Quantcast
  • Register
PhysicsOverflow is a next-generation academic platform for physicists and astronomers, including a community peer review system and a postgraduate-level discussion forum analogous to MathOverflow.

Welcome to PhysicsOverflow! PhysicsOverflow is an open platform for community peer review and graduate-level Physics discussion.

Please help promote PhysicsOverflow ads elsewhere if you like it.

News

New printer friendly PO pages!

Migration to Bielefeld University was successful!

Please vote for this year's PhysicsOverflow ads!

Please do help out in categorising submissions. Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!

... see more

Tools for paper authors

Submit paper
Claim Paper Authorship

Tools for SE users

Search User
Reclaim SE Account
Request Account Merger
Nativise imported posts
Claim post (deleted users)
Import SE post

Users whose questions have been imported from Physics Stack Exchange, Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or any other Stack Exchange site are kindly requested to reclaim their account and not to register as a new user.

Public \(\beta\) tools

Report a bug with a feature
Request a new functionality
404 page design
Send feedback

Attributions

(propose a free ad)

Site Statistics

178 submissions , 140 unreviewed
4,360 questions , 1,685 unanswered
5,105 answers , 21,689 comments
1,470 users with positive rep
649 active unimported users
More ...

  Does Dijkgraaf-Witten theory have a time-reversal symmetry?

+ 4 like - 0 dislike
70 views

By having a time-reversal symmetry I mean that there is a local anti-unitary symmetry (representing the non-trivial element of $Z_2$) of the state-sum construction (or, if you want, of the associated Hamiltonian). In other words there is a codimension-1 anti-unitary defect, or yet in other words there is a local basis in which all tensors involved in the state-sum have real entries.

Such a symmetry often exists, as for example in the case of the group $Z_2$. However I see no reason why such a symmetry should be there in general, and it seems to me that it actually might not exist for $Z_3$ with one of the non-trivial group cocycles.

For a theory with time-reversal symmetry all invariants associated to oriented $3$-manifolds should be real. Are there manifolds to which the non-trivial $Z_3$ (or some other) Dijkgraaf-Witten theory associates a non-real number? (By construction the invariant is real on manifolds with reflection symmetry, so one would have to test oriented 3-manifolds without reflection symmetry. Guess those exist?)

The motivation why I'm asking is that in physics, models like Dijkgraaf-Witten are called "non-chiral" because they allow gapped boundaries, but on the other hand, people refer to models as "non-chiral" if they have a time-reversal symmetry. I feel that those two notions of "non-chiral" have a large overlap but are not exactly equivalent.

This post imported from StackExchange MathOverflow at 2019-07-25 17:58 (UTC), posted by SE-user Andi Bauer
asked Jun 22 in Theoretical Physics by Andi Bauer (55 points) [ no revision ]
retagged Jul 25
Most voted comments show all comments
this is a really great question. A related question, which I am going pose with absolutely no explanation: Is the trace of the T-matrix for the Drinfeld center of a unitary fusion category always real? I just spent the past hour computing and it seems like the answer might be yes....

This post imported from StackExchange MathOverflow at 2019-07-25 17:58 (UTC), posted by SE-user Daniel Barter
I can write a more detailed answer later today, but another perspective on time-reversal symmetry is that $Z$ admits a time-reversal symmetry if it can be defined on unoriented manifolds. Dijkgraaf-Witten theory requires integrating a cohomology class associated to the principal bundle, which is where the orientation appears; in some cases, one can use mod 2 cohomology, or orientation-twisted cohomology, to define the theory on unoriented manifolds. These theories have been constructed by Young.

This post imported from StackExchange MathOverflow at 2019-07-25 17:58 (UTC), posted by SE-user Arun Debray
@DanielBarter Well the trace of the T-matrix is nothing but the invariant associated to a $3$-manifold, namely $T_2\times I$ (with $T_2$ the $2$-torus and $I$ the interval) where we glue the two boundary components in a Dehn-twisted manner. Don't know much about $3$-manifolds, does this one not have a reflection symmetry?

This post imported from StackExchange MathOverflow at 2019-07-25 17:58 (UTC), posted by SE-user Andi Bauer
@ArunDebray Yes, from my state-sum perspective I also get to the conclusion that models with time-reversal symmetry can be extended to unoriented manifolds in a non-trivial way. This is because in a unitary state-sum model we take a tensor or its (entry-wise) complex conjugate depending on the chirality of the simplices relative to an orientation. If all tensors are real there's no dependence on orientation, so we can define the model on arbitrary (unoriented) manifolds.

This post imported from StackExchange MathOverflow at 2019-07-25 17:58 (UTC), posted by SE-user Andi Bauer
@KevinWalker Time-reversal symmetry is usually defined to be a local anti-unitary symmetry without orientation-reversal. In physics though one usually assumes that models (like Dijkgraaf-Witten) are unitary which means that there already automatically is a anti-unitary symmetry associated to orientation-reversal. Combined with the local anti-unitary time-reversal symmetry this yields a unitary symmetry associated with orientation reversal. So time-reversal symmetry and a unitary symmetry associated to orientation-reversal are the same for a unitary theory.

This post imported from StackExchange MathOverflow at 2019-07-25 17:58 (UTC), posted by SE-user Andi Bauer
Most recent comments show all comments
Ok I see if the T-matrix is different then they are in different phases so they can't have time-reversal symmetry. Cool, thanks!

This post imported from StackExchange MathOverflow at 2019-07-25 17:58 (UTC), posted by SE-user Andi Bauer
Let us continue this discussion in chat.

This post imported from StackExchange MathOverflow at 2019-07-25 17:58 (UTC), posted by SE-user Marcel Bischoff

Your answer

Please use answers only to (at least partly) answer questions. To comment, discuss, or ask for clarification, leave a comment instead.
To mask links under text, please type your text, highlight it, and click the "link" button. You can then enter your link URL.
Please consult the FAQ for as to how to format your post.
This is the answer box; if you want to write a comment instead, please use the 'add comment' button.
Live preview (may slow down editor)   Preview
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
Anti-spam verification:
If you are a human please identify the position of the character covered by the symbol $\varnothing$ in the following word:
p$\hbar$ysicsOv$\varnothing$rflow
Then drag the red bullet below over the corresponding character of our banner. When you drop it there, the bullet changes to green (on slow internet connections after a few seconds).
To avoid this verification in future, please log in or register.




user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

Your rights
...