theories can be used to construct novel black holes in a perturbative expansion and study many of its properties. Other connections with string theory and AdS/CFT will be mentioned.

Monday - Thursday: 200D 05.34
Friday: 200E 01.207

(no course on Wednesday)

Morning lectures: 9:30 - 11:45
Afternoon discussions & excercises: 14:00 - 15:30


Past Courses


Introduction to the Keldysh Formalism
Prof. Camille Aron (ENS & KU Leuven)
18-29 January 2016

Conformal Field Theory
Nikolay Bobev (KU Leuven)
1-12 June 2015

Some Applications of Statistical Physics in Biology
Mehran Kardar (MIT)
27 May - 7 June 2013

Advanced Quantum Monte Carlo Methods
Peter Nightingale (University of Rhode Island, USA)
31 May - 10 June 2011

Introduction to Homogeneous and Inhomogeneous Liquids
Kenichiro Koga (Okayama University, Japan)
1-12 February 2010

Field Theoretical Approaches to Complex Fluids, Polymers and Biopolymers
Henri Orland (CEA, Saclay)
14-24 April 2009

Quantum Foundations: Recent Developments
Ward Struyve (KULeuven)
2-6 March 2009

Lectures on Renormalization
J. Gomis (Univ. Barcelona)
April 2008

Recent Perspectives in Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics
K. Netocny (Prague), M. Baiesi, W. De Roeck (KULeuven)
January 2008

Ageing and Non-local Scale Invariance
Malte Henkel (Nancy, France)
April 2007

Inflationary Models in the Light of the Cosmic Microwave Background
Jean-Marc Gérard, Christophe Ringeval (UCL, Belgium)
January 2007


An introduction to quantum foundations
Ward Struyve and Prof. Maes (KU Leuven)
6-8 September 2016
Here you can find some notes on the IITS

Black hole thermodynamics
Alejandra Castro (Univ. Amsterdam)
2-6 June 2014

The interplay of theory and numerics in the atmospheric sciences
Piet Termonia (KMI, Ukkel)
26-28 May 2014

Atmosphere dynamics and the statistical mechanics of the two-dimensional stochastic Navier-Stokes equations and geostrophic turbulence
Freddy Bouchet (ENS, Lyon and CNRS)
12-14 February 2014

LHC Phenomenology
Fabio Maltoni and Priscila De Aquino
21-23 January 2013

Topological Aspects of Deterministic Chaos
Marc Lefranc
9-11 January 2013

Plasma Physics
Stefaan Poedts
5-6 June 2012

Feynman diagrams for solid state physics
Jacques Tempère
11-12 April 2011