Operator Algebras and Conformal Field Theory

16 August - 21 August 2010
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR

This workshop will explore the foundations of conformal field theory from the perspective of operator algebras. This subject has generated interest in physics and representation theory, and more recently in algebraic topology. The main goal of the workshop will be to understand Wassermann's paper

Operator algebras and conformal field theory III.

In this paper, the author constructs conformal field theories associated to the loop group of SU(n), and uses Connes' fusion tensor product to study the representation theory of various central extensions of the loop group. Further topics discussed at the workshop will include boundary conformal field theory and topological defects.

The workshop will be aimed at graduate students and postdocs, with many of the talks given by the participants. We do not expect any of the participants to be experts in all of the subjects that are represented in Wasserman's formidable paper. Rather, we hope to bring together participants with diverse backgrounds, and to weave these backgrounds together into a coherent picture through a combination of lectures and informal discussion sessions. In particular, students who have never worked with von Neumann algebras or never worked with loop groups are still welcome to participate, as long as they come ready to learn.

The workshop will be led by André Henriques.

Resources for participants

Schedule and references
Typed notes from all the talks, compiled by Emily Peters

Typos in Wassermann's paper, compiled by André Henriques

Organizational flow chart for Wassermann's paper, also compiled by André Henriques

Two proof-less summaries of Wassermann's paper:

Wassermann, Operator algebras and conformal field theory, Proceedings of the 1994 ICM.
Jones, Fusion en algèbres de von Neumann et groupes de lacets (d'aprés A. Wassermann), Séminaire Bourbaki 1994/95.


No more funding is available, but you are still welcome to come at your own expense.
For more information, please contact Nicholas Proudfoot.