Teichmüller theory is, since several decades, one of the most active research areas in mathematics, with a very wide range of points of view, including Riemann surface theory, hyperbolic geometry, low-dimensional topology, several complex variables, algebraic geometry, arithmetic, partial differential equations, dynamical systems, representation theory, symplectic geometry, geometric group theory, and mathematical physics.
The present book is the fourth volume in a Handbook of Teichmüller Theory project that started as an attempt to present, in a most comprehensive and systematic way, the various aspects of this theory with its relations to all the fields mentioned. The handbook is addressed to researchers as well as graduate students.
The present volume is divided into five parts:
Part A: The metric and the analytic theory.
Part B: Representation theory and generalized structures.
Part C: Dynamics.
Part D: The quantum theory.
Part E: Sources.
Parts A, B and D are sequels of parts on the same theme in previous volumes. Part E has a new character in the series; it contains the translation together with a commentary of an important paper by Teichmüller which is almost unknown even to specialists. Making clear the original ideas of and motivations for a theory is crucial for many reasons, and rendering available this translation together with the commentary that follows will give a new impulse and will contribute in putting the theory into a broader perspective.
The various volumes in this collection are written by experts who have a broad view on the subject. In general, the chapters have an expository character, which is the original purpose of this handbook, while some of them contain new and important results.