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December 7, 2009

Cobordism and Topological Field Theories Week 5

Posted by Alexander Hoffnung

Welcome to week 5 of the cobordism and TFT seminar at UCR! Time has apparently sped up a great deal as week 4 was posted only a few days ago. Since the quarter is coming to an end here at Riverside the lecture notes should start appearing rather quickly now. This week is special since you will be getting nicely polished lecture notes. John Huerta has prepared a detailed story based on his lecture “A Short History of the Interaction Between QFT and Topology”.

You can click here for the previous week’s lecture and keep reading below the fold for the abstract and link to this week’s lecture notes…

Here is the new lecture. Thanks again to John Huerta for preparing such a complete and fun set of lecture notes!

The following paragraph is the abstract for his talk:

Today’s story should involve lots of people, but the stars are Sir Michael Atiyah and Edward Witten. It begins with a paper Witten wrote in 1982, called “Supersymmetry and Morse Theory”. In this paper, Witten shows how to use `supersymmetric quantum mechanics’ to compute the de Rham cohomology of a compact manifold, MM, via Morse theory. This was perhaps the first instance of using quantum theory to find topological invariants.

Next week, Julie Bergner continues her lectures on cobordisms and TFT’s.

Posted at December 7, 2009 5:14 AM UTC

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4 Comments & 0 Trackbacks

Re: Cobordism and Topological Field Theories Week 5

Yay! More notes!

Posted by: John Baez on December 8, 2009 7:06 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Cobordism and Topological Field Theories Week 5

were there only 2 pages to the previous week’s notes?

Posted by: jim stasheff on December 8, 2009 1:44 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Cobordism and Topological Field Theories Week 5

Yes, these are only 50-60 minute lectures, so most of them end up being rather short.

I was not there for John Huerta’s lecture, but I think Week 5 is longer than the actual lecture that was given, which is very nice. Correct me if I am wrong John.

If I had time I would love to go into each set of notes and expand them into a more complete story.

Posted by: Alex Hoffnung on December 8, 2009 3:27 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Cobordism and Topological Field Theories Week 5

You’re totally right, Alex. These notes contain everything I covered, but expanded a bit. The last *section* of notes I covered in the last *minute* of my hour.

Posted by: John Huerta on December 9, 2009 8:05 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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