Panel Discussion of "Chern-Simons Terms" which Appear in the Action Principles of Theoretical Physics on the Occasion of Jim Simons' 85th Birthday

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

2:00 pm — 5:00 pm

9100: Skylight Room

Open to the Public

This will be a different sort of gathering to discuss the following question: What are the so called "Chern-Simons Terms” which arose from differential geometry and what are their properties that suggest why they are used in Physics discussions?

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One motivation for this question is to aid the mathematically minded to understand something related to physics. This, in terms of structural ideas mathematicians can formulate, understand and then use.

The discussion might also benefit the physically minded by illustrating the ways of basic thinking that help many mathematicians to understand anything using mathematical structures quite forcefully. 

The intended form of the gathering will be an open discussion front and center with a panel of mathematicians and physicists, with no lectures per se, but perhaps a blackboard for brief explanations. There will be a filmed interview of Jim conducted by Jean Pierre Bourguignon about the story of differential geometry questions that started the discussion leading to the first "Chern-Simons Term".

There will also be a showing of a short ten-minute film containing Jim reading the text of a fictional cosmology fantasy he wrote called "The last three minutes."

For more information, please visit   here  


CUNY attendees must show proof of vaccination by presenting a valid CUNY Access Pass through the CLEARED4 health validation platform upon entry. Non-CUNY visitors will need to show proof of ID by presenting a valid government-issued photo document. See the full Building Entry Policy for more information.