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Black Holes and the Bootstrap

The "bootstrap" is a strategy for solving strong coupled quantum field theories, based on the remarkable fact that in numerous physical systems, general principles of symmetry and quantum mechanics uniquely determine the dynamics. Bootstrap methods bypass the usual machinery of QFT, making no reference to a Lagrangian or a coupling constant, and have shown promising results in a wide range of systems from the 3d Ising model to quantum gravity.  I will describe the ideas behind the bootstrap, and how they can be applied to black hole dynamics and the information paradox using AdS/CFT.