Bertram Kostant
February 12, 2008
On Some Mathematics in Garrett Lisi's
"E_{8} 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 E_{8}.
My talk, strictly mathematical, will be about an elaboration of
the mathematics of E_{8} which Lisi relies on to construct
his theory.
This talk was given as a colloquium at U.C. Riverside.
Earlier on the same day John Baez gave an elementary introduction
to E_{8}. You can also can see this talk as
streaming
video or
downloadable
video.
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 E_{8}(C), with appendices by Michael Larsen
and Jean Pierre Serre, Duke Math. J. 94 (1998), 181211.
 JeanPierre Serre, Sousgroupes finis des groupes de Lie,
Séminaire Bourbaki vol. 1998/99, Astérisque
266 (2000), 415230.
Videos © 2008 Bertram Kostant and John Baez
Image © John
Stembridge
baez@math.removethis.ucr.andthis.edu