MAT 648: Topics in Mathematical Physics: Supersymmetry

Fall 2005

Instructor. Michael Anderson, Math 4-100A.
E-mail:, Phone: 632-8269.
Lectures: MW: 10:15-11:35, in Physics P130.

Office Hours.TuWTh 1-2pm, and by appointment.

Course Description. Supersymmetry has been important in theoretical physics for some time, (although it still awaits experimental verification), and it has become increasingly useful in many areas of mathematics. The goal is to learn basic aspects of supersymmetry and some of the theories associated with it. We hope to have some topics covered from a physicist's perspective, taught by Martin Rocek and/or William Linch of the ITP. The plan is to cover most all of Dan Freed's book on the topic, and if time permits, discuss some of the notable applications of supersymmetry to mathematics, e.g. some of Witten's earlier papers.

Prerequistes. A standard background in differential geometry. Some knowledge of special relativity and spinors (as covered in last semester's gauge theory course) will be helpful, but can be picked up as we go along.

Text. The main text we will use is:

We hope to cover essentially all of this text during the semester and you will need to have it. It is inexpensive and can be easily purchased and delivered, e.g. through the AMS (American Math. Soc.) Some other books that may be useful are:

Assignments and Grading. No formal assignments are envisioned at this time. The grade will be based on class participation and discussion.

Americans with Disability Act. If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disabled Student Services in ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, Room 128, (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accomodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.
Students requiring emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disabled Student Services. For procedures and information, go the following website:, here