Monday September 30, 2002

Speaker: Bong Lian

Title: The Boson-Fermion Correspondence

Abstract: In dimension 4, the physics of bosons and fermions are distinguished by their spins. In mathematical terms, their particle states form very different representations of the rotation group SO(3). In dimension 2, there is no notion of spin. As a result, bosons and fermions are sometimes indistinguishable. I will explain one classic example, discovered by string theorists in the 80s, and show how it is related to an interesting property of the Jacobi theta function. Required background for this talk is linear algebra and one complex variable.