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Iwanami Series in Modern Mathematics
Conformal Field Theory and Topology
Toshitake Kohno, University of Tokyo, Japan

Translations of Mathematical Monographs
Iwanami Series in Modern Mathematics
2002; 172 pp; softcover
Volume: 210
ISBN-10: 0-8218-2130-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-2130-5
List Price: US$45
Member Price: US$36
Order Code: MMONO/210
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See also:

Chern-Simons Gauge Theory: 20 Years After - Jorgen E Andersen, Hans U Boden, Atle Hahn and Benjamin Himpel

One of the most remarkable interactions between geometry and physics since 1980 has been an application of quantum field theory to topology and differential geometry. An essential difficulty in quantum field theory comes from infinite-dimensional freedom of a system. Techniques dealing with such infinite-dimensional objects developed in the framework of quantum field theory have been influential in geometry as well. This book focuses on the relationship between two-dimensional quantum field theory and three-dimensional topology which has been studied intensively since the discovery of the Jones polynomial in the middle of the 1980s and Witten's invariant for 3-manifolds which was derived from Chern-Simons gauge theory. This book gives an accessible treatment for a rigorous construction of topological invariants originally defined as partition functions of fields on manifolds.

The book is organized as follows: The Introduction starts from classical mechanics and explains basic background materials in quantum field theory and geometry. Chapter 1 presents conformal field theory based on the geometry of loop groups. Chapter 2 deals with the holonomy of conformal field theory. Chapter 3 treats Chern-Simons perturbation theory. The final chapter discusses topological invariants for 3-manifolds derived from Chern-Simons perturbation theory.


Graduate students and research mathematicians interested in topology and algebraic geometry.


"All together, this book should be regarded as a highly valuable and welcome contribution ... The author has succeeded in presenting a treatise on this ultramodern and mathematically utmost challenging subject ... particularly captivating by its conciseness, clarity, systematic representation, mathematical rigour, and endeavour to unify various related approaches ... an excellent source of knowledge and inspiration for both physicists and mathematicians, researchers and seasoned graduate students ... those readers will undoubtedly acknowledge the mastery of this book."

-- Zentralblatt MATH

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Geometric aspects of conformal field theory
  • Jones-Witten theory
  • Chern-Simons perturbation theory
  • Further developments and prospects
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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