The Higher Structure of 11d Supergravity

A talk that I gave:

Abstract. Souriau‘s work has shown the immense fruitfulness of giving basic concepts in theoretical physics a precise mathematical foundation. This program of mathematical physics has been outstandingly successful throughout the 20th century, ranging from the mathematical formalization of classical gravity (via Riemannian geometry/Cartan geometry) and gauge theory (via Chern-Weil theory/differential cohomology) over perturbative renormalization (Schwartz distribution theory/microlocal analysis) to perturbative string theory (2d conformal field theory on all genera). However, the success story got stuck with the 2nd superstring revolution: The D-branes/M-branes and weak/strong-coupling string dualities that constitute the modern picture of putative “M-theory” (UV-completed 11-dimensional supergravity) have remained mathematical folklore. But it is precisely these non-perturbative effects that, via holographic QCD (intersecting D-brane models) plausibly solve the Millennium Problem of theoretical physics: non-perturbative QCD.

This talk presents recent progress (FSS 19a, FSS 19b, FSS 19c) on identifying mathematical foundations for M-theory in (co-)homotopy theory (aka “ higher structures”).

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Last revised on June 22, 2019 at 13:44:19. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.