February 12, 2008
On Some Mathematics in Garrett Lisi's
"E8 Theory of Everything"
Abstract: A physicist, Garrett Lisi, has published a highly
controversial, but fascinating, paper purporting to go beyond the
Standard Model in that it unifies all 4 forces of nature by
using as gauge group the exceptional Lie group E8.
My talk, strictly mathematical, will be about an elaboration of
the mathematics of E8 which Lisi relies on to construct
This talk was given as a colloquium at U.C. Riverside.
Earlier on the same day John Baez gave an elementary introduction
to E8. You can also can see this talk as
Here is Lisi's paper:
and here is some criticism of it:
Some other relevant papers include:
Robert L. Griess, Jr. and A. J. E. Ryba, Embeddings of PGL(2,31)
and SL(2,32) in E8(C), with appendices by Michael Larsen
and Jean Pierre Serre, Duke Math. J. 94 (1998), 181-211.
- Jean-Pierre Serre, Sous-groupes finis des groupes de Lie,
Séminaire Bourbaki vol. 1998/99, Astérisque
266 (2000), 415-230.
Videos © 2008 Bertram Kostant and John Baez
Image © John