Invertible topological field theories are SKK manifold invariants



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PIRSA Number: 
18080048

Abstract

Topological field theories in the sense of Atiyah–Segal are symmetric monoidal functors from a bordism category to the category of complex (super) vector spaces. A field theory E of dimension d associates vector spaces to closed (d-1)-manifolds and linear maps to manifolds of dimension d. It turns out that if E is invertible, i.e., if the vector spaces associated to (d-1)-manifolds have dimension one, then the complex number E(M) that E associates to a closed d-manifold M, is an SKK manifold invariant. Here these letters stand for schneiden=cut, kleben=glue and kontrolliert=controlled, meaning that E(M) does not change when modifying the manifold by cutting and gluing along hypersurfaces in a controlled way. The main result of this joint work with Matthias Kreck and Peter Teichner is that the map described above gives a bijection between topological field theories and SKK manifold invariants.