Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the usefulness in mathematics, I know it can provide topological invariants, any other things?

share|improve this question
4  
Well, we don't need to do anything... –  Qiaochu Yuan Oct 3 '10 at 12:29
8  
I don't see a specific question here. –  Robin Chapman Oct 3 '10 at 12:32
2  
Problems in physics some times, when properly phrased, give rise to problems in pure mathematics, and any mathematical problem will interest some mathematicians, useful or not (and usefulness is also relative). But you probably know this, so you should make the question specific, as Robin Chapman said. –  Weltschmerz Oct 3 '10 at 15:18
add comment

1 Answer 1

One can prove many things (enumerative results in algebraic geometry, results in the geometric Langlands program, mirror symmetry) by making physics-style computations in various quantum field theories. Currently, one is not able to make such arguments rigorous in general, and hence they become a method for producing conjectures in mathematics, not theorems. One would like to upgrade their status to being proved theorems (!), and one approach would be to find a framework in which the field-theoretic computations become valid mathematical deductions.

One current framework in which one can do something like this is that supplied by the bordism hypothesis of Baez and Dolan, recently proved by Jacob Lurie. This provides a rigorous means of constructing certain topological field theories, which is already beginning to find applications. But (for example) this framework is not encompassing enough to explain mathematically the results of Kapustin and Witten in the direction of deducing geometric Langlands from mirror symmetry.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.