Almost since the advent of skein-theoretic invariants of knots and links (the Jones, HOMFLY, and Kauffman polynomials), the important role of categories of tangles in the connection between low-dimensional topology and quantum-group theory has been recognized. The rich categorical structures naturally arising from the considerations of cobordisms have suggested functorial views of topological field theory. This book begins with a detailed exposition of the key ideas in the discovery of monoidal categories of tangles as central objects of study in low-dimensional topology. The focus then turns to the deformation theory of monoidal categories and the related deformation theory of monoidal functors, which is a proper generalization of Gerstenhaber''s deformation theory of associative algebras. These serve as the building blocks for a deformation theory of braided monoidal categories which gives rise to sequences of Vassiliev invariants of framed links, and clarify their interrelations. Contents: Knots and Categories: Monoidal Categories, Functors and Natural Transformations; A Digression on Algebras; Knot Polynomials; Smooth Tangles and PL Tangles; A Little Enriched Category Theory; Deformations: Deformation Complexes of Semigroupal Categories and Functors; First Order Deformations; Units; Extrinsic Deformations of Monoidal Categories; Categorical Deformations as Proper Generalizations of Classical Notions; and other papers. Readership: Mathematicians and theoretical physicists.This book begins with a detailed exposition of the key ideas in the discovery of monoidal categories of tangles as central objects of study in low-dimensional topology.

Title | : | Functorial Knot Theory |

Author | : | David N. Yetter |

Publisher | : | World Scientific - 2001-01-01 |

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