The classification of subfactors of small index and the onset of wilderness

20 June 2011
Voughan Jones
In the 1990's Haagerup discovered a new subfactor, and hence a new topological quantum field theory, that has so far proved inaccessible by the methods of quantum groups and conformal field theory. It was the subfactor of smallest index beyond 4. This led to a classification project-classify all subfactors to as large an index as possible. So far we have gone as far as index 5. It is known that at index 6 wildness phenomena occur which preclude a simple listing of all subfactors of that index. It is possible that wildness occurs at a smaller index value, the main candidate being approximately 5.236.