Physics Colloquium - Explorations in the Physics and Mathematics of Moonshine

Event Date: 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640
Speaker:

Shamit Kachru, Stanford University

Abstract:

"Monstrous moonshine" is a beautiful phenomenon first discovered in the 1980s, providing startling and unexpected relations between several fundamental objects in mathematics and the physics of a (rather peculiar) string theory.  Very recently, physicists and mathematicians have started to uncover evidence of deep analogous "moonshine" connections between some of the more physically interesting solutions to string theory and important structures in group theory and number theory.  In this talk, I describe in an elementary way some of the fundamental mathematical and physical objects implicated in the moonshine conjectures, and the surprising and as yet mysterious connections between them.