You are here

String Theoretic Illuminations of Moonshine

Natalie Paquette, Caltech
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Abstract: Many of the rich interactions between mathematics and physics arise using general mathematical frameworks that describe a host of physical phenomena: from differential equations, to algebra, to topology and geometry. On the other hand, mathematics also possesses many examples of "exceptional objects": they constitute the finite set of leftovers that appear in numerous classification problems. For example, groups of symmetries in three dimensions appear in two infinite families (cyclic groups and dihedral groups of n-sided polygons) and the symmetry groups of the five Platonic solids— the 'exceptional' structures. The mathematical subject of moonshine refers to surprising relationships between other kinds of special/exceptional objects that arise from the theory of finite groups and from number theory. Increasingly, string theory has been a source of insights in and explanations for moonshine. We will review moonshine, survey these developments, and highlight some of the implications of moonshine phenomena for physics.

Panopto link.

Link to slides.

Event Type: