This thesis introduces readers to the type II superstring theories in the AdS5×S5 and AdS4×CP3 backgrounds. Each chapter exemplifies a different computational approach to measuring observables (conformal dimensions of single-trace operators and expectation values of Wilson loop operators) relevant for two supersymmetric theories: the N=4 super Yang-Mills theory and the N=6 Chern-Simons-matter (ABJM) theory.
Perturbative techniques have traditionally been used to make quantitative predictions in quantum field theories, but they are only reliable as long as the interaction strengths are weak. The anti-de Sitter/conformal field theory (AdS/CFT) correspondence realizes physicists’ dream of studying strongly coupled quantum field theories with “enhanced” symmetries, using the methods provided by string theory.
The first part of the thesis sets up the semiclassical quantization of worldsheet sigma-model actions around string solutions of least area in AdS space. This machinery is used to capture quantum corrections at large coupling to next-to-leading and next-to-next-to-leading order by solving the determinants of partial differential operators and by computing Feynman diagrams, respectively. In turn, the second part presents an innovative approach based on Monte Carlo simulations to finite coupling for a lattice-discretized model of the AdS5×S5 superstring action.
The thesis focuses on fundamental aspects, as well as on applications previously published by the author, and offers a valuable reference work for anyone interested in the most recent developments in this field.