This work is motivated by and develops connections between several branches of mathematics and physics--the theories of Lie algebras, finite groups and modular functions in mathematics, and string theory in physics. The first part of the book presents a new mathematical theory of vertex operator algebras, the algebraic counterpart of two-dimensional holomorphic conformal quantum field theory. The remaining part constructs the Monster finite simple group as the automorphism group of a very special vertex operator algebra, called the "moonshine module" because of its relevance to "monstrous moonshine."
Research mathematicians, mathematical physicists, and graduate students.
Table of Contents
Lie Algebras. Formal Calculus: Introduction. Realizations of sl(2) by Twisted Vertex Operators. Realizations of sl(2) by Untwisted Vertex Operators. Central Extensions. The Simple Lie Algebras An, Dn, En. Vertex Operator Realizations of An, Dn, En. General Theory of Untwisted Vertex Operators. General Theory of Twisted Vertex Operators. The Moonshine Module. Triality. The Main Theorem. Completion of the Proof. Appendix: Complex Realization of Vertex Operator Algebras. Bibliography. Index of frequently used symbols. Index.