Skip to main content

Subfactors in mathematics and physics

The Albert Leon Whiteman Memorial Mathematics Lectures

Subfactors in mathematics and physics

To add event to calendar, click the desired date below.

Thursday, February 20, 2014 20/02/2014 15:30:00 20/02/2014 16:30:00 6 Subfactors in mathematics and physicsUniversity Park Campus
3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
University Park Campus
Kaprelian Hall (KAP)
414

Vaughan Jones, Vanderbilt University

Abstract: The classification of Murray and von Neumann began with a reduction of an arbitrary von Neumann algebra into pieces called factors––von Neumann algebras with a one-dimensional center. The notion of a subfactor N M should be thought of as a Galois-theoretic object. In particular it possesses a degree or index [M : N] and the first result in the theory was the surprising discovery that this index is quantized into a discrete series and a continuous series. I will describe how these objects led to a polynomial invariant of knots, invariants of three-manifolds, and braid group representations later seen to arise in conformal field theory and solvable models of statistical mechanics.