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The new term started quite pleasantly. On Wednesday there was the first lecture by guest Emmy Noether professor Sylvie Paycha, who talked on From Heat Operators To Anomalies in a way that tied in perfectly with our previous efforts to approach physics in general and Quantum Field Theory in particular.
Just that talk helped me to be more clear about a few open questions I still had. Even better, there are a few more talks to come, exploring the topic even further and there was a colloquium talk today going into that 'anomalies' business further (and maybe going a bit far in that – at least further than my comprehension of the topic). Handily, she stays at the office next door, so there should be plenty of opportunity to benefit of having an expert at hand.
The Graduiertenkolleg talk was quite interesting as well today. Unfortunately a feat that is remarkable. So it was quite a good day for talks.
Earlier in the day I attended the first physics lecture in my life – on Quantum Field Theory again. It was only the first session, so it looked reasonable. But given my weak to non-existant background in physics I am not sure I'll be able to go through with this. The lecturer supposes you took courses in Quantum Mechanics I and II, which I didn't (this being my first physics course...). On the other hand I've heard people knowing quantum mechanics say that it's mainly functional analysis which in turn is mainly linear algebra. Ahem. I know my linear algebra but I'm not sure I can generate enough trust to fill the gaps to the infinite dimensions for the functional analysis and – even harder – the physics that'll undoubtedly be involved.
They're also running a seminar on quantum field theory, which is said to be quite suited for mathematicians. It will focus mainly on path integrals which we are interested in. So even if I should drop the lecture, I'll definitely go to the seminar. And the professor said, it'll be plenty to learn there as well. The bad news: The seminar takes place at the same time as the philosophy seminar I wanted to attend. Sadly no Wittgenstein for me then this semester.
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