From vortices to instantons on the Euclidean Schwarzschild manifold

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In this talk first I will introduce and motivate the problem of finding finite energy Yang-Mills instantons on curved backgrounds.  

After the historical introduction, I will focus the example of the Euclidean Schwarzschild (ES) manifold from Quantum gravity. The ES manifold was first introduced by Hawking in the late 70's. It is an asymptotically locally flat solution of the Euclidean Einstein equation, but not hyper-Kahler, which makes instanton theory harder. Throughout the past four decades, related results have been sporadic: there have been only finitely many (at most 2) known solutions for each energy value.

In our work, making use of an old idea of Witten, and subsequently Taubes and Garcia-Prada, we produce infinitely many unit energy solutions, and also solutions of continuously varying energy, a feature (seemingly) unique to asymptotically locally flat spaces. These instantons describe vortex-like pseudoparticles; at the end of the talk I will present an intuitive picture in terms of planar (Ginzburg-Landau) vortices.

This is joint work with Gonçalo Oliveira (IMPA).