Open Neighborhood Seminar: A moduli space problem in condensed matter physics


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September 20, 2023 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Science Center 507
Address: 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

Dan Freed - Harvard University

This talk is an elementary account of what is at first a surprising application of stable homotopy theory to theoretical physics. No specialized background is required; the storyline is the focus, not technical details. The main result is a classification of invertible gapped phases in quantum mechanical systems. We will take a journey to get there, along the way meeting moduli problems in geometry and topological field theory. This is joint work with Mike Hopkins.