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Durham Cathedral

London Mathematical Society Durham Symposium
Geometry, Conformal Field Theory and String Theory
22nd July -1st August 2005


Geometry is a celebrated example of a field which has been enriched from activity in physics, and physics has in turn benefited greatly from its tools and ideas, enabling classifications and providing a powerful language and framework within which to formulate new principles and predict new phenomena. Many aspects have undergone remarkable and profound developments in recent years, with implications in both mathematics and physics.

Geometry will be central to the workshop, and the key area of contact with physics will be string theory. On the other hand, conformal field theory will be a central topic which links aspects of geometry with string theory as well as, more algebraically, vertex operator algebras and, more applied, quantum integrability. Important keywords will include mathematical aspects of string-string dualities, mirror symmetry, and the physics of D-branes and boundary conformal field theories.

The interdisciplinary nature of our topic means that special attention must be paid to organisational aspects, to ensure that the conference does not splinter into a number of separated mini-conferences. We plan to address this issue in part by asking each keynote speaker to lead a morning session, with an extended 90min lecture. This will allow time for both introductory material and connections to recent developments. In the afternoons, there will be two 60min talks by other participants, leaving ample time for discussions. The final programme will be fixed only shortly before or even during the workshop, to allow for the spontaneity which often triggers a lively research atmosphere. We plan to particularly promote the dialogue with younger researchers in the afternoon sessions, and we will offer some support for the attendance of graduate student, also by organising poster sessions.

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Organisers: Peter Bowcock (Durham) Patrick Dorey (Durham) Katrin Wendland (Warwick)
International Advisors: Clifford Johnson (USC) David Morrison (Duke)