Felix Berezin: Life and death of the mastermind of supermathematics

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Abstract

Felix Berezin was an outstanding Soviet mathematician who in the 1960s and 70s was the driving force behind the emergence of the branch of mathematics now known as supermathematics. The integral over the anticommuting Grassmann variables that he introduced in the 1960s laid the foundation for the path integral formulation of quantum field theory with fermions, the heart of modern supersymmetric field theories and superstrings. The Berezin integral is named for him, as is the closely related construction of the Berezinian, which may be regarded as the superanalog of the determinant. This book features a masterfully written memoir by Berezin’s widow, Elena Karpel, who narrates a remarkable account of Berezin’s life and his struggle for survival under the totalitarian Soviet regime. Supplemented with recollections by his close friends and colleagues, Berezin’s accomplishments in mathematics, his novel ideas and breakthrough works, are reviewed in two articles written by Andrei Losev and Robert Minlos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages245
ISBN (Electronic)9789812770486
ISBN (Print)9812705333, 9789812705327
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

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