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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2013

    added to the people-entry Edward Witten a paragraph Fields medal work with a commented list of articles that according to Atiyah won Witten the Fields medal in 1990.

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2014

    added some actual text to the beginning of the category:people entry Edward Witten. That clearly deserves to be much further improved, but at this moment the entry has the following:

    Edward Witten is a theoretical physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study.

    Witten’s work originates in theoretical quantum field theory and stands out as making numerous and deep connections between that and mathematical geometry and cohomology. In the course of the 1980s Witten became the central and leading figure in string theory.

    Insight gained from the study of quantum field theoris and specifically those relevant in string theory led Witten to mathematical results deep enough to gain him a Fields medal, see below. Indeed, a whole list of sub-fields in mathematics originate in aspects of Witten’s work in QFT/string theory and carry his name, such as Chern-Simons theory which many people call “Chern-Simons-Witten theory”, Wess-Zumino-Witten theory, the Witten genus, Gromov-Witten theory, Seiberg-Witten theory, Rozansky-Witten invariant, the Witten cojecture. Other parts of his work currently remain topics in theoretical physics, such as Horava-Witten theory.

    Despite the deeply theoretical and abstract mathematical aspects of his work, Witten has visibly always been motivated by fundamental questions in the phenomenology of the standard model of particle physics and cosmology. (Indeed, some of his work on scattering amplitudes crucially enters into the experimental detection of the Higgs particle, for more on this see at string theory results applied elsewhere. ) He prominently argued that specifically heterotic string theory is a plausible candidate for a fundamental grand unified gauge field theory including quantum gravity.

    Since about the turn of the millennium Witten has tended to more esoteric mathematical aspects of string theory, such as its relation to Khovanov homology and geometric Langlands duality which apparently the string theory community at large is following less enthusiastically than it was the case during the excited 1990s.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2014
    • (edited Mar 11th 2014)

    mathematical geometry and cohomology

    Is this phrase intended ?

    Wess-Zumino-Witten theory

    Wess Zumino model is also sometimes called WZNW (Wess-Zumino-Novikov-Witten) possibly partly due a remarkable (1982?) paper of Novikov.

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