Communications in Number Theory and Physics

Volume 2 (2008)

Number 1

Geometric endoscopy and mirror symmetry

Pages: 113 – 283



Edward Frenkel (Department of Mathematics, University of California at Berkeley)

Edward Witten (School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey)


The geometric Langlands correspondence has been interpreted as the mirror symmetry of the Hitchin fibrations for two dual reductive groups. This mirror symmetry, in turn, reduces to T-duality on the generic Hitchin fibers, which are smooth tori. In this paper, we study what happens when the Hitchin fibers on the B-model side develop orbifold singularities. These singularities correspond to local systems with finite groups of automorphisms. In the classical Langlands program, local systems of this type are called endoscopic. They play an important role in the theory of automorphic representations, in particular, in the stabilization of the trace formula. Our goal is to use the mirror symmetry of the Hitchin fibrations to expose the special role played by these local systems in the geometric theory. The study of the categories of A-branes on the dual Hitchin fibers allows us to uncover some interesting phenomena associated with the endoscopy in the geometric Langlands correspondence. We then follow our predictions back to the classical theory of automorphic functions. This enables us to test and confirm them. The geometry we use is similar to that which is exploited in recent work by Ngô, a fact which could be significant for understanding the trace formula.

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