Centre de Physique Théorique

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Geometry, Physics, and Symmetries

contact : contact-GPS@cpt.univ-mrs.fr

The Geometry, Physics, and Symmetries is composed of the teams:

non-commutative geometry
conformal field theory
symplectic geometry
quantum groups

Our activities are centered on the mathematical description of physical laws, in particular laws that govern fundamental interactions. The necessary tools are often of geometric, algebraic, combinatorial, analytic or functional nature. Some results or problems lead to the emergence of new mathematical structures needing a dedicated study. Others have direct physical applications.

Fundamental laws of nature, at the classical level, are naturally expressed in terms of geometry (for instance the notion of connection on a bundle appears in our understanding of both gravity and strong or electroweak interactions), and symmetries of the physical world are usually described, classically, by group theoretical constructions, in particular representation theory. Geometry finds its roots in the study of symmetries but one knows that mechanics itself uses geometry, in particular symplectic geometry, for its own formulation. A quantum description of physics requires not only the above tools but also appropriate generalizations of these notions. Approaches leading to theories of quantum gravity using non-commutative geometry, for instance, need mathematical descriptions where space-time (actually its algebra of functions) is replaced by a non-commutative algebra; moreover many developments of quantum field theory use generalizations of the notion of group, for instance supersymmetric theories use Lie super-algebras, and conformal field theory or string theory, as well as the theory of integrable systems, use concepts coming from affine Lie algebras and quantum groups.
Our activities focus around the above themes.