Tähtinen, Vesa
(Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
This PhD Thesis is about certain infinite-dimensional Grassmannian manifolds that arise naturally in geometry, representation theory and mathematical physics. From the physics point of view one encounters these infinite-dimensional manifolds when trying to understand the second quantization of fermions. The many particle Hilbert space of the second quantized fermions is called the fermionic Fock space. A typical element of the fermionic Fock space can be thought to be a linear combination of the configurations m particles and n anti-particles .
Geometrically the fermionic Fock space can be constructed as holomorphic sections of a certain (dual)determinant line bundle lying over the so called restricted Grassmannian manifold, which is a typical example of an infinite-dimensional Grassmannian manifold one encounters in QFT. The construction should be compared with its well-known finite-dimensional analogue, where one realizes an exterior power of a finite-dimensional vector space as the space of holomorphic sections of a determinant line bundle lying over a finite-dimensional Grassmannian manifold.
The connection with infinite-dimensional representation theory stems from the fact that the restricted Grassmannian manifold is an infinite-dimensional homogeneous (Kähler) manifold, i.e. it is of the form G/H where G is a certain infinite-dimensional Lie group and H its subgroup. A central extension of G acts on the total space of the dual determinant line bundle and also on the space its holomorphic sections; thus G admits a (projective) representation on the fermionic Fock space. This construction also induces the so called basic representation for loop groups (of compact groups), which in turn are vitally important in string theory / conformal field theory.
The Thesis consists of three chapters: the first chapter is an introduction to the backround material and the other two chapters are individually written research articles.
The first article deals in a new way with the well-known question in Yang-Mills theory, when can one lift the action of the gauge transformation group on the space of connection one forms to the total space of the Fock bundle in a compatible way with the second quantized Dirac operator. In general there is an obstruction to this (called the Mickelsson-Faddeev anomaly) and various geometric interpretations for this anomaly, using such things as group extensions and bundle gerbes, have been given earlier. In this work we give a new geometric interpretation for the Faddeev-Mickelsson anomaly in terms of differentiable gerbes (certain sheaves of categories) and central extensions of Lie groupoids.
The second research article deals with the question how to define a Dirac-like operator on the restricted Grassmannian manifold, which is an infinite-dimensional space and hence not in the landscape of standard Dirac operator theory. The construction relies heavily on infinite-dimensional representation theory and one of the most technically demanding challenges is to be able to introduce proper normal orderings for certain infinite sums of operators in such a way that all divergences will disappear and the infinite sum will make sense as a well-defined operator acting on a suitable Hilbert space of spinors. This research article was motivated by a more extensive ongoing project to construct twisted K-theory classes in Yang-Mills theory via a Dirac-like operator on the restricted Grassmannian manifold.