How quantum theory and statistical mechanics gave a polynomial of knots

Stelson Lecture Series
Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 4:35pm for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Clary Theater, Student Success Center
Vaughan Jones – University of Vanderbilt – vfr@math.berkeley.edu
Stavros Garoufalidis
We will see how a result in von Neumann algebras (a theory developed by von Neumann to give themathematical framework for quantum physics) gave rise, rather serendipitously, to an elementary but very usefulinvariant in the theory of ordinary knots in threel space. Then we'll look at some subsequent developments of the theory, and talk about a thorny problem which remains open.