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Higherdimensional algebra and topological quantum field theory
 Jour. Math. Phys
, 1995
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Cited by 140 (14 self)
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For a copy with the handdrawn figures please email
HigherDimensional Algebra I: Braided Monoidal 2Categories
 Adv. Math
, 1996
"... We begin with a brief sketch of what is known and conjectured concerning braided monoidal 2categories and their relevance to 4d TQFTs and 2tangles. Then we give concise definitions of semistrict monoidal 2categories and braided monoidal 2categories, and show how these may be unpacked to give lon ..."
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Cited by 53 (9 self)
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We begin with a brief sketch of what is known and conjectured concerning braided monoidal 2categories and their relevance to 4d TQFTs and 2tangles. Then we give concise definitions of semistrict monoidal 2categories and braided monoidal 2categories, and show how these may be unpacked to give long explicit definitions similar to, but not quite the same as, those given by Kapranov and Voevodsky. Finally, we describe how to construct a semistrict braided monoidal 2category Z(C) as the `center' of a semistrict monoidal category C, in a manner analogous to the construction of a braided monoidal category as the center of a monoidal category. As a corollary this yields a strictification theorem for braided monoidal 2categories. 1 Introduction This is the first of a series of articles developing the program introduced in the paper `HigherDimensional Algebra and Topological Quantum Field Theory' [1], henceforth referred to as `HDA'. This program consists of generalizing algebraic concep...
Higherdimensional algebra II: 2Hilbert spaces
"... A 2Hilbert space is a category with structures and properties analogous to those of a Hilbert space. More precisely, we define a 2Hilbert space to be an abelian category enriched over Hilb with a ∗structure, conjugatelinear on the homsets, satisfying 〈fg,h 〉 = 〈g,f ∗ h 〉 = 〈f,hg ∗ 〉. We also ..."
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Cited by 43 (13 self)
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A 2Hilbert space is a category with structures and properties analogous to those of a Hilbert space. More precisely, we define a 2Hilbert space to be an abelian category enriched over Hilb with a ∗structure, conjugatelinear on the homsets, satisfying 〈fg,h 〉 = 〈g,f ∗ h 〉 = 〈f,hg ∗ 〉. We also define monoidal, braided monoidal, and symmetric monoidal versions of 2Hilbert spaces, which we call 2H*algebras, braided 2H*algebras, and symmetric 2H*algebras, and we describe the relation between these and tangles in 2, 3, and 4 dimensions, respectively. We prove a generalized DoplicherRoberts theorem stating that every symmetric 2H*algebra is equivalent to the category Rep(G) of continuous unitary finitedimensional representations of some compact supergroupoid G. The equivalence is given by a categorified version of the Gelfand transform; we also construct a categorified version of the Fourier transform when G is a compact abelian group. Finally, we characterize Rep(G) by its universal properties when G is a compact classical group. For example, Rep(U(n)) is the free connected symmetric 2H*algebra on one even object of dimension n. 1
Higherdimensional algebra IV: 2Tangles
"... Just as knots and links can be algebraically described as certain morphisms in the category of tangles in 3 dimensions, compact surfaces smoothly embedded in R 4 can be described as certain 2morphisms in the 2category of ‘2tangles in 4 dimensions’. Using the work of Carter, Rieger and Saito, we p ..."
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Cited by 35 (10 self)
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Just as knots and links can be algebraically described as certain morphisms in the category of tangles in 3 dimensions, compact surfaces smoothly embedded in R 4 can be described as certain 2morphisms in the 2category of ‘2tangles in 4 dimensions’. Using the work of Carter, Rieger and Saito, we prove that this 2category is the ‘free semistrict braided monoidal 2category with duals on one unframed selfdual object’. By this universal property, any unframed selfdual object in a braided monoidal 2category with duals determines an invariant of 2tangles in 4 dimensions. 1
2Tangles as a Free Braided Monoidal 2Category with Duals
, 1997
"... The algebraic characterization of tangles by Freyd, Turaev and Yetter has led to the discovery of new invariants for links. In this dissertation, we prove an analogous result one dimension higher: that the 2category of unframed, unoriented 2tangles is the free semistrict braided monoidal 2catego ..."
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Cited by 9 (3 self)
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The algebraic characterization of tangles by Freyd, Turaev and Yetter has led to the discovery of new invariants for links. In this dissertation, we prove an analogous result one dimension higher: that the 2category of unframed, unoriented 2tangles is the free semistrict braided monoidal 2category with duals on one unframed self dual object. We give appropriate definitions of the 2category of 2tangles, and of duality for monoidal and braided monoidal 2categories. We use the movie moves of Carter, Rieger and Saito, to show that there is a 2functor from this 2category to any braided monoidal 2category with duals containing an unframed self dual object. Knotted surfaces in 4space are naturally included in this characterization, sinc...
Categorification
 Contemporary Mathematics 230. American Mathematical Society
, 1997
"... Categorification is the process of finding categorytheoretic analogs of settheoretic concepts by replacing sets with categories, functions with functors, and equations between functions by natural isomorphisms between functors, which in turn should satisfy certain equations of their own, called ‘c ..."
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Cited by 4 (1 self)
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Categorification is the process of finding categorytheoretic analogs of settheoretic concepts by replacing sets with categories, functions with functors, and equations between functions by natural isomorphisms between functors, which in turn should satisfy certain equations of their own, called ‘coherence laws’. Iterating this process requires a theory of ‘ncategories’, algebraic structures having objects, morphisms between objects, 2morphisms between morphisms and so on up to nmorphisms. After a brief introduction to ncategories and their relation to homotopy theory, we discuss algebraic structures that can be seen as iterated categorifications of the natural numbers and integers. These include tangle ncategories, cobordism ncategories, and the homotopy ntypes of the loop spaces Ω k S k. We conclude by describing a definition of weak ncategories based on the theory of operads. 1
A PREHISTORY OF nCATEGORICAL PHYSICS
, 2008
"... We begin with a chronology tracing the rise of symmetry concepts in physics, starting with groups and their role in relativity, and leading up to more sophisticated concepts from ncategory theory, which manifest themselves in Feynman diagrams and their higherdimensional generalizations: strings, me ..."
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Cited by 1 (1 self)
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We begin with a chronology tracing the rise of symmetry concepts in physics, starting with groups and their role in relativity, and leading up to more sophisticated concepts from ncategory theory, which manifest themselves in Feynman diagrams and their higherdimensional generalizations: strings, membranes and spin foams.
2Tangles
, 1997
"... Just as links may be algebraically described as certain morphisms in the category of tangles, compact surfaces smoothly embedded in R 4 may be described as certain 2morphisms in the 2category of `2tangles in 4 dimensions'. In this announcement we give a purely algebraic characterization of the ..."
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Just as links may be algebraically described as certain morphisms in the category of tangles, compact surfaces smoothly embedded in R 4 may be described as certain 2morphisms in the 2category of `2tangles in 4 dimensions'. In this announcement we give a purely algebraic characterization of the 2category of unframed unoriented 2tangles in 4 dimensions as the `free semistrict braided monoidal 2category with duals on one unframed selfdual object'. A forthcoming paper will contain a proof of this result using the movie moves of Carter, Rieger and Saito. We comment on how one might use this result to construct invariants of 2tangles. 1 Introduction Recent work on `quantum invariants' of knots, links, tangles, and 3manifolds depends crucially on a purely algebraic characterization of tangles in 3dimensional space. It follows from work of Freyd and Yetter, Turaev, and Shum [13, 18, 19, 20] that isotopy classes of framed oriented tangles in 3 dimensions are the morphisms of a cert...
This is a collation of the operative parts of a proposal submitted to the NSF concerning
"... cal structures suggests, then sustained interaction is essential. Bringing people together will result in significant technical progress and significantly greater conceptual understanding of these structures. Despite their complexity, if developed coherently, these structures, like categories themse ..."
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cal structures suggests, then sustained interaction is essential. Bringing people together will result in significant technical progress and significantly greater conceptual understanding of these structures. Despite their complexity, if developed coherently, these structures, like categories themselves, should eventually become part of the standard mathematical culture. PROJECT DESCRIPTION EXPLORATIONS OF HIGHER CATEGORICAL STRUCTURES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS PROPOSED RESEARCH 1. Historical background and higher homotopies Eilenberg and Mac Lane introduced categories, functors, and natural transformations in their 1945 paper [47]. The language they introduced transformed modern mathematics. Their focus was not on categories and functors, but on natural transformations, which are maps between functors. Higher category theory concerns higher level notions of naturality, which can be viewed as maps between natural transformations, and maps between such maps, and so for