Math Science Lectures in Honor of Raoul Bott


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October 4, 2021 - October 5, 2021 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
via Zoom Video Conferencing

Michael Freedman - Microsoft

On October 4th and October 5th, 2021, Harvard CMSA will host its annual Math Science Lectures in Honor of Raoul Bott. This year’s speaker will be Michael Freedman (Microsoft). The lectures will take place from 11:00am – 12:15pm (ET) on Zoom.

You must register to attend. Register here.

This will be the third annual lecture series held in honor of Raoul Bott.

Lecture 1:

Monday, October 4, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm ET

Title: The Universe from a single Particle

Abstract: I will explore a toy model  for our universe in which spontaneous symmetry breaking – acting on the level of operators (not states) – can produce the interacting physics we see about us from the simpler, single particle, quantum mechanics we study as undergraduates. Based on joint work with Modj Shokrian Zini, see arXiv:2011.05917 and arXiv:2108.12709 


Lecture 2:

Tuesday, October 5, 11 am - 12:15 pm ET

Title: Controlled Mather Thurston Theorems.

Abstract: The “c-principle” is a cousin of Gromov’s h-principle in which cobordism rather than homotopy is required to (canonically) solve a problem. We show that in certain well-known c-principle contexts only the mildest cobordisms, semi-s-cobordisms, are required. In physical applications, the extra topology (a perfect fundamental group) these cobordisms introduce could easily be hidden in the UV. This leads to a proposal to recast gauge theories such as EM and the standard model in terms of flat connections rather than curvature. See arXiv:2006.00374  

The previous Bott Lectures lecture featured Mina Aganagic (UC Berkeley), who spoke on “Two math lessons from string theory.” Information can be found here.