ESI Logo

ESI Programme and Workshop "Higher spins and holography"

March 11 - April 5, 2019

Aim of the programme

Higher spins and holography

Higher-spin (HS) gauge theories involve a massless particle of spin two, that is a graviton, together with (typically infinitely many) gauge fields of spin greater than two. An important motivation for their study originates from the long-standing difficulties encountered in the quantisation of gravity, which impel to explore extensions thereof that may have a better UV behaviour. Including fields of spin greater than two is mainly suggested by two observations: the constraints brought by a larger gauge symmetry may remove some UV divergences as supersymmetry does, and string theory does involve fields of arbitrary spin. HS gauge theories are indeed models of intermediate complexity with respect to these examples, and aspire to improve the UV behaviour of supergravity models without resorting to fully-fledged string theory and its plethora of additional particles.

The last years have seen enormous progress in the understanding of such theories: the old negative results against the consistency of HS interactions have been reinterpreted as waymarks that eventually led to a complete interacting classical theory. HS gauge theories have also been holographically related to conformal field theories (CFT). Their conjectured connections to string theory in a tensionless limit started to be explored quantitatively, and some steps towards the first applications outside the realm of gravitational physics have been performed. With the planned programme we want to build upon the recent achievements by bringing together experts in the field to stimulate important progress towards long-term goals like a quantum formulation of HS theories, a derivation of the HS AdS/CFT correspondence and the link to the tensionless limit of string theory.

The recent advancements have been built upon keystones set during a long evolution process. Lagrangians for free gauge fields of arbitrary spin have been obtained by Fronsdal already in 1978, and the emergence of HS symmetries in a high-energy (i.e. low-tension) limit of string theory has been conjectured by Gross in 1988. The first complete non-linear interacting theory on constant-curvature backgrounds has been developed in the beginning of the 1990s by Vasiliev, and a holographic duality relating four-dimensional Vasiliev's theory to three-dimensional conformal field theories has been proposed by Klebanov, Polyakov, Sezgin and Sundell in 2002. Since then HS gauge theories have developed into a rich and lively field. Recent progress affected the foundations of HS gauge theories (classification results, studies of locality of the interactions, fate of the flat-space limit), holographic dualities (holographic reconstruction, tests at the quantum level, low-dimensional examples) and the relation to the tensionless limit of string theory (analysis of the spectrum and symmetries).

The ESI programme is expected to foster further progress on the following developments:

  • Foundations and properties of higher-spin gauge theories
  • Holography
  • Tensionless limit of string theory
  • Applications


The programme and workshop will take place at the Erwin-Schrödinger International Institute for Mathematics and Physics.

Here is practical info for guests.

Schedule of Week 1 (March 11 - 15)

Schedule of Week 1 as PDF

Schedule of Week 1 as table:

Time Monday 11 Tuesday 12 Wednesday 13 Thursday 14 Friday 15
9:00-9:30 Opening & Registration
9:30-10:30 Dionysios Anninos
10:00-11:00 Arjun Bagchi Vincent Rivasseau Carlo Iazeolla Karapet Mkrtchyan
13:15-14:45 Antoine van Proyen (SUGRA lecture III) Antoine van Proyen (SUGRA lecture IV)
14:00-15:00 Joris Raeymaekers
15:00-16:00 Evgeny Skvortsov Ergin Sezgin
18:00-19:00 Marc Henneaux (Public talk at Academy of Sciences)

All talks and announcements take place in the ESI Boltzmann lecture hall, Boltzmanngasse 9, A-1090 Vienna (with the exception of items in turquoise color).

Schedule of Workshop Week (March 18 - 22)

Schedule of Week 2 as PDF

Schedule of Week 2 as table:

Time Monday 18 Tuesday 19 Wednesday 20 Thursday 21 Friday 22
9:00-9:30 Registration & Opening
9:30-10:30 Bo Sundborg Alejandra Castro Dmitri Sorokin Misha Vasiliev Massimo Taronna
10:30-11:00 coffee/tea break coffee/tea break coffee/tea break coffee/tea break coffee/tea break
11:00-12:00 Euihun Joung Yurii Zinoviev Yasuaki Hikida/ Takahiro Uetoko Tomas Prochazka Jung-gi Yoon
12:00-14:00 lunch break optional lunch talk optional (13:40): ring the bells lunch break Antoine van Proyen (SUGRA lecture V) 13:15-14:45
14:00-15:00 Dario Benedetti Stephane Detournay Rakib Rahman Marc Henneaux David de Filippi
15:00-15:30 coffee/tea break coffee/tea break coffee/tea break coffee/tea break coffee/tea break
15:30-16:30 Dmitry Ponomarev Predrag Dominis Prester Lorenz Eberhardt Nicolas Delporte
> 18:00 conference dinner

On Wednesday, March 20, there will be a conference dinner starting at 18:15 (Heurigen Hengl-Hasel­brunner) (public transport and PDF map with tramway 38 and with tramway 37)

All talks and announcements take place in the ESI Boltzmann lecture hall, Boltzmanngasse 9, A-1090 Vienna (with the exception of items in turquoise color).

Schedule of Week 3 (March 25 - 29)

Schedule of Week 3 as PDF

Schedule of Week 3 as table:

Time Monday 25 Tuesday 26 Wednesday 27 Thursday 28 Friday 29
10:00-11:00 Dario Francia Ricardo Troncoso Wei Li Antal Jevicki
13:15-14:45 Antoine van Proyen (SUGRA lecture VI) Antoine van Proyen (SUGRA lecture VII)
14:00-15:00 Maxim Grigoriev Savdeep Sethi Cheng Peng
15:00-16:00 Nikita Misuna Oscar Fuentealba
15:30-16:30 Harold Steinacker Konstantinos Koutrolikos

All talks and announcements take place in the ESI Boltzmann lecture hall, Boltzmanngasse 9, A-1090 Vienna (with the exception of items in turquoise color).

Schedule of Week 4 (April 1 - 5)

Schedule of Week 4 as table:

Time Monday 1 Tuesday 2 Wednesday 3 Thursday 4 Friday 5
10:00-11:00 Stefan Theisen Rajesh Gopakumar Massimo Porrati Olaf Krüger Jan Rosseel
13:30-14:30 Optional talk at UV (start 13:45): Lisa Glaser Optional talk: Detlev Buchholz
16:15-17:15 Optional talk at UV: Michael Peskin "Mysteries of the Higgs Boson"

All talks and announcements take place in the ESI Boltzmann lecture hall, Boltzmanngasse 9, A-1090 Vienna (with the exception of items in turquoise color).

ESI preprints and post-workshop info

The organizers thank all the participants for contributing to a wonderful workshop with their talks, questions, discussions, ideas and anecdotes. We hope to see you back at ESI in the future.

If you have not sent the slides of your talk to Daniel yet please do so.

Guidelines for submissions to the ESI preprint series
(quoted from ESI webpage)

The ESI kindly asks you to send information about preprints/publications where your stay at the institute is acknowledged to with a CC to as follows:

Subject: ESI Research documentation / Higher_spins_holography_2019

Email content: Author(s) / title / arXiv number or journal reference / Higher_spins_holography_2019

Confirmed participants

Below is a table with invited participants in alphabetical order and their durations of stay:

Hamid AfsharMarch 11-April 5
Martin AmmonMarch 22-30
Dionysios AnninosMarch 11-15
Arjun BagchiMarch 11-15
Aritra BanerjeeMarch 4-April 1
Thomas BasileMarch 13-22
Dario BenedettiMarch 17-22
Andrea CampoleoniMarch 11-22
Alejandra CastroMarch 17-22
Abhishek ChowdhuryMarch 11-April 5
Sumit R. DasMarch 10-16
Nicolas DelporteMarch 10-23
David de FilippiMarch 11-24
Stephane DetournayMarch 17-22
Viacheslav DidenkoMarch 11-24
Lorenz EberhardtMarch 17-29
Marc-Antoine FisetMarch 31- April 6
Dario FranciaMarch 24-April 5
Stefan FredenhagenMarch 11-April 5
Oscar FuentealbaMarch 17-31
Matthias GaberdielMarch 25-April 6
Olga GelfondMarch 9-24
Rajesh GopakumarMarch 31-April 5
Maxim GrigorievMarch 18-April 5
Daniel GrumillerMarch 11-April 5
Marc HenneauxMarch 13-22
Yasuaki HikidaMarch 18-24
Sergio HortnerMarch 11-April 5
Carlo IazeollaMarch 10-24
Antal JevickiMarch 21-31
Euhiun JoungMarch 17-23
Yegor KorovinMarch 10-15
Anatoliy KorybutMarch 11-24
Konstantinos KoutrolikosMarch 25-April 2
Olaf KrügerMarch 11-April 5
Shailesh LalMarch 18-April 5
Wei LiMarch 17-April 6
Sucheta MajumdarMarch 24-30
Javier MatulichMarch 25-April 5
Aditya Singh MehraMarch 11-31
Wout MerbisMarch 16-24
Nikita MisunaMarch 17-30
Karapet MkrtchyanMarch 14-23
Ruben MontenMarch 10-15
Mojtaba NajafizadehMarch 10-April 6
Pulastya ParekhMarch 11-April 5
Cheng PengMarch 17-31
Alfredo PerezMarch 21-April 5
Dmitri PonomarevMarch 11-22
Massimo PorratiMarch 28-April 5
Predrag Dominis PresterMarch 14-22
Tomas ProchazkaMarch 11-22
Stefan ProhazkaMarch 11-22
Joris RaeymaekersMarch 9-16
Rakibur RahmanMarch 17-29
Radoslav RashkovMarch 18-April 2
Vincent RivasseauMarch 11-14
Jan RosseelMarch 11-April 5
Jakob SalzerMarch 11-14
Ergin SezginMarch 10-17
Evgeny SkvortsovMarch 10-17
Charlotte SleightMarch 11-15
Jiro SodaMarch 14-26
Dmitri SorokinMarch 10-24
Harold SteinackerMarch 11-April 5
Bo SundborgMarch 17-30
Per SundellMarch 11-22
Massimo TaronnaMarch 10-23
David TempoMarch 10-April 5
Stefan TheisenMarch 27-April 6
Ricardo TroncosoMarch 20-April 5
Takahiro UetokoMarch 18-24
Orestis VasilakisMarch 26-April 5
Mikhail VasilievMarch 10-24
Timm WraseMarch 11-April 5
Raphaela WutteMarch 11-April 4
Yihao YinMarch 10-23
Junggi YoonMarch 17-29
Yury ZinovievMarch 17-31
Celine ZwikelMarch 18-April 5
If you are a participant and your name does not appear above please send an e-mail to and also inform the ESI secretary

Useful links

Infos about Vienna Graphical information (e.g. online map of Vienna)
Erwin Schrödinger Institute (ESI) Local map near ESI
Vienna Airport Austrian Railroad
University of Vienna Vienna University of Technology
Just for fun: Google Scholar results on "Higher spins and holography" Useful literature on Austria

Contact the organizers by e-mail

Andrea Campoleoni campoleoni at University of Mons
Stefan Fredenhagen stefan dot fredenhagen at University of Vienna
Matthias Gaberdiel gaberdiel at ETH Zürich
Daniel Grumiller grumil at TU Wien
Misha Vasiliev vasiliev at Lebedev Institute Moscow

URL of this page:

Back to Erwin Schrödinger International Institute for Mathematics and Physics web page.

mail to Webmaster
© 1783