# Particle Physics and Quantum Field Theory

## Exact results in quantum field theory from differential systems

Despite being the most efficient set of computational techniques available to the theoretical physicist, quantum field theory (QFT) does not describe all the observed features of the quantum interactions of our universe. At the same time, its mathematical formulation beyond the approximation scheme of perturbation theory is yet to be understood as a whole. I am following a path that tries to solve these two parallel problems at once and I will tell the story of how that way is paved by the study of equivariant differential systems and homology with local coefficients. More precisely, I will introduce these main characters in two space-time dimensions and describe how their symplectic geometry contains the data of correlation functions in conformally invariant QFT. If time allows, I will discuss how the Lax formulation of integrable systems in terms of Higgs bundles gives us hints as per how to extend the method to cases with four space-time dimensions.

## An Overview of Knots and Gauge Theory

The Jones polynomial of a knot, discovered in 1983, is a very

subtle invariant that is related to a great deal of mathematics and

physics. This talk will be an overview of quantum field theories in

dimensions 2, 3, 4 and 5 that are intimately related to the Jones

polynomial of a knot and a more contemporary refinement of it that is known

as Khovanov homology.

## Branes, Quivers, and BPS Algebras 4 of 4

This series of lectures covers a brief introduction into some algebro-geometric techniques used in the construction of BPS algebras. The starting point of our construction is a physical picture of D0-branes bound to D-branes of higher dimension. Using methods of the derived category of coherent sheaves, we are going to derive a framed quiver with potential describing supersymmetric quantum mechanics capturing the low-energy behavior of such D0-branes. For a large class of quivers, we are going to identify the space of BPS states with different melted-crystal configurations. Finally, by employing correspondences, we are going to construct an action of a BPS algebra known as the affine Yangian on the space of BPS states. The action of the affine Yangian factors through the action of various vertex operator algebras, Cherednik algebras, and more. This construction leads to an enormously rich interplay between physics, geometry and representation theory.

## Branes, Quivers, and BPS Algebras 3 of 4

This series of lectures covers a brief introduction into some algebro-geometric techniques used in the construction of BPS algebras. The starting point of our construction is a physical picture of D0-branes bound to D-branes of higher dimension. Using methods of the derived category of coherent sheaves, we are going to derive a framed quiver with potential describing supersymmetric quantum mechanics capturing the low-energy behavior of such D0-branes. For a large class of quivers, we are going to identify the space of BPS states with different melted-crystal configurations. Finally, by employing correspondences, we are going to construct an action of a BPS algebra known as the affine Yangian on the space of BPS states. The action of the affine Yangian factors through the action of various vertex operator algebras, Cherednik algebras, and more. This construction leads to an enormously rich interplay between physics, geometry and representation theory.

## Branes, Quivers, and BPS Algebras 2 of 4

This series of lectures covers a brief introduction into some algebro-geometric techniques used in the construction of BPS algebras. The starting point of our construction is a physical picture of D0-branes bound to D-branes of higher dimension. Using methods of the derived category of coherent sheaves, we are going to derive a framed quiver with potential describing supersymmetric quantum mechanics capturing the low-energy behavior of such D0-branes. For a large class of quivers, we are going to identify the space of BPS states with different melted-crystal configurations. Finally, by employing correspondences, we are going to construct an action of a BPS algebra known as the affine Yangian on the space of BPS states. The action of the affine Yangian factors through the action of various vertex operator algebras, Cherednik algebras, and more. This construction leads to an enormously rich interplay between physics, geometry and representation theory.

## Branes, Quivers, and BPS Algebras 1 of 4

## Geometry of N=2 Supersymmetry 4 of 4

Coulomb branches of N=2 supersymmetric field theories in four dimensions support a rich geometry. My aim in these lectures will be to explain some aspects of this geometry, and its relation to the physics of the N=2 theories themselves.

I will first describe various constructions of N=2 theories and the corresponding Coulomb branches. In this story the main geometry visible is that of a complex integrable system, fibered over the Coulomb branch; one nice class of examples is associated to the Hitchin integrable system (moduli space of Higgs bundles over a Riemann surface). Fundamental objects in the N=2 theory (local operators, line operators, surface operators) all have geometric counterparts in the integrable system, as I will explain.

Next I will discuss a deformation of the story, which arises in physics from the Nekrasov-Shatashvili Omega-background. In this deformation, the Coulomb branch is replaced by a closely related space; for instance, the base of the Hitchin integrable system is replaced by a space parameterizing opers over the Riemann surface. One can use this deformation to give a concrete picture of the space of opers; in so doing one meets Stokes phenomena which are governed by the BPS indices (Donaldson-Thomas invariants) of the N=2 theory. This turns out to be closely related to the "exact WKB method" in analysis of ODEs. It is also connected to Riemann-Hilbert problems of a sort recently investigated by Bridgeland, as I will describe if time permits.

## Geometry of N=2 Supersymmetry 3 of 4

Coulomb branches of N=2 supersymmetric field theories in four dimensions support a rich geometry. My aim in these lectures will be to explain some aspects of this geometry, and its relation to the physics of the N=2 theories themselves.

I will first describe various constructions of N=2 theories and the corresponding Coulomb branches. In this story the main geometry visible is that of a complex integrable system, fibered over the Coulomb branch; one nice class of examples is associated to the Hitchin integrable system (moduli space of Higgs bundles over a Riemann surface). Fundamental objects in the N=2 theory (local operators, line operators, surface operators) all have geometric counterparts in the integrable system, as I will explain.

Next I will discuss a deformation of the story, which arises in physics from the Nekrasov-Shatashvili Omega-background. In this deformation, the Coulomb branch is replaced by a closely related space; for instance, the base of the Hitchin integrable system is replaced by a space parameterizing opers over the Riemann surface. One can use this deformation to give a concrete picture of the space of opers; in so doing one meets Stokes phenomena which are governed by the BPS indices (Donaldson-Thomas invariants) of the N=2 theory. This turns out to be closely related to the "exact WKB method" in analysis of ODEs. It is also connected to Riemann-Hilbert problems of a sort recently investigated by Bridgeland, as I will describe if time permits.

## Geometry of N=2 Supersymmetry 2 of 4

Coulomb branches of N=2 supersymmetric field theories in four dimensions support a rich geometry. My aim in these lectures will be to explain some aspects of this geometry, and its relation to the physics of the N=2 theories themselves.

I will first describe various constructions of N=2 theories and the corresponding Coulomb branches. In this story the main geometry visible is that of a complex integrable system, fibered over the Coulomb branch; one nice class of examples is associated to the Hitchin integrable system (moduli space of Higgs bundles over a Riemann surface). Fundamental objects in the N=2 theory (local operators, line operators, surface operators) all have geometric counterparts in the integrable system, as I will explain.

Next I will discuss a deformation of the story, which arises in physics from the Nekrasov-Shatashvili Omega-background. In this deformation, the Coulomb branch is replaced by a closely related space; for instance, the base of the Hitchin integrable system is replaced by a space parameterizing opers over the Riemann surface. One can use this deformation to give a concrete picture of the space of opers; in so doing one meets Stokes phenomena which are governed by the BPS indices (Donaldson-Thomas invariants) of the N=2 theory. This turns out to be closely related to the "exact WKB method" in analysis of ODEs. It is also connected to Riemann-Hilbert problems of a sort recently investigated by Bridgeland, as I will describe if time permits.