Arithmetic Quantum Field Theory Conference

at.algebraic-topology mp.mathematical-physics nt.number-theory rt.representation-theory
Start Date
End Date
Cambridge, MA 
Meeting Type
Contact Name
David Ben-Zvi, Solomon Friedberg, Natalie Paquette, Brian Williams 
2024-02-26 16:05:05 
2024-02-26 16:05:05 


The object of the program is to develop and disseminate exciting new connections emerging between quantum field theory and algebraic number theory, and in particular between the fundamental invariants of each: partition functions and L-functions.

On one hand, there has been tremendous progress in the past decade in our understanding of the algebraic structures underlying quantum field theory as expressed in terms of the geometry and topology of low-dimensional manifolds, both on the level of states (via the Atiyah-Segal / Baez-Dolan / Lurie formalism of extended, functorial field theory) and on the level of observables (via the Beilinson–Drinfeld / Costello–Gwilliam formalism of factorization algebras). On the other hand, Weil’s Rosetta Stone and the Mazur–Morishita–Kapranov–Reznikov arithmetic topology (the “knots and primes” dictionary) provide a sturdy bridge between the topology of 2- and 3-manifolds and the arithmetic of number fields. Thus, one can now port over quantum field theoretic ideas to number theory, as first proposed by Minhyong Kim with his arithmetic counterpart of Chern-Simons theory. Most recently, the work of Ben-Zvi–Sakellaridis–Venkatesh applies an understanding of the Langlands program as an arithmetic avatar of electric-magnetic duality in four-dimensional gauge theory to reveal a hidden quantum mechanical nature of the theory of $L$-functions.

The program will bring together a wide range of mathematicians and physicists working on adjacent areas to explore the emerging notion of arithmetic quantum field theory as a tool to bring quantum physics to bear on questions of interest for the theory of automorphic forms, harmonic analysis and L-functions. Conversely, we will explore potential geometric and physical consequences of arithmetic ideas, for example, the Langlands correspondence theory of L-functions for 3-manifolds.


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