On October 4-5, 2021, the CMSA hosted the virtual Math Science Lectures in Honor of Raoul Bott. Talks were given by Michael Freedman (Microsoft).

Watch the talks in the Youtube playlist, below.

Lecture 1: The universe from a single particle

Abstract: I will explore a toy model for our universe in which spontaneous symmetry breaking – acting on the level of operators (not states) – can produce the interacting physics we see about us from the simpler, single particle, quantum mechanics we study as undergraduates. Based on joint work with Modj Shokrian Zini, see arXiv:2011.05917 and arXiv:2108.12709 .

Lecture 2: Controlled Mather Thurston theorems

Abstract: The “c – principle” is a cousin of Gromov’s h – principle in which cobordism rather than homotopy is required to (canonically) solve a problem. We show that in certain well-known c-principle contexts only the mildest cobordisms, semi – s – cobordisms, are required. In physical applications, the extra topology (a perfect fundamental group) these cobordisms introduce could easily be hidden in the UV. This leads to a proposal to recast gauge theories such as EM and the standard model in terms of flat connections rather than curvature. See arXiv:2006.00374

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