A particularly active area of research in modern algebraic number theory is the study of a class of numbers, called periods. In their simplest form, periods are integrals of rational functions over domains defined by rational in equations. They form a ring, which encompasses all algebraic numbers, logarithms thereof and \pi. They arise in the study of modular forms, cohomology and quantum field theory, and conjecturally have a sort of Galois theory.
We will take a whirlwind tour of these numbers, before discussing non-periods. In particular, we will sketch the construction of an explicit non-period, often forgotten about.
- Junior Number Theory Seminar