NB: A PDF version of this announcement (suitable for posting) is also available.

BRST and Dirac Cohomology

Peter Woit
Columbia University

Thursday, October 23, 2008
007 Kemeny Hall, 4 pm
Tea 3:30 pm, 300 Kemeny Hall

Abstract: "BRST" is the name of a calculational technique used by physicists since the 1970s to handle quantum theories with a gauge symmetry. "Dirac cohomology" is a concept recently introduced in representation theory to characterize representations of semi-simple Lie algebras. I'll explain some of the background of both topics, and show that, at least for some of the simplest possible quantum models, they provide very closely related constructions.

This talk will be accessible to graduate students.