The Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook is having a workshop this week on Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Field Theory. I was hoping to find time to go out there and hear some of the talks, but the beginning of classes has kept me here today and tomorrow, and later in the week I need to make a short trip to Toronto. But luckily there are high-quality videos, and today Witten gave an interesting talk on What one can hope to prove about three-dimensional gauge theory. What struck me most though was how little we still know about even simple questions about 3 and 4 dimensional gauge theory. Witten expressed hope that studying these questions is something that will get re-invigorated and draw new attention. I hope he’s right. Also worth watching is Arthur Jaffe’s summary of the history and state of the art of constructive field theory.
Also in the category of talks that I’d love to hear, but they’re a bit too far afield to get to this week are Jacob Lurie’s Whittemore Lectures at Yale, dealing with the Siegel Mass Formula, Tamagawa numbers and Non-abelian duality. I fear they don’t have video, but if anyone knows of a source of information dealing with what Lurie talked about, I’d love to hear about it.