Past Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar

31 May 2012
12:00
Richard Manthorpe
Abstract
Given a manifold $M$ and a basepointed labelling space $X$ the space of unordered finite configurations in $M$ with labels in $X$, $C(M;X)$ is the space of finite unordered tuples of points in $M$, each point with an associated point in $X$. The space is topologised so that particles cannot collide. Given a compact submanifold $M_0\subset M$ we define $C(M,M_0;X)$ to be the space of unordered finite configuration in which points `vanish' in $M_0$. The scanning map is a homotopy equivalence between the configuration space and a section space of a certain $\Sigma^nX$-bundle over $M$. Throughout the 70s and 80s this map has been given several unsatisfactory and convoluted definitions. A natural question to ask is whether the map is equivariant under the diffeomorphism group of the underlying manifold. However, any description of the map relies heavily on `little round $\varepsilon$-balls' and so only actions by isometry have any chance at equivariance. The goal of this talk is to give a more natural definition of the scanning map and show that diffeomorphism equivariance is an easy consequence.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
24 May 2012
12:00
Rosalinda Juer
Abstract
The mid 1980s saw a shift in the nature of the relationship between mathematics and physics. Differential equations and geometry applied in a classical setting were no longer the principal players; in the quantum world topology and algebra had come to the fore. In this talk we discuss a method of classifying 2-dim invertible Klein topological quantum field theories (KTQFTs). A key object of study will be the unoriented cobordism category $\mathscr{K}$, whose objects are closed 1-manifolds and whose morphisms are surfaces (a KTQFT is a functor $\mathscr{K}\rightarrow\operatorname{Vect}_{\mathbb{C}}$). Time permitting, the open-closed version of the category will be considered, yielding some surprising results.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
17 May 2012
12:00
Markus Röser
Abstract

In this talk our aim is to explain why there exist hyperkähler metrics on the cotangent bundles and on coadjoint orbits of complex Lie groups. The key observation is that both the cotangent bundle of $G^\mathbb C$ and complex coadjoint orbits can be constructed as hyperkähler quotients in an infinite-dimensional setting: They may be identified with certain moduli spaces of solutions to Nahm's equations, which is a system of non-linear ODEs arising in gauge theory. 

In the first half we will describe the hyperkähler quotient construction, which can be viewed as a version of the Marsden-Weinstein symplectic quotient for complex symplectic manifolds. We will then introduce Nahm's equations and explain how their moduli spaces of solutions may be related to the above Lie theoretic objects.

  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
10 May 2012
12:00
Laura Schaposnik
Abstract
We shall dedicate the first half of the talk to introduce classical Higgs bundles and describe the fibres of the corresponding Hitchin fibration in terms of spectral data. Then, we shall define principal Higgs bundles and look at some examples. Finally, we consider the particular case of $SL(2,R)$, $U(p,p)$ and $Sp(2p,2p)$ Higgs bundles and study their spectral data. Time permitting, we shall look at different applications of our new methods.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
3 May 2012
12:00
Henry Bradford
Abstract
Expander graphs are sparse finite graphs with strong connectivity properties, on account of which they are much sought after in the construction of networks and in coding theory. Surprisingly, the first examples of large expander graphs came not from combinatorics, but from the representation theory of semisimple Lie groups. In this introductory talk, I will outline some of the history of the emergence of such examples from group theory, and give several applications of expander graphs to group theoretic problems.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
26 April 2012
12:00
Alessandro Sisto
Abstract
Complex structures on a closed surface of genus at least 2 are in one-to-one correspondence with hyperbolic metrics, so that there is a single space, Teichmüller space, parametrising all possible complex and hyperbolic structures on a given surface (up to isotopy). We will explore how complex and hyperbolic geometry interact in Teichmüller space.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
8 March 2012
13:00
Markus Röser
Abstract
Twistor theory is a technology that can be used to translate analytical problems on Euclidean space $\mathbb R^4$ into problems in complex algebraic geometry, where one can use the powerful methods of complex analysis to solve them. In the first half of the talk we will explain the geometry of the Twistor correspondence, which realises $\mathbb R^4$ , or $S^4$, as the space of certain "real" lines in the (projective) Twistor space $\mathbb{CP}^3$. Our discussion will start from scratch and will assume very little background knowledge. As an application, we will discuss the Twistor description of instantons on $S^4$ as certain holomorphic vector bundles on $\mathbb{CP}^3$ due to Ward.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
1 March 2012
13:00
Robert Clancy
Abstract
I will claim (and maybe show) that a lot of problems in differential geometry can be reformulated in terms of non-linear elliptic differential operators. After reviewing the theory of linear elliptic operators, I will show what can be said about the non-linear setting.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
23 February 2012
13:00
Christian Paleani
Abstract
After giving a brief physical motivation I will define the notion of generalized pseudo-holomorphic curves, as well as tamed and compatible generalized complex structures. The latter can be used to give a generalization of an energy identity. Moreover, I will explain some aspects of the local and global theory of generalized pseudo-holomorphic curves.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar
16 February 2012
13:00
Roberto Rubio
Abstract
Basic and mild introduction to Generalized Geometry from the very beginning: the generalized tangent space, generalized metrics, generalized complex structures... All topped with some Lie type B flavour. Suitable for vegans. May contain traces of spinors.
  • Junior Geometry and Topology Seminar

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