Can the 32C-dimensional algebra RCHO offer anything new for particle physics? Indeed it can. Here we identify a sequence of complex structures within RCHO which sets in motion a cascade of breaking symmetries: Spin(10) -> Pati-Salam -> Left-Right symmetric -> Standard model + B-L (both pre- and post-Higgs-mechanism). These complex structures derive from the octonions, then from the...

"We explain how to construct a Turaev-Viro state sum model with defect planes, defect lines and defect points. This is work in progress with John Barrett."

"The concepts of quantum information theory play an important role in two seemingly distinct areas of physics: For studying the quantum properties of black holes as well as for devising quantum computing algorithms. Quantum entanglement and computational complexity may be mapped to geometric quantities. This is intimately related to the holographic principle, according to which the...

I will discuss some of the mathematical puzzles that arise from the causal set approach to quantum gravity. In this approach, any causal continuum spacetime is said to be emergent from an underlying ensemble of locally finite posets which represents a discretisation of the causal structure. If the discrete substructure is to capture continuum geometry to sufficient accuracy, then it must...

In this talk we will introduce generalized hyperpolygons, which arise as Nakajima-type representations of a comet-shaped quiver, following recent work joint with Steven Rayan. After showing how to identify these representations with pairs of polygons, we shall associate to the data an explicit meromorphic Higgs bundle on a genus-g Riemann surface, where g is the number of loops in the comet....

The physics of General Relativity is deeply intertwined with the mathematics of Lorentzian differentiable manifolds. The latter provide excellent models of spacetime across a vast range of physical scales, encoding gravitational interactions into the curvature properties of smooth metric spaces. However, describing geometry in terms of the infinitesimal line element "ds" does not seem...

In this talk we will introduce categories, a notion that packages mathematical objects of any kind and provides an abstract language to study them. We will build up our way towards so-called modular tensor categories, which roughly speaking are categories with a tensor product, duals, and quite a bit of extra categorical structure. They arise in (rational) conformal field theory and its study...

"Geometrically, a gauge theory consists of a spinor bundle describing the matter fields, associated to some principal bundle whose gauge group rules the internal symmetries of the system. The gauge fields are the local expressions of a principal connection inducing a covariant derivative which settles the dynamics of the matter fields.

Principal connections can be seen as parallel...

"In this talk, I posit two concepts from the economics literature as hypotheses for the observed data on women in academia. This talk includes time for discussion about how these concepts can inform our approach to mentoring junior women.

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The Boltzmann--Gibbs entropy is a functional on the space of probability measures. One characterization of the Boltzmann--Gibbs entropy is given by the Shannon--Khinchin axioms, which consist of continuity, maximality, expandability and extensivity. The extensivity is expressed in terms of the linear combinations of conditional probabilities. Replacing the coefficients in the linear...

"I discuss applications of a hidden $U_q(\mathfrak{sl}_2)$-symmetry in CFT with central charge $c \leq 1$ (focusing on the generic, semisimple case, with $c$ irrational). This symmetry provides a systematic method for solving Belavin-Polyakov-Zamolodchikov PDE systems, and in particular for explicit calculation of the asymptotics and monodromy properties of the solutions. Using a quantum...

"Non-equilibrium statistical mechanics has seen some impressive developments in the last three decades, thank to the pioneering works of Evans, Cohen, Morris and Searles on the violation of the second law, soon followed by the ground-breaking formulation of the Fluctuation Theorem by Gallavotti and Cohen for entropy fluctuation in the early nineties. Their work was by vast literature, both...