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The search for the exotic in Subfactors and Conformal Field Theory

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NCN2 - New connections in number theory and physics

Groups can act as symmetries of physical systems and on their mathematical models as in conformal field theory. Subfactor theory, initiated by Vaughan Jones,  provides a framework for providing quantum symmetries beyond those arising from groups or their deformations as quantum groups or  loop groups. The accepted position was that the Haagerup system, associated with the a subfactor at index (5+ square root of 13)/2,  was exotic and surely could not be constructed from group like symmetries.  I  discuss work with Terry Gannon that this should be considered as misconception and the more general issue of constructing conformal field theories from subfactors and their associated modular tensor categories. I will start with an overview of subfactors before discussing the Haagerup subfactor.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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