From Gauge Anomalies to Gerbes and Gerbal Representations: Group Cocycles in Quantum Theory

J. Mickelsson

Abstract


In this paper I shall discuss the role of group cohomology in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. First, I recall how cocycles of degree 1 and 2 appear naturally in the context of gauge anomalies. Then we investigate how group cohomology of degree 3 comes from a prolongation problem for group extensions and we discuss its role in quantum field theory. Finally, we discuss a generalization to representation theory where a representation is replaced by a 1-cocycle or its prolongation by a circle, and point out how this type of situations come up in the quantization of Yang-Mills theory.

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague