Seminar on Quantum Field Theory Fall 2010 to Spring 2011

Fridays from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Jack Baskin Engineering Room 301A
Questions regarding seminar,
contact Richard Montgomery at

Quantum Field Theory: A Tourist Guide For Mathematicians by Gerald B. Folland

It may take us the whole year to go through this text. To give a flavor of the spirit with which we hope to proceed, we quote from Folland's preface: "quantum field theory is hard. A mathematician is no more likely to be able to pick up a text on quantum fields such as Peskin and Schroeder and understand its content on first reading than a physicist hoping to do the same with, say Hartshorne's Algebraic Geometry . . . . This book is meant to be only an introduction to quantum field theory, and it focuses on the goal of explaining actual physical phenomena rather than studying formal structures for their own sake. This means that I have largely (though not entirely (*)) resisted the temptation to pursue mathematical issues when they do not add to the illumination of the physics .. "
(*) we may be less able to resist the temptation.

The seminar is open to all participants with mathematical maturity. You should know some Lie groups and analysis (eg Fourier transforms). Manifolds helps.

We will be meeting on the following dates:

  • September 24, 2010
  • October 8, 2010
  • October 15, 2010
  • October 22, 2010
  • November 5, 2010 - Cancelled for Today
  • November 12, 2010
  • November 19, 2010
  • December 3, 2010
  • January 7, 2011: The Metaplectic Representation (Martin Weissmann)
  • January 14, 2011: On a Mathematical Framework of Quantum Physics (Jie Qing)
  • January 21, 2011: The Uncertainty Principle (Jie Qing)
  • January 28, 2011  **CANCELLED**
  • February 4, 2011: Feynman's Approach to Quantum Field Theory (Benjamin Halpern)
  • February 11, 2011: The Quantum Oscillator (Jie Qing)
  • February 18, 2011: Angular Momentum in Quantum Mechanics (Richard Montgomery)
  • February 25, 2011: The Hydrogen Atom (Michael Magee)
  • March 4, 2011: The Dirac Equation (Richard Montgomery)
  • March 11, 2011: The Dirac Equation, Part 2 (Richard Montgomery)
  • April 29, 2011: The Dirac Equation, Part 3 (Richard Montgomery) ***Cancelled***