Quantum Topology


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Volume 7, Issue 2, 2016, pp. 203–279
DOI: 10.4171/QT/76

Published online: 2016-02-08

Orbifold completion of defect bicategories

Nils Carqueville[1] and Ingo Runkel

(1) Universität Wien, Austria

Orbifolds of two-dimensional quantum field theories have a natural formulation in terms of defects or domain walls. This perspective allows for a rich generalisation of the orbifolding procedure, which we study in detail for the case of topological field theories. Namely, a TFT with defects gives rise to a pivotal bicategory of "world sheet phases" and defects between them. We develop a general framework which takes such a bicategory $\mathcal B$ as input and returns its "orbifold completion" $\mathcal B_{\mathrm {orb}}$. The completion satisfies the natural properties $\mathcal B \subset \mathcal B_{\mathrm {orb}}$ and $(\mathcal B_{\mathrm {orb}})_{\mathrm{orb}} \cong \mathcal B_{\mathrm {orb}}$, and it gives rise to various new equivalences and nondegeneracy results. When applied to TFTs, the objects in $\mathcal B_{\mathrm {orb}}$ correspond to generalised orbifolds of the theories in $\mathcal B$. In the example of Landau–Ginzburg models we recover and unify conventional equivariant matrix factorisations, prove when and how (generalised) orbifolds again produce open/closed TFTs, and give nontrivial examples of new orbifold equivalences.

Keywords: Pivotal bicategories, TQFT, matrix factorisations

Carqueville Nils, Runkel Ingo: Orbifold completion of defect bicategories. Quantum Topol. 7 (2016), 203-279. doi: 10.4171/QT/76