UBC Mathematics Department

Colloquium Abstract: Professor Jack Morava, Department of Mathematics, John Hopkins University

What physicists know about cohomology that we don't

Somewhat to the consternation of the topological community, theoretical physicists have in recent years become interested in something they call `quantum cohomology'. To a mathematician some aspects of this are very mysterious -- quantum cohomology is not much of a functor, for example -- but the physicists have their own insights into the subject, which have led to new results about quite concrete classical problems. This talk will be very elementary; some nice [and unfamiliar] things can be seen relatively simply from the physicists' point of view. I will give a kind of introductory survey, in hope of making the subject more accessible to both communities.

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