On Raoul Bott’s “On Invariants of Manifold” (Commentary on [106], [107])

Part of the Contemporary Mathematicians book series (CM)


I’m not sure how to introduce a review paper [B]. So rather than commenting on the paper as whole, I will concentrate on my subjective view of just one paragraph—a paragraph which I think I influenced and which ended up influencing me very deeply. A paragraph I am sure Raoul was uncomfortable writing, for at the time he was uncomfortable with his understanding of the underlying mathematics as I have explained it to him [BN]—uncomfortable enough to later rewrite (with Taubes) this bit of mathematics in his own language [BT], making my own work completely obsolete.


  1. [AS]
    S. Axelrod and I. M. Singer, Chern-Simons Perturbation Theory, Proc. XXth DGM Conference (New York, 1991) (S. Catto and A. Rocha, eds.) World Scientific, 1992, 3–45. arXiv: hep-th/9110056.Google Scholar
  2. [BN]
    D. Bar-Natan, Perturbative aspects of the Chern-Simons topological quantum field theory, Ph.D. thesis, Princeton Univ., June 1991.Google Scholar
  3. [B]
    R. Bott, On Invariants of Manifolds, in Modern Methods in Complex Analysis (Princeton, NJ, 1992), Ann. of Math. Stud. 137 Princeton Univ. Press (1995) 29–39.Google Scholar
  4. [BT]
    R. Bott and C. Taubes, On the self-linking of knots, Jour. Math. Phys. 35 (1994).Google Scholar
  5. [Th]
    D. Thurston, Integral expressions for the Vassiliev knot invariants, Harvard University senior thesis, April 1995, arXiv: math.QA/9901110.Google Scholar

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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