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The Seiberg-Witten Invariants
Clifford H. Taubes, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Selected Lectures
1995; 100 minutes; VHS
ISBN-10: 0-8218-0434-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-0434-6
List Price: US$54.95
Individual Members: US$43.96
Institutional Members: US$41.21
Order Code: VIDEO/96
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In the fall of 1994, Edward Witten made a claim that astounded geometers and topologists. He asserted that certain simple equations arising in his work with Nathan Seiberg in supersymmetric quantum field theory contained topological information equivalent to Donaldson theory. Until that time, Donaldson theory had been the only known approach to the study of smooth four-manifolds. These equations suggest a major simplification of many intractable calculations associated with Donaldson invariants, and they also have interesting applications of their own. Within weeks of Witten's suggestion, researchers were looking at Donaldson theory through the lens of these much simpler equations and using them to prove important new results. As one of the main contributors to these new developments, Clifford Taubes offers an insider's view of how this revolution in geometry has unfolded. Two lectures, each approximately fifty minutes, present the main mathematical ideas as well as amusing anecdotes on the initial, heady days of the new breakthrough. This high-quality exposition is accessible to a general mathematical audience, including students who have background in geometry and topology.

Reviews

"He lectures are a mix of space alien, whale watching, Forrest Gump anecdotes and mathematical exposition. The first 50-minute lecture is a very complete, well-balanced review of Donaldson theory ... The author crams an amazing amount of detail into 100 minutes without losing the audience. I give this video four stars."

-- Mathematical Reviews

"Accessible to a general mathematical audience, including students with background in geometry and topology."

-- Zentralblatt MATH

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