Use this tag for topological field theory (Tft) and topological string theory (tst) questions.

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21
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2answers
2k views

Is there a T-dual of Witten's twistor topological string theory?

In late 2003, Edward Witten released a paper that revived the interest in Roger Penrose's twistors among particle physicists. The scattering amplitudes of gluons in $N=4$ gauge theory in four ...
18
votes
3answers
289 views

Geometric Langlands as a partially defined topological field theory

I have heard from several physicists that the Kapustin-Witten topological twist of $N=4$ 4-dimensional Yang-Mills theory ("the Geometric Langlands twist") is not expected to give rise to fully defined ...
16
votes
1answer
223 views

Models of higher Chern-Simons type

It has long been clear that (the action functional of) Chern-Simons theory has various higher analogs and variations of interest. This includes of course traditional higher dimensional Chern-Simons ...
15
votes
1answer
616 views

Zero modes ~ zero eigenvalue modes ~ zero energy modes?

There have been several Phys.SE questions on the topic of zero modes. Such as, e.g., zero-modes (What are zero modes?, Can massive fermions have zero modes?), majorana-zero-modes (Majorana zero ...
14
votes
4answers
463 views

Applications of Geometric Topology to Theoretical Physics

Geometric topology is the study of manifolds, maps between manifolds, and embeddings of manifolds in one another. Included in this sub-branch of Pure Mathematics; knot theory, homotopy, manifold ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Reading list in topological QFT

I'm interested in learning about topological QFT including Chern Simons theory, Jones polynomial, Donaldson theory and Floer homology - basically the kind of things Witten worked on in the 80s. I'm ...
13
votes
2answers
269 views

Normalization of the Chern-Simons level in $SO(N)$ gauge theory

In a 3d SU(N) gauge theory with action $\frac{k}{4\pi} \int \mathrm{Tr} (A \wedge dA + \frac{2}{3} A \wedge A \wedge A)$, where the generators are normalized to $\mathrm{Tr}(T^a ...
12
votes
2answers
268 views

Topological twists of SUSY gauge theory

Consider $N=4$ super-symmetric gauge theory in 4 dimensions with gauge group $G$. As is explained in the beginning of the paper of Kapustin and Witten on geometric Langlands, this theory has 3 ...
12
votes
1answer
621 views

Why is there no dynamics in 3D general relativity?

I heard a couple of times that there is no dynamics in 3D (2+1) GR, that it's something like a topological theory. I got the argument in the 2D case (the metric is conformally flat, Einstein equations ...
11
votes
3answers
300 views

about the Atiyah-Segal axioms on topological quantum field theory

Trying to go through the page on Topological quantum field theory - The original Atiyah-Segal axioms - "Let $\Lambda$ be a commutative ring with 1, Atiyah originally proposed the axioms of a ...
11
votes
2answers
481 views

Gauge invariance and diffeomorphism invariance in Chern-Simons theory

I have studied Chern-Simons (CS) theory somewhat and I am puzzled by the question of how diff. and gauge invariance in CS theory are related, e.g. in $SU(2)$ CS theory. In particular, I would like to ...
11
votes
1answer
207 views

**Group structure** in Chern-Simons theory?

A non-Abelian Chern-Simons(C-S) has the action $$ S=\int L dt=\int \frac{k}{4\pi}Tr[\big( A \wedge d A + (2/3) A \wedge A \wedge A \big)] $$ We know that the common cases, $A=A^a T^a$ is the ...
11
votes
0answers
65 views

Minimal strings and topological strings

In http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0206255 Dijkgraaf and Vafa showed that the closed string partition function of the topological B-model on a Calabi-Yau of the form $uv-H(x,y)=0$ coincides with the free ...
10
votes
1answer
243 views

Chern-Simons theory

In Witten's paper on QFT and the Jones polynomial, he quantizes the Chern-Simons Lagrangian on $\Sigma\times \mathbb{R}^1$ for two case: (1) $\Sigma$ has no marked points (i.e., no Wilson loops) and ...
10
votes
2answers
259 views

What is the algebraic property that corresponds to a topological term?

Warning: This question will be fairly ill-posed. I have spent a lot of time trying to make it better posed without success, so please bear with me. A single $SU(2)$ spin may be represented by the ...
10
votes
1answer
169 views

Phase Structure of (Quantum) Gauge Theory

Question: How to classify/characterize the phase structure of (quantum) gauge theory? Gauge Theory (say with a gauge group $G_g$) is a powerful quantum field theoretic(QFT) tool to describe ...
10
votes
0answers
159 views

Orbifold CFT of SU(2)/G and SO(3)/G

In this paper by Dijkgraaf, Vafa, Verlinde, Verlinde, orbifold CFT is discussed. In that paper, it outlined that orbifold CFT provides a way to generate the new theories from the old known ones. ...
9
votes
2answers
210 views

Braiding statistics of anyons from a Non-Abelian Chern-Simon theory

Given a 2+1D Abelian K matrix Chern-Simon theory (with multiplet of internal gauge field $a_I$) partition function: $$ Z=\exp[i\int\big( \frac{1}{4\pi} K_{IJ} a_I \wedge d a_J + a \wedge * j(\ell_m)+ ...
9
votes
2answers
384 views

Algebraic/Axiomatic QFT vs Topological QFT

Can anybody please tell me a good source investigating the relation between Algebraic/Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory (AQFT) and Topological Quantum Field Theory (TQFT)? Or is there none?
9
votes
1answer
115 views

Quantum gravity at D = 3

Quantization of gravity (general relativity) seems to be impossible for spacetime dimension D >= 4. Instead, quantum gravity is described by string theory which is something more than quantization ...
9
votes
0answers
74 views

Quantum statistics of branes

Quantum statistics of particles (bosons, fermions, anyons) arises due to the possible topologies of curves in D-dimensional spacetime winding around each other What happens if we replace particles by ...
8
votes
3answers
107 views

“tmf$(n)$ is the space of supersymmetric conformal field theories of central charge $-n$”

I read this intriguing statement in John Baez' week 197 the other day, and I've been giving it some thought. The post in question is from 2003, so I was wondering if there has been any progress in ...
8
votes
1answer
195 views

Global Chern-Simons forms and topological gauge theories

I am reading the classic Dijkgraaf and Witten paper on topological gauge theories and something struck me that I didn't understand. For a trivial bundle $E$ on smooth 3-manifold $M$ with compact ...
8
votes
2answers
196 views

Wilson Loops as raising operators

Consider a U(1) Chern Simons theory on a torus $\mathbb{T}$: \begin{align} L &= \frac{k}{4\pi} \int_{\mathbb{T}} a \partial a \end{align} where a is some U(1) gauge field, $k\in\mathbb{Z}$ and we ...
8
votes
3answers
333 views

Chern-Simons degrees of freedom

I'm currently reading the paper http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9405171 by Banados. I am just getting acquainted with the details of Chern-Simons theory, and I'm hoping that someone can explain/elaborate ...
8
votes
2answers
178 views

Wilson Loops in Chern-Simons theory with non-compact gauge groups

VEVs of Wilson loops in Chern-Simons theory with compact gauge groups give us colored Jones, HOMFLY and Kauffman polynomials. I have not seen the computation for Wilson loops in Chern-Simons theory ...
8
votes
1answer
234 views

How does one get these definitions of the energy momentum tensor?

I was just reading a book - Mirror Symmetry by Clay Mathematics Institute, and on Page 402 of the book, the writer says that energy momentum tensor is defined classically by $$\delta S = -\frac{1}{4 ...
8
votes
0answers
164 views

p-Adic String Theory and the String-orientation of Topological Modular Forms (tmf)

I am going to ask a question, at the end below, on whether anyone has tried to make more explicit what should be a close relation between p-adic string theory and the refinement of the superstring ...
7
votes
3answers
757 views

Group Cohomology and Topological Field Theories

I have a two-part question: First and foremost: I have been going through the paper by Dijkgraaf and Witten "Group Cohomology and Topological Field Theories". Here they give a general definition for ...
7
votes
3answers
133 views

String-theoretic significance of extended CFT

Extended TQFT and CFT have been puzzling me for while. While I understand the mathematical motivation behind them, I don't quite understand the physical meaning. In particular, it's not clear to me to ...
7
votes
1answer
192 views

topological twisting by introducing bosonized operator

In this paper http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9309140 on page 125, the authors claim that one can twist the $N=2$ theory by introducing a term in the action $\frac{1}{2}\int R \phi$, where $\phi$ is the ...
7
votes
1answer
105 views

Do instantons support quantum bound states?

When one quantizes a scalar in the 1+1 dimensions in the kink background of a double well potential, one finds a spectrum that includes: (1) a zero mode corresponding to the classical particle ...
7
votes
2answers
444 views

Realization of Witten-type topological quantum field theory in condensed matter physics

It is well-known that some exotic phases in condensed matter physics are described by Schwarz-type TQFTs, such as Chern-Simons theory of quantum Hall states. My question is whether there are condensed ...
7
votes
2answers
375 views

Do topological superconductors exhibit symmetry-enriched topological order?

Gapped Hamiltonians with a ground-state having long-range entanglement (LRE), are said to have topological order (TO), while if the ground state is short-range entangled (SRE) they are in the trivial ...
7
votes
1answer
248 views

What are the details of the renormalization of Chern-Simons theory?

What is a good, simple argument as to why Chern-Simons theory' is renormalisable? Any good books/references dealing with this effectively? Why does the $\beta$-function vanish? Thanks!
7
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0answers
144 views

The Integral Trick and An Equality in Nakajima's Lecture

In Nekrasov et al's series papers MNS, they calculate such kinds of integral $$ \frac{E_1 E_2}{N(2\pi i)^N(E_1+E_2) }\oint d\phi_1 \wedge d\phi_2\wedge \ldots\wedge d\phi_N \prod_{i<N} (-\phi_i) ...
7
votes
0answers
258 views

How does Haldane conjecture follow from the topological $\Theta$ term

The one dimensional SU(2) Heisenberg quantum spin chain is known to be described by the 1+1d O(3) nonlinear $\sigma$ model with a $\Theta$ term, following the action ...
7
votes
0answers
168 views

Topological entanglement entropy only defined for a system in the ground state?

What happens to the topological entanglement entropy of a system, when it is driven out of its groundstate by increasing the temperature?
6
votes
2answers
359 views

Einstein Field Equations in other space-time dimensions than 3+1?

This question is apparently quite simple but I can't seem to find an answer to it, so I was hopping anyone could clarify me. Are the Einstein field equations (EFE) only valid for a 3+1 dimensional ...
6
votes
2answers
711 views

Why are Topological Superconductors hard to make?

Topological insulators (TI) have already been made in lab. Topological superconductors (TSC), being close cousins of TI, seem harder to make. Why is that? It seems that materials in connection with ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Topological ground state degeneracy of SU(N), SO(N), Sp(N) Chern-Simons theory

We know that level-k Abelian 2+1D Chern-Simons theory on the $T^2$ spatial torus gives ground state degeneracy($GSD$): $$GSD=k$$ How about $GSD$ on $T^2$ spatial torus of: SU(N)$_k$ level-k ...
6
votes
1answer
100 views

About Vanishing of BRST commutator in path integral

In Witten's paper Topological Quantum Field Theory, about formula (3.2), the property $<\{Q,\mathcal{O}\}>=0$ depends on the assertion that $Z_{\varepsilon}(\mathcal{O})= \int \mathcal{D}X ...
6
votes
2answers
223 views

How to understand worldsheet fermion as a section?

I am reading Witten's paper on topological string, and I found some mathematical notation is hard to understand for me. Consider the nonlinear sigma model in 2 dimensions governed by maps $\Phi : ...
6
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0answers
89 views

d=2 O(3) sigma model becomes “conformal antiferromagnet”

In Advanced topic in quantum field theory / M. Shifman on page 251 the author discusses the fact that the theta term is topological and does not affect the equations of motion. Then he said: "In ...
6
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0answers
61 views

How to rearrange the fermions in CohFT?

A simple question about notation of Moore Nekrasov and Shatashvili which makes me confused. Page 3, the authors rearranged the action into a novel form. For D=3+1,5+1,9+1 respectively, the path ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

How to understand topological order at finite temperature?

I have heard that in 2+1D, there are no topological order in finite temperature. Topological entanglement entropy $\gamma$ is zero except in zero temperature. However, we still observe some features ...
6
votes
0answers
190 views

Prequisites to learn Topological Field Theory? [closed]

Sorry for the somewhat qualitative question but what are the essential prerequisites for someone wanting to learn topological field theory from say the more physical side of things? The math side also ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Supersymmetric generalisation of the bosonic $\sigma$ model in QM

I am reading some lecture notes which demonstrate how various models in SUSY QM can be used to obtain topological invariants such as the Euler characteristic from the Witten Index. The following ...
5
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1answer
166 views

Measurement of topological spin

How do you measure the topological spin of an anyon? So how could an experimental setup look like? Is topological spin an observable at all?
5
votes
1answer
259 views

Integrating over a gauge field in the field integral formalism

I'm currently trying to study a chapter in Altland & Simons, "Condensed Matter Field Theory" (2nd edition) and I'm stuck at the end of section 9.5.2, page 579. Given the euclidean Chern-Simons ...