String Theory and Generalized Geometries (12w5098)


Katrin Becker (Texas A&M University)

(Texas A&M University)


Daniel Robbins (University of Amsterdam)

Shing-Tung Yau (Harvard University)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "String Theory and Generalized Geometries" workshop from December 2nd to December 7th, 2012.

String theory is an ambitious and provocative theory which has been proposed to unify the standard model of particle physics, describing interactions of sub-atomic particles, with Einstein's theory of general relativity, which describes the gravitational motions of the cosmos. In order to connect this theory with observable physics so that new predictions can be made, it is necessary to find solutions (to the equations of the theory), which often correspond to particular geometric constructions. Each consistent solution could give rise to a different effective physical theory governing the observable universe. In many examples, there are beautiful correspondences between the physical properties (what kinds of matter and forces are present, and how they interact) of this effective theory and the geometric properties of the corresponding mathematical space. Studying and exploiting these correspondences has led to many exciting developments in both mathematics and physics, which each subject informing the other.

Recently both communities have been considering more general classes of constructions, with physicists looking for more exotic solutions which could furnish more realistic effective physical theories, and mathematicians considering novel generalizations of the geometric structures that had appeared in the previously considered examples. It has become clear that there will again be profound connections between the physical solutions and the mathematical constructions, but they have not been fully explored in these new arenas, and their potential for inspiring new work in physics and mathematics has not yet really been evaluated. This workshop will bring together experts from the physics and mathematics communities to explore these new connections by discussing results and building collaborations.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).