Wednesday, March 20, 2013

1303.4276 (Markus Banagl)

Positive Topological Quantum Field Theories    [PDF]

Markus Banagl
We propose a new notion of positivity for topological field theories (TFTs), based on S. Eilenberg's concept of completeness for semirings. We show that a complete ground semiring, a system of fields on manifolds and a system of action functionals on these fields determine a positive TFT. The main feature of such a theory is a semiring-valued topologically invariant state sum that satisfies a gluing formula. The abstract framework has been carefully designed to cover a wide range of phenomena. For instance, we derive Polya's counting theory in combinatorics from state sum identities in a suitable positive TFT. Several other concrete examples are discussed, among them Novikov signatures of fiber bundles over spacetimes and arithmetic functions in number theory. In the future, we will employ the framework presented here in constructing a new differential topological invariant that detects exotic smooth structures on spheres.
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