Theoretical Physics

E. Witten, "On the structure of the topological phase of two-dimensional gravity," Nuclear Physics B, 340:281-332, 1990. Edward Witten (School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J.): "There was a long-standing mathematical problem of calculating intersection numbers of certain submanifolds of the moduli space of Riemann surfaces. As a result of my earlier work on Donaldson theory, I knew that such problems can be formulated in the language of quantum field theory.

The Scientist Staff
Mar 29, 1992

E. Witten, "On the structure of the topological phase of two-dimensional gravity," Nuclear Physics B, 340:281-332, 1990.

Edward Witten (School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J.):
"There was a long-standing mathematical problem of calculating intersection numbers of certain submanifolds of the moduli space of Riemann surfaces. As a result of my earlier work on Donaldson theory, I knew that such problems can be formulated in the language of quantum field theory. I wondered if this would give some insight and puttered around with it for a while without getting anywhere.

"Then, another problem arose of whether two-dimensional random surfaces had a geometrical interpretation of a more classical kind. Again, I puttered around with this without much insight.

"Then in widely cited papers, D.J. Gross and A.A. Migdal (Physical Review Letters, 64:127-30, 1990 [Hot Papers, The Scientist, March 2, 1992, page 15]), M.R. Douglas and S.H. Shenker (Nuclear...

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