Quantum Matter Seminar
Speaker: John Baez (University of California, Riverside)
Title: Two of my favorite numbers: 8 and 24
Abstract: The numbers 8 and 24 play special roles in mathematics. The number 8 is special because of Bott periodicity, the octonions and the E8 lattice, while 24 is special for many reasons, including the binary tetrahedral group, the 3rd stable homotopy group of spheres, and the Leech lattice. The number 8 does for superstring theory what the number 24 does for bosonic string theory. In this talk, which is intended to be entertaining, I will overview these matters and also some connections between the numbers 8 and 24.