Quantum groups, skein theories, operadic and diagrammatic algebra, quantum field theory

**46**

votes

**11**answers

5k views

### What is Quantization ?

I would like to know what quantization is, I mean I would like to have some elementary examples, some soft nontechnical definition, some explanation about what do mathematicians quantize?, can we ...

**44**

votes

**4**answers

3k views

### Why hasn't anyone proved that the two standard approaches to quantizing Chern-Simons theory are equivalent?

The two standard approaches to the quantization of Chern-Simons theory are geometric quantization of character varieties, and quantum groups plus skein theory. These two approaches were both first ...

**35**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Why is there such a close resemblance between the unitary representation theory of the Virasoro algebra and that of the Temperley-Lieb algebra?

For those who aren't familiar with the Virasoro or Temperley-Lieb algebras, I include some definitions:
• The (universal envelopping algebra of the) Virasoro algebra is the $\star$-algebra ...

**34**

votes

**1**answer

889 views

### Invertible matrices over noncommutative rings

Let $A\in M_m(R)$ be an invertible square matrix over a noncommutative ring $R$. Is the transpose matrix $A^t$ also invertible? If it isn't, are there any easy counterexamples?
The question popped up ...

**33**

votes

**6**answers

3k views

### What does “quantization is not a functor” really mean?

The answers to this question do a good job of exploring, at a heuristic level, what "quantization" should be. From my perspective, quantization involves replacing a (commutative) Poisson algebra by ...

**32**

votes

**6**answers

5k views

### The 'real' use of Quantum Algebra, Non-commutative Geometry, Representation Theory, and Algebraic Geometry to Physics

In this question, Orbicular made the following comment to Feb7 and my own answers;
Please keep in mind that - even though it is stated very often - noncommutative geometry does not give "real" ...

**31**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Groups, quantum groups and (fill in the blank)

In the study of special functions there are three levels of objects, classical, basic and elliptic. These correspond to classical hypergeometric functions, basic (q-) hypergeometric functions, and ...

**29**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Usefulness of using TQFTs

What is a topological feature, that a (some) tqft (e.g. in 3 or 4 dim) sees but homology/cohomology/homotopy groups dont? Or: what is an example where using classical theories is hard, but using a ...

**24**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Invertible matrices of natural numbers are permutations… why?

I have heard the following statement several times and I suspect that there is an easy and elegant proof of this fact which I am just not seeing.
Question: Why is it true that an invertible nxn ...

**24**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Is there a “quantum” Riemann zeta function?

Occasionally I find myself in a situation where a naive, non-rigorous computation leads me to a divergent sum, like $\sum_{n=1}^\infty n$. In times like these, a standard approach is to guess the ...

**24**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Does the quantum subgroup of quantum su_2 called E_8 have anything at all to do with the Lie algebra E_8?

The ordinary McKay correspondence relates the subgroups of SU(2) to the affine ADE Dynkin diagrams. The correspondence is that the vertices correspond to irreducible representations of the subgroup, ...

**22**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Why is a 2d TQFT formulated as a functor?

Usual mathematical formulation of a 2d (closed) TQFT is as a functor from the category of 2-dim cobordisms between 1-dim manifolds to the category of vector spaces (satisfying various properties.)
...

**22**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### A mysterious Heisenberg algebra identity from Sylvester, 1867

I am trying to understand two papers by James Joseph Sylvester:
P92: "Note on the properties of the test operators which occur in the calculus of invariants, their derivatives, analogues, and laws of ...

**22**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### When does Lusztig's canonical basis have non-positive structure coefficients?

I've heard asserted in talks quite a few times that Lusztig's canonical basis for irreducible representations is known to not always have positive structure coefficents for the action of $E_i$ and ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

668 views

### quantum groups… not via presentations

Given a semisimple Lie algebra $\mathfrak g$ with Cartan matrix $a_{ij}$, the quantum group $U_q(\mathfrak g)$ is usually defined as the $\mathbb Q(q)$-algebra with generators $K_i$, $E_i$, $F_i$ (the ...

**18**

votes

**8**answers

3k views

### Resources for graphical languages / Penrose notation / Feynman diagrams / birdtracks?

There is an idea I've recently gotten interested in that doesn't seem to have a good agreed-upon name ("diagrammatic algebra?"). It centers around the use of two-dimensional diagrams of dots, ...

**18**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### A few questions about Kontsevich formality

[K] refers to Kontsevich's paper "Deformation quantization of Poisson manifolds, I".
Background
Let $X$ be a smooth affine variety (over $\mathbb{C}$ or maybe a field of characteristic zero) or ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Why is the Alexander polynomial a quantum invariant?

When we think of quantum invariants, we usually think of the Jones polynomial or of the coloured HOMFLYPT. But (arguably) the simplest example of a quantum invariant of a knot or link is its Alexander ...

**17**

votes

**7**answers

3k views

### Why are fusion categories interesting?

In the same vein as Kate and Scott's questions, why are fusion categories interesting? I know that given a "suitably nice" fusion category (which probably means adding adjectives such as "unitary," ...

**17**

votes

**9**answers

1k views

### expository papers related to quantum groups

Hello all,
I know basic representation theory(finite groups, lie groups&lie algebras) and I want to get a flavor of quantum groups (why they are useful, important results etc) and other related ...

**17**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Is there a volume conjecture for closed 3-manifolds?

A typical statement of the volume conjecture, for instance in Murakami's survey 1002.0126, is
Conjecture: For $K$ a knot in $S^3$, the N-th colored Jones polynomials are related to the volume of ...

**17**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Deformations of Nakajima quiver varieties

Are deformations of Nakajima quiver varieties also Nakajima quiver varieties ?
In case the answer to this is (don't k)no(w), here are some simpler things to ask for.
(If you're a differential ...

**17**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### What is quantum Brownian motion?

It seems that the current state of quantum Brownian motion is ill-defined. The best survey I can find is this one by László Erdös, but the closest the quantum Brownian motion comes to appearing is in ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

819 views

### Question about the Yangian

I've a slightly technical question about the Yangian which I'm hoping an expert out there can answer.
Recall that the Yangian $Y(\mathfrak{g})$ is a Hopf algebra quantizing $U(\mathfrak{g}[z])$. ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

543 views

### Gauss linking integral and quadratic reciprocity

In the setting of Mazur's "primes and knots" analogy, prime ideals $\mathfrak p\subset\mathcal O_K$ correspond to "knots" $\operatorname{Spec}\mathcal O_K/\mathfrak p$ inside a "3-manifold" ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

724 views

### What happened to the Vacuum Hypothesis in TQFT?

I remember that in the beginning, there was an axiom for $(n+1)$-dimensional
TQFT that said that the state space $V(\Sigma)$ assigned to an $n$-dimensional
oriented manifold is spanned by the ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Which is the correct version of a quantum group at a root of unity?

By this I mean the specialisation of the quantum group Uq(g) with q a root of unity, and the 'correct' meaning of 'correct' (enclosed in quotations since there isn't necessarily a correct answer) is ...

**16**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### Shuffle Hopf algebra: how to prove its properties in a slick way?

Let $k$ be a commutative ring with $1$, and let $V$ be a $k$-module. Let $TV$ be the $k$-module $\bigoplus\limits_{n\in\mathbb N}V^{\otimes n}$, where all tensor products are over $k$.
We define a ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

459 views

### A direct proof of the Harer-Zagier recursion enumerating the ways to paste a 2n-gon to get a genus g surface?

In a 1986 paper, Harer and Zagier proved the recursion:
$$(n+1)e(g,n)=(4n-2)e(g,n-1)+(2n-1)(n-1)(2n-3)e(g-1,n-2)$$
where e(g,n) is the number of ways of grouping sides $S_1...S_{2n}$ of a 2n-gon ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Why do my quantum group books avoid homotopical language?

I am sitting on my carpet surrounded by books about quantum groups, and the only categorical concept they discuss are the representation categories of quantum groups.
Many notes closer to "Kontsevich ...

**15**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Who thought that the Alexander polynomial was the only knot invariant of its kind?

I apologize that this is vague, but I'm trying to understand a little bit of the historical context in which the zoo of quantum invariants emerged.
For some reason, I have in my head the folklore:
...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

5k views

### Quantum mathematics?

"Quantum" as a term/prefix used to be genuinely physical: what was supposed to be physically continuous turned out to be physically quantized.
What sense does this distinction make inside ...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### How many definitions are there of the Jones polynomial?

Even with the connection to quantum groups being made clearer (I believe it was not known when the Jones polynomial was first introduced), it seems to me that still we don't have the "right" ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

891 views

### What is the precise relationship between groupoid language and noncommutative algebra language?

I have sitting in front of me two 2-categories. On the left, I have the 2-category GPOID, whose:
objects are groupoids;
1-morphisms are (left-principal?) bibundles;
2-morphisms are bibundle ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

624 views

### The Major Families of Quantum Groups

If we define a quantum group to be a quasi-triangular or coquasi-triangular Hopf algebra, then what are the major families of quantum groups?
Of couse, to start with we have the h-adic completions ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

359 views

### Derangements and q-variants

Everybody knows that there are $D_n=n! \left( 1-\frac1{2!}+\frac1{3!}-\cdots+(-1)^{n}\frac1{n!} \right)$ derangements of $\{1,2,\dots,n\}$ and that there are $D_n(q)=(n)_q! \left( ...

**14**

votes

**0**answers

154 views

### Are there small examples of non-pivotal finite tensor categories?

I'm looking for small concrete examples of non-pivotal finite tensor categories to do some calculations with.
Here a finite tensor category is, according to Etingof-Ostrik, a rigid monoidal category ...

**14**

votes

**0**answers

537 views

### Splitting of homomorphism from cactus group to permutation group

We all learned in kindergarten that the category of finite-dimensional (type I, say) $U_q(\mathfrak{g})$-modules is braided monoidal for $\mathfrak{g}$ a complex semisimple Lie algebra. This gives an ...

**13**

votes

**4**answers

840 views

### What are the points of Spec(Vassiliev Invariants)?

Background
Recall that a (oriented) knot is a smoothly embedded circle $S^1$ in $\mathbb R^3$, up to some natural equivalence relation (which is not quite trivial to write down). The collection of ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

729 views

### Intrinsic characterization of Soergel bimodules?

A Soergel bimodule (for $S_n$) is a bimodule over $R = \mathbb{Q}[x_1,\dots,x_n]$ which appears as a summand/grading shift of tensor products of the basic bimodules
$$B_{i,i+1} = R \otimes_{i,i+1} R$$
...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

328 views

### How unique are extensions of TQFTs to lower dimension?

Say I have an "ordinary" TQFT $F$ of dimension $n$, assigning groups or vector spaces to closed $(n-1)$-manifolds and linear maps to cobordisms. Consider the different ways $F$ can be obtained from a ...

**13**

votes

**4**answers

895 views

### 2-TQFT are to Frobenius Algebras as ??? are to Hopf Algebras

The question arose this morning during a seminar about HAs.
In a few words: can the equivalence $2-TQFT_k \leftrightarrow Frob_k$ be "modified" in a sensible way to give a similar one between the ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

398 views

### Why do sl(2) and so(3) correspond to different points on the Vogel plane?

Vogel assigns to every simple metric Lie algebra (and more generally to every simple metric Lie algebra object in a symmetric monoidal category) a point in the orbifold $\mathbb{P}^2/S_3$ (where $S_3$ ...

**12**

votes

**6**answers

1k views

### What is an algebraic group over a noncommutative ring?

Let $R$ be a (noncommutative) ring. (For me, the words "ring" and "algebra" are isomorphic, and all rings are associative with unit, and usually noncommutative.) Then I think I know what "linear ...

**12**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Do all 3D TQFTs come from Reshetikhin-Turaev?

The Reshetikhin-Turaev construction take as input a Modular Tensor Category (MTC) and spits out a 3D TQFT. I've been told that the other main construction of 3D TQFTs, the Turaev-Viro State sum ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

572 views

### Projective modules over quantum groups

My question is short:
How can one calculate $\operatorname{Tor}_{U_q(\mathfrak g)}(k,k)$?
($k$ is the ground field of characteristic zero).
If we had a regular universal enveloping algebra ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

657 views

### Isomorphisms of quantum planes

Let $k$ be a field and $q\in k^{*}$. The quantum plane $k_{q}[x,y]$ is the algebra $k\langle x,y\rangle/\langle xy=qyx \rangle$ (i.e. the quotient of the free non-commutative $k$-algebra on two ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

369 views

### When are Jones-Wenzl projectors defined?

(I am hoping that someone well-versed in the literature of Temperley-Lieb algebras or of quantum groups at roots of unity can answer my question. Fingers crossed.)
Consider the Temperley-Lieb algebra ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

492 views

### Does every Frobenius algebra in a monoidal *-category give a Q-system?

Suppose that C is a fusion C*-cateogry and that A is an irreducible Frobenius algebra object in C, is there always a Frobenius algebra A' isomorphic to A such that A' is a Longo Q-system (that is the ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

268 views

### Associators, Grothendieck-Teichmüller group and monoidal categories

The standard definition of an associator seems to be that it a a grouplike power series in two variables $x$ and $ y $ satisfying some pentagon and hexagon relations.
In other words, denoting by $ ...