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Supersymmetric field theories and elliptic cohomology

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HHHW06 - HHH follow on: Homotopy: fruit of the fertile furrow

Since the mid 1980s, there have been hints of a deep connection between 2-dimensional field theories and elliptic cohomology. This lead to Stolz and Teichner’s conjectured geometric model for the universal elliptic cohomology theory of topological modular forms (TMF) in which cocycles are 2-dimensional supersymmetric field theories. Basic properties of these field theories lead to expected integrality and modularity properties, but the abundant torsion in TMF has always been mysterious. In this talk, I will describe deformation invariants of 2-dimensional field theories that realize some of the torsion in TMF . 

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

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