Fiona Torzewska (Univeristy of Leeds) : Mapping class groupoids and motion groupoids (2nd session)
From Greg McCracken
LMS YaMCATS Category Theory and its Applications Lecture Series,
Fiona Torzewska (Univeristy of Leeds) : Mapping class groupoids and motion groupoids
A topological phase of matter is a physical system whose behaviour may be effectively described via a topological quantum field theory i.e. functor from cob to vect. The study of topological quantum field theories has applications in quantum computing but also involves a lot of beautiful mathematics which is interesting in its own right. A central role in the description of topological phases of matter in 2 (spatial) dimensions is played by the representations of braid groups. A natural generalisation to study the statistics of higher (spatial) dimensional phases of matter is then to look for generalisations of the braid group. Braid groups can be equivalently defined as the mapping class groups or as the motions groups of points in a disk, as well as in several other equivalent ways. In these lectures we will introduce generalisations of these two definitions. In each case we will show first that these give us groupoids and then that we can get back to the classical definitions by considering the endomorphisms of a single object. The mapping class groupoid is a simpler construction but is not in general the right notion to take when considering particles moving through space. We will construct a functor from the motion groupoid to the mapping class groupoid and hence see which cases we can study only the mapping class groupoid. We will use lots of examples to aid intuition and intend this talk to be accessible to those with minimal knowledge of topology.