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

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### 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 ...

**50**

votes

**11**answers

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### 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 ...

**37**

votes

**1**answer

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### 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 ...

**37**

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**3**answers

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### 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 $...

**36**

votes

**6**answers

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### 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 ...

**35**

votes

**6**answers

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### 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" ...

**34**

votes

**5**answers

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### 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 ...

**33**

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**2**answers

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### 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 ...

**32**

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**4**answers

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### Intuition behind the definition of quantum groups

Being far from the field of quantum groups, I have nevertheless made in the past several (unsuccessful) attempts to understand their definition and basic properties. The goal of this post is to try to ...

**29**

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**5**answers

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### 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 ...

**28**

votes

**4**answers

3k 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 ...

**25**

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**4**answers

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### 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 ...

**24**

votes

**2**answers

876 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 ...

**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, ...

**23**

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.)
...

**23**

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**8**answers

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### 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, ...

**23**

votes

**2**answers

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### 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 $...

**22**

votes

**8**answers

5k 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," "...

**21**

votes

**1**answer

2k 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 ...

**21**

votes

**1**answer

422 views

### Why, in terms of quantum groups, does the knot determinant appear as an evaluation of both the Jones and Alexander polynomials?

The Jones polynomial can be computed from the representation theory of $\mathcal{U}_q(\mathfrak{sl}(2))$. The Alexander polynomial has an analogous description in terms of the representation theory of ...

**20**

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**2**answers

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### 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 ...

**19**

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**4**answers

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### Why are quantum groups so called?

I've recently been to a seminar on quantum matrices. In particular the speaker introduced these objects as the coordinate ring of $2$ by $2$ matrices modulo some odd looking relations (see start of ...

**19**

votes

**3**answers

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### 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 ...

**19**

votes

**7**answers

3k 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 $k$...

**19**

votes

**1**answer

803 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" $\...

**18**

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**9**answers

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### 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 ...

**18**

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 ...

**18**

votes

**6**answers

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### 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 resp....

**18**

votes

**1**answer

790 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 ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

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### Grothendieck and Non-commutative Geometry?

When Grothendieck and his followers were working on their profound progress of algebraic geometry, did they ever consider non-commutative rings? Is there anyway evidence that Grothendieck foresaw the ...

**17**

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**3**answers

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### 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 ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

641 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 ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

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### 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" ...

**17**

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**3**answers

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### 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

730 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 ...

**17**

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**1**answer

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### 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

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### Non-“weakly group theoretical” integral fusion categories?

Is there an integral fusion category of rank $7$, FPdim $210$ and type $[[1,1],[5,3],[6,1],[7,2]]$, with the following fusion rules?
$\small{\begin{smallmatrix}
1 & 0 & 0 & 0& 0& ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

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### 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 ...

**16**

votes

**3**answers

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### 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 ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

274 views

### What are the indecomposable $U_q\mathfrak{sl}(2)$-modules?

Let $\mathfrak g=\mathfrak{sl}(2)$.
Let $\zeta$ be a primitive root of unity of even order. Say $\zeta=e^{2\pi i/6}$, for concreteness.
Let $U_q\mathfrak g$ be Lusztig's integral form of the ...

**15**

votes

**4**answers

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### 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

**1**answer

993 views

### On Tamarkin's proof of Etingof-Kazhdan quantization of Lie bialgebra

This question is motivated by the desire to understand better the interplay between Drinfeld associators, algebraic structures up to homotopy and related results.
Recall that a Lie bialgebra is a Lie ...

**15**

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**0**answers

182 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**

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**2**answers

633 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 $U(\...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

388 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( 1-\frac{1}{(1)_q!}+\...

**14**

votes

**0**answers

596 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**

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**4**answers

897 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

850 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

401 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**

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**4**answers

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### 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 ...