s Freie Wahrscheinlichkeit Lehre

Prof. Dr. Roland Speicher

Dr. Tobias Mai

Reading Seminar
A Mathematical Introduction to Modern Physics

Summer Semester 2018


Time and Place

Tuesday, 14 -- 16, Seminar Room 6, Building E2 4


We will read and discuss the first six chapters of the book

   Glimm and Jaffe: Quantum Physics (A functional integral point of view),

which have the following titles:
  • Quantum Theory
  • Classical Statistical Physics
  • The Feynman-Kac Formula
  • Correlation Inequalities and the Lee-Yang Theorem
  • Phase Transition and Critical Points
  • Field Theory
These six chapters constitute part 1 of the book and give an introduction to modern physics. According to the authors: “It is designed to make the treatment of physics self-contained for a mathematical audience; it covers quantum theory, statistical mechanics and quantum fields. Since it is addressed primarily to mathematicians, it emphasizes conceptual structure -- the definition and formulation of the problem and the meaning of the answer -- rather than techniques of solution. Because the emphasis differs from that of conventional physics texts, physics students might find this part a useful supplement to their normal texts. In particular, the development of quantum mechanics through the Feynman-Kac formula and the use of function space integration may appeal to physicists who want an introduction to these methods.”

As the physics and mathematics covered in those chapters is quite tense, this will not be an easy reading. Background on physics and stochastics are helpful, whereas functional analysis knowledge on the level of our “Funktionalanalysis” classes is indispensable.

This will be a reading seminar, meaning: each week we cover half a chapter. Each participant will read this in advance and be prepared to present pieces of it and take part in the discussion. We will not be able to cover everything in detail, but we have to make choices where to talk about the general ideas and where to check the details.

Seminar announcement

For further information, please contact Tobias Mai or Roland Speicher.


updated: 16 July 2018   Tobias Mai