String Theory and Mathematics Workshop

A hands-on exploration of the way ideas from theoretical physics, especially string theory, find their expression within pure mathematics.

Summer Institute for Mathematics at the University of Washington

Charles Doran, Ursula Whitcher, and Arthur Popa

Summer 2005



The Summer Institute for Mathematics at the University of Washington, also known as SIMUW, is a six-week residential program for mathematically talented high school students. This page collects the materials from a one-day SIMUW workshop on string theory and reflexive polyhedra.



Morning Session: The Shape of Spacetime

Introduction: Physics as a source of mathematical examples
Spacetime
Special Relativity Worksheet
Curved Spacetime and Topology
Curvature
Worksheet
Worksheet Notes

Afternoon Session: Strings and Polytopes

How can we describe the spaces strings live in?
Reflexive polygons
Activity: find reflexive polygons
Are there infinite families of reflexive polygons?
Mirror pairs
Putting it all together: polytopes and string theory


Charles Doran, Ursula Whitcher, and Arthur Popa

Summer 2005