The Character Map in Non-abelian Cohomology: Twisted, Differential, and Generalized

Domenico Fiorenza, Hisham Sati, Urs Schreiber

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book presents a novel development of fundamental and fascinating aspects of algebraic topology and mathematical physics: "extra-ordinary" and further generalized cohomology theories enhanced to "twisted" and differential-geometric form, with focus on, firstly, their rational approximation by generalized Chern character maps, and then, the resulting charge quantization laws in higher n-form gauge field theories appearing in string theory and the classification of topological quantum materials. Although crucial for understanding famously elusive effects in strongly interacting physics, the relevant higher non-abelian cohomology theory ("higher gerbes") has had an esoteric reputation and remains underdeveloped. Devoted to this end, this book's theme is that various generalized cohomology theories are best viewed through their classifying spaces (or moduli stacks) — not necessarily infinite-loop spaces — from which perspective the character map is really an incarnation of the fundamental theorem of rational homotopy theory, thereby not only uniformly subsuming the classical Chern character and a multitude of scattered variants that have been proposed, but now seamlessly applicable in the hitherto elusive generality of (twisted, differential, and) non-abelian cohomology. In laying out this result with plenty of examples, this book provides a modernized introduction and review of fundamental classical topics: 1. abstract homotopy theory via model categories; 2. generalized cohomology in its homotopical incarnation; 3. rational homotopy theory seen via homotopy Lie theory, whose fundamental theorem we recast as a (twisted) non-abelian de Rham theorem, which naturally induces the (twisted) non-abelian character map.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages237
ISBN (Electronic)9789811276705
ISBN (Print)9789811276699
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics


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