From Moonshine to Black Holes: Number Theory in Mathematics and Physics

  • Speaker
  • Quantrell Award winner Jeff Harvey, a physics professor, in the Gordon Center Monday, May 20, 2013, at the University of Chicago.    (Photo by Robert Kozloff)Jeffrey Harvey, Ph.D.Professor, University of Chicago
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Mathematicians have attached fanciful names to some of the objects they study. In group theory, the Monster is a special kind of symmetry group. Moonshine refers to the unexpected appearance of the Monster in certain functions appearing in number theory. Remarkably, string theory provides some of the tools needed to understand Moonshine. Recently new kinds of Moonshine have been discovered and are being connected to other aspects of string theory including the properties of black holes. In this lecture Jeff Harvey will discuss Moonshine, the Monster, and visions of a new synthesis of number theory, geometry and physics.

About the Speaker

Quantrell Award winner Jeff Harvey, a physics professor, in the Gordon Center Monday, May 20, 2013, at the University of Chicago.    (Photo by Robert Kozloff)

Jeffrey Harvey is the Enrico Fermi Distinguished Service Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago. He received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Minnesota. He obtained a Ph.D. from Caltech in 1981 and was a postdoc and faculty member at Princeton University before moving to the University of Chicago in 1989. Harvey is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His recent work focuses on new types of Moonshine and their connections to string theory and black holes.

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