In the last TH colloquium Johannes Walcher was talking about topological strings. I was intrigued by the brave juxtaposition in the title that began with Topological Strings confront Reality,... From the little I heard about topological strings, it's a more abstract version of string theory. Or, something that Vafa understands but nobody understands Vafa. So I was expecting to learn about some surprising connections. The remaining part of the title, ...Tadpole Cancellation, and Background Independence should trigger a warning light that Johannes' reality may be more Platonic than mine. The reality however surpassed all expectations.
Johannes said: Fluxes Tadpoles Modulus Annulus Mobius Anus 3-Point Function On The Sphere Two Point Function On The Disc Open Strings Riemann Surfaces Anomalies Boundary Of Moduli Space BPS Black Holes Rational Curves Generic Quintic Holomorphic Anomaly Equation Tadpole OSV Holomorphic Polarization D6/D4/D2/D0 Branes Pandharipande A-Model B-Model 3-cycles O4-planes-Holomorphic Curve all in one breath. If Google could index spoken language, all string theory related searches would link to our seminar room. I'm only slightly disappointed that i missed what topological string theory is; I believe it might be interesting. Fortunately, there is this surprisingly good entry on Wikipedia which sheds some light.
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