Painlev'e equations, cluster algebras and quantisation

16 November 2015
Marta Mazzocco

The famous Greek astronomer Ptolemy created his well-known table of chords in order to aid his astronomical observations. This table was based on the renowned relation between the four sides and the two diagonals of a quadrilateral whose vertices lie on a common circle.

In 2002, the mathematicians Fomin and Zelevinsky generalised this relation to introduce a new structure called cluster algebra. This is a set of clusters, each cluster made of n numbers called cluster variables. All clusters are obtained from some initial cluster by a sequence of transformations called mutations. Cluster algebras appear in a variety of topics, including total positivity, number theory, Teichm\”uller theory and computer graphics. A quantisation procedure for cluster algebras was proposed by Berenstein and Zelevinsky in 2005.

After introducing the basics about cluster algebras, in this talk we will link cluster algebras to the theory of Painlevé equations. This link will provide the foundations to introduce a new class of cluster algebras of geometric type. We will show that the quantisation of these new cluster algebras provide a geometric setting for the Berenstein–Zelevinsky construction.  

  • Geometry and Analysis Seminar