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November 12, 2008

Talk: Local Nets from Parallel Transport 2-Functors

Posted by Urs Schreiber

I am about to give a talk at the Hamburg Seminar for Quantum Field Theory and Mathematical Physics #

Local nets from parallel transport 2-functors
(pdf notes 6 pages + diagram proof)

Abstract. For every 2-functor on the 2-category of paths in a Lorentzian space we can define its endomorphism co-presheaf. We show that this copresheaf is automatically a local net of monoids satisfying the time slice axiom. For suitable codomains of the 2-functor it is a local net of C *C^*-algebras. It is covariant if the 2-functor is equivariant. One can interpret this as the passage from the Schrödinger to the Heisenberg picture in QM raised to 2-dimensional field theory.

This is based on AQFT from nn-functorial QFT. The talk is aimed at an audience well familiar with QFT and in particular with AQFT.

Posted at November 12, 2008 8:51 AM UTC

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Re: Talk: Local Nets from Parallel Transport 2-Functors

I received some very useful feedback. One open question for me is/was this:

I describe how 2-functors on 2-paths in Minkowski give rise to their “endomorphism co-presheaves” on causal subsets, which are necessarily local nets satisfying the time slice axiom.

The open question is: how does this work the other way around? given a local net, can we construct the 2-functor that it is the endomorphism co-presheaf of?

One helpful suggestion from the audience was this:

assume the local net AA has the following two properties:

- the algebra A(O)A(O) assigned to any double cone OO is maximal: with W L OW^O_L the wedge region left of OO and W R OW^O_R the wedge region right of OO, the inclusion A(O)A(W L O)A(W R O) A(O) \hookrightarrow A(W_L^O)' \cap A(W_R^O') (prime denotes commutant, as usual), expressing the locality of the net is actually an equality A(O)=A(W L O)A(W R O). A(O) = A(W_L^O)' \cap A(W_R^O)' \,. Similarly then for W L xW^x_L and W R xW^x_R the left and right wedge at any point xx, A(W L x)=A(W R x). A(W^x_L) = A(W^x_R)' \,.

- the net satisfies a split property which says that for yy spacelike right of xx the inclusion of wedge algebras W R yW R x W^y_R \subset W^x_R always factors through a type I factor NN as W R yNW R x. W^y_R \subset N \subset W^x_R \,.

Under some extra assumption which is apparently discussed in

S. J. Summers, On the independence of local algebras in quantum field theory, Rev. Math. Phys. 2 (1990), 201-247, this implies that then W R x(W R y)W R x(W R y) W^x_R \vee (W^y_R)' \simeq W^x_R \otimes (W^y_R)' (where ABA \vee B is the vN algebra generated by AA and BB, as usual).

This can be found disucssed at the beginning of section 2.2 of

G. Lechner, On the construction of quantum field theories with Factorizing S-matrices

p. 20-21.

So, assuming the net AA satisfies all this we have for O=O x,yO = O_{x,y} the causal subset with left corner at xx and right corner at yy the identity A(O) =A(W L x)A(X R y) =(A(W L x)A(X R y)) =(A(W R x)A(X R y)) =(A(W R x)A(X R y)). \begin{aligned} A(O) &= A(W^x_L)' \cap A(X^y_R)' \\ &= (A(W^x_L) \vee A(X^y_R))' \\ &= (A(W^x_R)' \vee A(X^y_R))' \\ &= (A(W^x_R)' \otimes A(X^y_R))' \,. \end{aligned} Now take H x,yH_{x,y} to be the total Hilbert space but regarded as a module just for A(W R x)A(X R y)A(W^x_R)' \otimes A(X^y_R). Then the module endomorphisms should be End(H x,y)=(A(W R x)A(X R y))=A(O). End(H_{x,y}) = (A(W^x_R)' \otimes A(X^y_R))' = A(O) \,.

So the idea is that the 2-functor ZZ of which AA might be the endomorphism co-presheaf assigns to paths xyx \to y this H x,yH_{x,y}. To a point xx it might assign the vN algebra A(W R x)A(W^x_R).

I am not sure yet exactly if I can see the full 2-categorical structure this may be hinting at, but it does look suggestive.

Posted by: Urs Schreiber on November 12, 2008 7:19 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Talk: Local Nets from Parallel Transport 2-Functors

Another things I was being pointed to are some technical subtleties concerning the implementation of the “Schrödinger picture” of QFT in dimension d>2d \gt 2.

There is

C. G. Torre, M. Varadarajan,

Quantum Fields at Any Time

which shows that everything is fine in dimension d=2d = 2


Functional Evolution of Free Quantum Fields

which demonstrates in a simple example some subtleties for higher dimensions.

The problem arises, as summarized on p. 14, for time evolution between Cauchy sur^faces which cannot be transformed into each other by an isometry of the ambient spacetime (which is assumed to be flat Minkowski space in their computations).

In section B, starting on p. 6, the authors amplify that no such problem arises in the Heisenberg=AQFT pciture.

Posted by: Urs Schreiber on November 12, 2008 8:04 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Talk: Local Nets from Parallel Transport 2-Functors

I started thinking about formalizing more the structure that is used here to turn a transport 2-functor, i.e. a differential nonabelian cocycle, into a local net. So about formalizing the role played by the Minkowski structure on base space in this construction.

Maybe, just as one can consider differential cocycles equivariant with respect to a groupoid, here we may have to talk about “poset equivariance”, encoding the lightcone structure of the underlying Minkowski manifold in a poset structure.

I am not sure yet what exactly to do, but started playing around with something like this:

our Minkowski (or globally hyperbolic Lorentzian) space naturally inherits the structure of a poset, as we know, by taking xyx \leq y precisely if the point yy is in the future of the point xx, equivalently, if and only if xx is in the past of yy (meaning that there exists smooth curve connecting xx with yy the Minkowski norm of whose tangent is everywhere non-negative).

So let me write X\mathbf{X} for the smooth poset we have, which can be thought of as a category enriched in (-1)-categories, i.e. enriched in the monoid ({true,false},=and)(\{true, false\}, \otimes = and).

Then IsFuture(x):=X(x,):X 0{true,false} IsFuture(x) := \mathbf{X}(x,-) : \mathbf{X}_0 \to \{true, false\} is the subobject classifyer for the future of xx, in that the future Future(x)Future(x) is the subset arising as the pullback Future(x) {true} X 0 X(x,) {true,false} \array{ Future(x) &\to& \{true\} \\ \downarrow && \downarrow \\ \mathbf{X}_0 &\stackrel{\mathbf{X}(x,-)}{\to}& \{true, false\} } and IsPast(y):=X(,y):X 0{true,false} IsPast(y) := \mathbf{X}(-,y) : \mathbf{X}_0 \to \{true, false\} similarly is the subobject classifier for the past of yy.

The crucial structures in the business of local nets are those causal subsets O x,yO_{x,y}: these are precisely the intersections of the future of one point xx with the past of another point yy. So their subobject classifier is (aX(a,y)X(x,a)):X 0{true,false} (a \mapsto \mathbf{X}(a,y)\otimes\mathbf{X}(x,a) ) : \mathbf{X}_0 \to \{true, false\} so that the causal subset O x,yO_{x,y} is the pullback O x,y {true} X 0 X(,y)X(x,) {true,false}. \array{ O_{x,y} &\to& \{true\} \\ \downarrow && \downarrow \\ \mathbf{X}_0 &\stackrel{\mathbf{X}(-,y)\otimes \mathbf{X}(x,-)}{\to}& \{true, false\} } \,.

So suppose we start with something like a poset-covariant 2-functor on 2-paths P 2(X)P_2(X), maybe a 2-functor from Codesc(N(X),P 2)= [n]ΔP 2(N(X) n)O(Δ n), Codesc(N(\mathbf{X}), P_2) = \int^{[n]\in \Delta} P_2(N(X)_n)\otimes O(\Delta^n) \,, where N(X)N(\mathbf{X}) denotes the nerve of the poset X\mathbf{X} and otherwise I am following the notation used here.

Then somehow the task is to naturally obtain from that a co-presheaf on the poset of O x,yO_{x,y}s using just abstract nonsense as above.

Okay, let’s see. What’s the natural expression for the poset structure on the causal subsets O x,yO_{x,y} themselves. We simply have (O x,yO x,y)((yy)and(xx))(X( 2,y)X(x, 1))(x,y) (O_{x',y'} \subset O_{x,y}) \Leftrightarrow ( (y' \leq y) and (x \leq x') ) \Leftrightarrow (\mathbf{X}(-_2,y)\otimes \mathbf{X}(x,-_1))(x',y') assuming that both O x,yO_{x,y} and O x,yO_{x',y'} are non-empty, in that xyx \leq y and xyx'\leq y'.

Hm, so what now? Can anyone see how to proceed from here along the abstract-nonsense route?

Posted by: Urs Schreiber on November 13, 2008 10:33 AM | Permalink | Reply to this
Read the post Local Nets and Co-Sheaves
Weblog: The n-Category Café
Excerpt: Co-sheaf condition (codescent) for Haag-Kastler nets of local quantum observables?
Tracked: November 14, 2008 3:17 PM

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