MS Seminar (Mathematics - String Theory)

Speaker: Vivek Shende (UC Berkeley)
Title: Skeins on Branes
Date: Mon, Dec 09, 2019, 15:30 - 17:00
Place: Seminar Room A
Abstract: 30 years ago, Witten explained how the Jones polynomial and its relatives --- at the time, the latest word in knot invariants --- arise naturally from a certain quantum field theory. Ten years later, Ooguri and Vafa used string theory to argue that the same invariants should count holomorphic curves in a certain Calabi-Yau 3-fold.
In the talk, I will explain how to understand their proposal in mathematical terms, and sketch a proof that indeed, the coefficients of the HOMFLY polynomial count holomorphic curves. This is joint work with Tobias Ekholm.