2-dimensional TQFTs and Frobenius Algebras

Geometry Topology Student Seminar
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 11:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
Georgia Tech
( This will be a continuation of last week's talk. )An n-dimensional topological quantum field theory is a functor from the category of closed, oriented (n-1)-manifolds and n-dimensional cobordisms to the category of vector spaces and linear maps. Three and four dimensional TQFTs can be difficult to describe, but provide interesting invariants of n-manifolds and are the subjects of ongoing research. This talk focuses on the simpler case n=2, where TQFTs turn out to be equivalent, as categories, to Frobenius algebras. I'll introduce the two structures -- one topological, one algebraic -- explicitly describe the correspondence, and give some examples.