This talk begins with some history and basic facts about string theory and its connections with strong interactions. Comparisons of stacks of Dirichlet branes with curved backgrounds produced by them are used to motivate the AdS/CFT correspondence between superconformal gauge theory and string theory on a product of Anti-de Sitter space and a compact manifold. The ensuing duality between semi-classical spinning strings and long gauge theory operators is briefly reviewed. Strongly coupled thermal SYM theory is explored via a black hole in 5-dimensional AdS space, which leads to explicit results for its entropy and shear viscosity. A conjectured universal lower bound on the viscosity to entropy density ratio, and its possible relation to recent results from RHIC, are discussed. Finally, some available results on string duals of confining gauge theories are briefly reviewed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Astronomy and Astrophysics