, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 353-386

Topological quantum field theory

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Abstract

A twisted version of four dimensional supersymmetric gauge theory is formulated. The model, which refines a nonrelativistic treatment by Atiyah, appears to underlie many recent developments in topology of low dimensional manifolds; the Donaldson polynomial invariants of four manifolds and the Floer groups of three manifolds appear naturally. The model may also be interesting from a physical viewpoint; it is in a sense a generally covariant quantum field theory, albeit one in which general covariance is unbroken, there are no gravitons, and the only excitations are topological.

On leave from Department of Physics, Princeton University. Research supported in part by NSF Grants No. 80-19754, 86-16129, 86-20266
Communicated by A. Jaffe