Frontiers in Number Theory, Physics, and Geometry II

pp 3-65

The Dilogarithm Function

  • Don ZagierAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für MathematikCollège de France

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The dilogarithm function, defined in the first sentence of Chapter I, is a function which has been known for more than 250 years, but which for a long time was familiar only to a few enthusiasts. In recent years it has become much better known, due to its appearance in hyperbolic geometry and in algebraic K-theory on the one hand and in mathematical physics (in particular, in conformal field theory) on the other. I was therefore asked to give two lectures at the Les Houches meeting introducing this function and explaining some of its most important properties and applications, and to write up these lectures for the Proceedings.