Anomalies and index theorems

Anomalies and index theorems
Owen Gwilliam, UMass Amherst
Date and time: Mon, Sep 20, 2021 - 12:30pm
Location: LGRT 1634
Category: Joint Math/Physics Seminar

I will give an impressionistic overview of how mathematical keystones, like the Atiyah-Singer or Grothendieck-Riemann-Roch theorems, play a role in quantum field theory. This topic is a gateway through which topology and geometric analysis entered physics, and it has ongoing relevance, such as for classification of exotic states of matter like topological insulators. The talk will emphasize the motivations, key questions, and a few fun examples (e.g., why the bosonic string is nice in 26 dimensions).