### abstract

- Motivated by problems arising in the study of N=2 supersymmetric gauge theories we introduce and study irregular singularities in two-dimensional conformal field theory, here Liouville theory. Irregular singularities are associated to representations of the Virasoro algebra in which a subset of the annihilation part of the algebra act diagonally. In this paper we define natural bases for the space of conformal blocks in the presence of irregular singularities, describe how to calculate their series expansions, and how such conformal blocks can be constructed by some delicate limiting procedure from ordinary conformal blocks. This leads us to a proposal for the structure functions appearing in the decomposition of physical correlation functions with irregular singularities into conformal blocks. Taken together, we get a precise prediction for the partition functions of some Argyres-Douglas type theories on the four-sphere.