Guowu Meng, Ph.D. (Brown, 1993)


Professor Meng joined HKUST in Fall 1993. He is a CUSPEA student in class 1986 (from USTC ) and in 1989 he switched to mathematics. His Ph.D. field of research is topology and his thesis advisor is Thomas Goodwillie.

Mathematically he is best known as the "Meng" in Meng-Taubes Formula --- a fundamental result in three- and four-dimensional topology which links the modern Seiberg-Witten theory for smooth four-manifolds to the classical Alexander theory for knots, links and three-manifolds. That formula roughly says that each coefficient of the multi-variable Alexander polynomial of a knot, or a link or a three-manifold is exactly the number of solutions (counted with signs) of the static Seiberg-Witten equations for a certain topological setup.

In recent years his mathematical exploration is focused on the Kepler problem --- the mathematical model for a solar system with a single planet or an atom with a single electron, depending on whether it is considered classically or quantum mechanically. The goal of this exploration is to find out the mathematical essence of this great problem and to explore the potential implication (of mathematical findings) to fundamental physics. One surprising discovery of this exploration is an intimate relationship between the Kepler problem in classical physics and future light cone in the special theory of relativty.


Research Site

Teaching Site

Department of Mathematics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong counter
Office: (852) 2358-7451, Fax: (852) 2358-1643, E-mail:
Last modified: 16 September 2013