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Higher dimensional algebra III: ncategories and the algebra of opetopes
, 1997
"... We give a definition of weak ncategories based on the theory of operads. We work with operads having an arbitrary set S of types, or ‘Soperads’, and given such an operad O, we denote its set of operations by elt(O). Then for any Soperad O there is an elt(O)operad O + whose algebras are Soperads ..."
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Cited by 74 (6 self)
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We give a definition of weak ncategories based on the theory of operads. We work with operads having an arbitrary set S of types, or ‘Soperads’, and given such an operad O, we denote its set of operations by elt(O). Then for any Soperad O there is an elt(O)operad O + whose algebras are Soperads over O. Letting I be the initial operad with a oneelement set of types, and defining I 0+ = I, I (i+1)+ = (I i+) +, we call the operations of I (n−1)+ the ‘ndimensional opetopes’. Opetopes form a category, and presheaves on this category are called ‘opetopic sets’. A weak ncategory is defined as an opetopic set with certain properties, in a manner reminiscent of Street’s simplicial approach to weak ωcategories. In a similar manner, starting from an arbitrary operad O instead of I, we define ‘ncoherent Oalgebras’, which are n times categorified analogs of algebras of O. Examples include ‘monoidal ncategories’, ‘stable ncategories’, ‘virtual nfunctors ’ and ‘representable nprestacks’. We also describe how ncoherent Oalgebra objects may be defined in any (n + 1)coherent Oalgebra.
Spin foam models
 Classical and Quantum Gravity
, 1998
"... While the use of spin networks has greatly improved our understanding of the kinematical aspects of quantum gravity, the dynamical aspects remain obscure. To address this problem, we define the concept of a ‘spin foam ’ going from one spin network to another. Just as a spin network is a graph with e ..."
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Cited by 72 (2 self)
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While the use of spin networks has greatly improved our understanding of the kinematical aspects of quantum gravity, the dynamical aspects remain obscure. To address this problem, we define the concept of a ‘spin foam ’ going from one spin network to another. Just as a spin network is a graph with edges labeled by representations and vertices labeled by intertwining operators, a spin foam is a 2dimensional complex with faces labeled by representations and edges labeled by intertwining operators. Spin foams arise naturally as higherdimensional analogs of Feynman diagrams in quantum gravity and other gauge theories in the continuum, as well as in lattice gauge theory. When formulated as a ‘spin foam model’, such a theory consists of a rule for computing amplitudes from spin foam vertices, faces, and edges. The product of these amplitudes gives the amplitude for the spin foam, and the transition amplitude between spin networks is given as a sum over spin foams. After reviewing how spin networks describe ‘quantum 3geometries’, we describe how spin foams describe ‘quantum 4geometries’. We conclude by presenting a spin foam model of 4dimensional Euclidean quantum gravity, closely related to the state sum model of Barrett and Crane, but not assuming the presence of an underlying spacetime manifold.
Holonomy and parallel transport for abelian gerbes, Preprint math.DG/0007053
"... In this paper we establish a onetoone correspondence between S 1gerbes with connections, on the one hand, and their holonomies, for simply connected manifolds, or their parallel transports, in the general case, on the other hand. This result is a higherorder analogue of the familiar equivalence ..."
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Cited by 54 (10 self)
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In this paper we establish a onetoone correspondence between S 1gerbes with connections, on the one hand, and their holonomies, for simply connected manifolds, or their parallel transports, in the general case, on the other hand. This result is a higherorder analogue of the familiar equivalence between bundles with connections and their holonomies for connected manifolds. The holonomy of a gerbe with presently working as a postdoc at the University of Nottingham, UK 1 group S 1 on a simply connected manifold M is a group morphism from the thin second homotopy group to S 1, satisfying a smoothness condition, where a homotopy between maps from [0,1] 2 to M is thin when its derivative is of rank ≤ 2. For the nonsimply connected case, holonomy is replaced by a parallel transport functor between two monoidal Lie groupoids. The reconstruction of the gerbe and connection from its holonomy is carried out in detail for the simply connected case. Our approach to abelian gerbes with connections holds out prospects for generalizing to the nonabelian case via the theory of double Lie groupoids. 1
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...
From Finite Sets to Feynman Diagrams
 Mathematics Unlimited  2001 And Beyond
, 2001
"... ‘Categorification ’ is the process of replacing equations by isomorphisms. We describe some of the ways a thoroughgoing emphasis on categorification can simplify and unify mathematics. We begin with elementary arithmetic, where the category of finite sets serves as a categorified version of the set ..."
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Cited by 51 (7 self)
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‘Categorification ’ is the process of replacing equations by isomorphisms. We describe some of the ways a thoroughgoing emphasis on categorification can simplify and unify mathematics. We begin with elementary arithmetic, where the category of finite sets serves as a categorified version of the set of natural numbers, with disjoint union and Cartesian product playing the role of addition and multiplication. We sketch how categorifying the integers leads naturally to the infinite loop space Ω ∞ S ∞ , and how categorifying the positive rationals leads naturally to a notion of the ‘homotopy cardinality ’ of a tame space. Then we show how categorifying formal power series leads to Joyal’s espèces des structures, or ‘structure types’. We also describe a useful generalization of structure types called ‘stuff types’. There is an inner product of stuff types that makes the category of stuff types into a categorified version of the Hilbert space of the quantized harmonic oscillator. We conclude by sketching how this idea gives a nice explanation of the combinatorics of Feynman diagrams. 1
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
The EckmannHilton argument, higher operads and Enspaces, available at http://www.ics.mq.edu.au
 mbatanin/papers.html of Homotopy and Related Structures
"... The classical EckmannHilton argument shows that two monoid structures on a set, such that one is a homomorphism for the other, coincide and, moreover, the resulting monoid is commutative. This argument immediately gives a proof of the commutativity of the higher homotopy groups. A reformulation of ..."
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Cited by 32 (5 self)
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The classical EckmannHilton argument shows that two monoid structures on a set, such that one is a homomorphism for the other, coincide and, moreover, the resulting monoid is commutative. This argument immediately gives a proof of the commutativity of the higher homotopy groups. A reformulation of this argument in the language of higher categories is: suppose we have a one object, one arrow 2category, then its Homset is a commutative monoid. A similar argument due to A.Joyal and R.Street shows that a one object, one arrow tricategory is ‘the same’ as a braided monoidal category. In this paper we extend this argument to arbitrary dimension. We demonstrate that for an noperad A in the author’s sense there exists a symmetric operad S n (A) called the nfold suspension of A such that the