Spring Course

Starting next week I’ll be teaching a graduate topics course, with the general plan to develop much of the quantum field theory of the Standard Model in a form accessible to mathematicians, emphasizing the connections to representation theory. There’s a course web-page here, notes will start appearing here once the course gets underway. While the course will be aimed at mathematicians, I’m hoping that some physicists might find it interesting and worth trying to follow.

The last time I did something like this was back in fall 2003. At that time the course was aimed at getting math students to the point of understanding the TQFTs for Chern-Simons theory and Donaldson theory and was very much based on the path integral. This time I’ll be mostly sticking to flat space-time and using more representation theory. Also, a lot more about spinor geometry, as well about about how Euclidean and Minkowski space-time versions of QFT are related.

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5 Responses to Spring Course

  1. Michael Weiss says:

    Peter, might it be possible to post Youtube videos of your upcoming lectures? I bet these would be widely viewed (nationally and internationally) in the coming decade, just as are such educational materials from MIT, Stanford and Cambridge UK.

    These physics-related Youtubes are typically free, and so I do not know how these institutions handle the economics of such outreach. Ditto for a course in introductory group theory by Dick Gross from ca. 20 years ago.

    PS Remember the videotaped EM Purcell lectures at the Cabot Library in the 1970s? What a loss to the next generation that these were not transferred to a web-based format, like Coleman’s lectures on QFT from the same decade.

  2. Peter Woit says:

    Michael Weiss,
    This class will be aimed an at advanced level, small audience, taught in a small room with no video equipment. So no video, which I’d prefer anyway.

    I’m hoping to put a lot of effort into the notes and that the result will be something many people can get something out of. Ideally, after each lecture the notes posted will correspond closely to what I talked about. If people want to follow along with those and send me questions and comments that would be great.

  3. Timothy Keller says:

    I will be looking forward to your notes, especially the discussion of representations
    Just an algebraist with an interest in applications in physics.

  4. Art says:

    I think the link in the intro of your new notes is missing an intermediate site: https://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/LieGroups-2023/qmnumbertheory.pdf. Looking forward to trying to follow along.

  5. Peter Woit says:

    Thanks! Will fix.

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