Seminar series
Mon, 20 Nov 2023
Alexander Schenkel
University of Nottingham

In this talk I will provide an overview of our current research at the interface of quantum field theory (QFT), Lorentzian geometry and higher categorical structures. I will present operads which encode the rich algebraic structure of QFTs on Lorentzian manifolds and show that in low dimensions their algebras relate to familiar algebraic structures. Our operads share certain similarities with the little disk operads from topology, in particular they involve a homotopical localization at geometric embeddings related to ‘time evolution’. I will show that, in contrast to the topological context, this homotopical localization can be strictified in many important classes of examples, which is loosely speaking due to the 1-dimensional nature of time evolution in Lorentzian geometry. I will conclude by explaining how simple examples of such Lorentzian QFTs can be constructed from a homotopical generalization of the concept of Green’s operators for hyperbolic partial differential equations, which we call Green hyperbolic complexes. Throughout this talk, I will frequently comment on the similarities and differences between our approach, factorization algebras and functorial field theories.

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