Communications in Mathematical Physics

, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 353–386

Topological quantum field theory

  • Edward Witten

DOI: 10.1007/BF01223371

Cite this article as:
Witten, E. Commun.Math. Phys. (1988) 117: 353. doi:10.1007/BF01223371


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.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Witten
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced StudyPrincetonUSA

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