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Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society
Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society
ISSN 1088-9485(online) ISSN 0273-0979(print)

 

Physical law and the quest for mathematical understanding


Author: Edward Witten
Journal: Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 40 (2003), 21-29
MSC (2000): Primary 51P05, 81T30
Published electronically: October 9, 2002
MathSciNet review: 1943130
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Abstract: The theoretical physics of the first quarter of the twentieth century --centering around relativity theory and nonrelativistic quantum mechanics--has had a broad influence mathematically. The main achievement of theoretical physics in the following half-century was the development of quantum field theory or QFT. Yet the mathematical influence of QFT still belongs largely to the $21^{st}$ century, because its mathematical foundations are still not well-understood.


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Additional Information

Edward Witten
Affiliation: Department of Physics, Cal Tech, Pasadena, California 91125; and CIT-USC Center for Theoretical Physics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089
Address at time of publication: School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Olden Lane, Princeton, New Jersey 08540
Email: witten@ias.edu

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1090/S0273-0979-02-00969-2
PII: S 0273-0979(02)00969-2
Received by editor(s): August 3, 2000
Received by editor(s) in revised form: February 21, 2002
Published electronically: October 9, 2002
Additional Notes: This work was supported in part by NSF Grant PHY-9513835 and the Caltech Discovery Fund
Article copyright: © Copyright 2002 American Mathematical Society