Abstract:
The magnitude of the angular momentum ($J^2$) in quantum mechanics is larger than expected from a classical model. We explain this deviation in terms of quantum fluctuations. A standard quantum mechanical calculation gives the correct interpretation of the components of the angular momentum in the vector model in terms of projections and fluctuations. We show that the addition of angular momentum in quantum mechanics gives results consistent with the classical intuition in this vector model.

Abstract:
The special geometry ($(t,{\bar t})$-equations) for twisted $N=2$ strings are derived as consistency conditions of a new contact term algebra. The dilaton appears in the contact terms of topological and antitopological operators. The holomorphic anomaly, which can be interpreted as measuring the background dependence, is obtained from the contact algebra relations.

Abstract:
We derive the $t{\bar t}$-equations for generic $N\!=\!2$ topological field theories as consistency conditions for the contact term algebra of topological strings. A generalization of the holomorphic anomaly equation, known for the critical ${\hat c}\!=\!3$ case, to arbitrary non critical topological strings is presented. The interplay between the non trivial cohomology of the $b$-antighost, gravitational descendants and $\bar t$-dependence is discussed. The physical picture emerging from this study is that the $\bar t$ (background) dependence of topological strings with non trivial cohomology for the $b$-antighost, is determined by gravitational descendants.

Abstract:
A connection between the conifold locus of the type II string on the $W\:P_{11226}^4$ Calabi-Yau manifold and the geometry of the quantum moduli of $N = 2$ $SU(2)$ super Yang-Mills is presented. This relation is obtained from the anomalous behaviour of the $SU(2)$ super Yang-Mills special coordinates under $S$-duality transformation in $Sl(2;Z) / \Gamma_2$.

Abstract:
A review on topological strings and the geometry of the space of two dimensional theories. (Lectures given by C. Gomez at the Enrico Fermi Summer School, Varenna, July 1994)

Abstract:
For $N\!=\!2$ SUSY theories with non-vanishing $\beta$-function and one-dimensional quantum moduli, we study the representation on the special coordinates of the group of motions on the quantum moduli defined by $\Gamma_W\!=\!Sl(2;Z)\!/\!\Gamma_M$, with $\Gamma_M$ the quantum monodromy group. $\Gamma_W$ contains both the global symmetries and the strong-weak coupling duality. The action of $\Gamma_W$ on the special coordinates is not part of the symplectic group $Sl(2;Z)$. After coupling to gravity, namely in the context of non-rigid special geometry, we can define the action of $\Gamma_W$ as part of $Sp(4;Z)$. To do this requires singular gauge transformations on the "scalar" component of the graviphoton field. In terms of these singular gauge transformations the topological obstruction to strong-weak duality can be interpreted as a $\sigma$-model anomaly, indicating the possible dynamical role of the dilaton field in $S$-duality.

Abstract:
String vacua for non critical strings satisfying the requirements of Zig-Zag invariance are constructed. The Liouville mode is shown to play the r\^ole of scale in the Renormalization Group operation. Differences and similarities with the D-brane near horizon approach to non supersymmetric gauge theories are discussed as well.

Abstract:
The cosmological relic density of the lightest supersymmetric particle of the minimal supersymmetric standard model is calculated under the assumption of gauge and Yukawa coupling unification. We employ radiative electroweak breaking with universal boundary conditions from gravity-mediated supersymmetry breaking. Further constraints are imposed by the experimental bounds on the b-quark mass and the BR(b -> s gamma). We find that coannihilation of the lightest supersymmetric particle, which turns out to be an almost pure bino, with the next-to-lightest supersymmetric particle (the lightest stau) is crucial for reducing its relic density to an acceptable level.