E8

The Atlas of Lie Groups and Representations, a project to compute all unitary representations of real semisimple Lie groups, has successfully computed the Kazhdan-Lustig-Vogan polynomials of the split real form of the exceptional Lie group E8, a calculation. This result is so exciting that the American Institute of Mathematics
put out a press release comparing it to the Human Genome Project.

I can’t even imagine what an announcement like this looks like from the outside. I don’t know the significance of the result myself, though the classification of all unitary representations of Lie groups is obviously an important one. For a more detailed descriptions, see this post at the n-Category Cafe, and the ensuing discussion.

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