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Itsy Bitsy Topological Field Theory


We construct an elementary, combinatorial kind of topological quantum field theory (TQFT), based on curves, surfaces, and orientations. The construction derives from contact invariants in sutured Floer homology and is essentially an elaboration of a TQFT defined by Honda–Kazez–Matić. This topological field theory stores information in binary format on a surface and has “digital” creation and annihilation operators, giving a toy-model embodiment of “it from bit”.


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Correspondence to Daniel V. Mathews.

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Communicated by Marcos Marino.

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Mathews, D.V. Itsy Bitsy Topological Field Theory. Ann. Henri Poincaré 15, 1801–1865 (2014).

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  • Boundary Component
  • Contact Structure
  • Boundary Edge
  • Internal Vertex
  • Euler Class