Classical and quantum Lagrangian field theories on manifolds with boundaries
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
Classical and quantum field theories may be thought of as appropriate functors from (some version of) the cobordism category. At the quantum level this was proposed by Segal as an axiomatization. Incarnations of this exist for nonperturbative topological field theory (by Witten following Atiyah's version of the axioms for TFTs) as well as in one and two dimensional field theories. This talk (based on joint work with Mnev and Reshetikhin) will give an introduction to the classical version and to the Batalin-Vilkovisky version, which forms the starting point for the perturbative quantization. The possibility of including boundaries of boundaries (and so on) naturally yields to a Lurie-type description. Eventually, one might be able to reconstruct perturbative quantum theories on manifolds by gluing simple pieces together. Work in progress on this will be presented.