Tanagawa Numbers via Nonabelian Poincare Duality

11 June 2010
Professor Jacob Lurie
Let L be a positive definite lattice. There are only finitely many positive definite lattices L' which are isomorphic to L modulo N for every N > 0: in fact, there is a formula for the number of such lattices, called the Siegel mass formula. In this talk, I'll review the Siegel mass formula and how it can be deduced from a conjecture of Weil on volumes of adelic points of algebraic groups. This conjecture was proven for number fields by Kottwitz, building on earlier work of Langlands and Lai. I will conclude by sketching joint work (in progress) with Dennis Gaitsgory, which uses topological ideas to attack Weil's conjecture in the case of function fields.