March 22, 2010, 2:10 pm

Bahen 6183

Abstract:This talk will give a detailed overview of my thesis work and of a paper recently submitted with Lisa Jeffrey. U(1)-Chern-Simons theory is studied in its relation to a construction of Chris Beasley and Edward Witten. The natural geometric setup here is that of a three-manifold with a Seifert structure. Based on a suggestion of Witten we are led to study the stationary phase approximation of the path integral for U(1)-Chern-Simons theory after one of the three components of the gauge field is decoupled. This gives an alternative formulation of the partition function for U(1)-Chern-Simons theory that is conjecturally equivalent to the usual U(1)-Chern-Simons theory (as defined by Mihaela Manoliu). The goal of our work is to establish this conjectural equivalence rigorously through appropriate regularization techniques. This approach leads to some rather surprising results and opens the door to studying hypoelliptic operators and their associated eta-invariants in a new light.