Author: Daniel S. Freed,Karen K. Uhlenbeck

Publisher: American Mathematical Soc.

ISBN: 0821804006

Category: Science

Page: 459

View: 4144

Exploring topics from classical and quantum mechanics and field theory, this book is based on lectures presented in the Graduate Summer School at the Regional Geometry Institute in Park City, Utah, in 1991. The chapter by Bryant treats Lie groups and symplectic geometry, examining not only the connection with mechanics but also the application to differential equations and the recent work of the Gromov school. Rabin's discussion of quantum mechanics and field theory is specifically aimed at mathematicians. Alvarez describes the application of supersymmetry to prove the Atiyah-Singer index theorem, touching on ideas that also underlie more complicated applications of supersymmetry. Quinn's account of the topological quantum field theory captures the formal aspects of the path integral and shows how these ideas can influence branches of mathematics which at first glance may not seem connected. Presenting material at a level between that of textbooks and research papers, much of the book would provide excellent material for graduate courses. The book provides an entree into a field that promises to remain exciting and important for years to come.