The cosmic Galois group, a tale of geometry, number theory and physics

Mathematical Conversations
Topic:The cosmic Galois group, a tale of geometry, number theory and physics
Speaker:Pierre Cartier
Affiliation:Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques
Date:Friday, November 8
Time/Room:6:30pm - 7:30pm/Dilworth Room

Grothendieck has proposed, under the name of "motives" a kind of Galois theory for non algebraic numbers. A mystery of the so-called "standard model" in high energy physics is the occurrence of about twenty numerical constants, independent of the choice of any unit, and whose determination rests solely on data-fitting. I propose the beginning of an explanation by introducing a new kind of symmetry group acting on these constants. In a way this symmetry group should be an extension of the so-called "renormalisation group" a la Connes-Kreimer.   http://www.math.ias.edu/~nicks/conversations.html