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Conformal nets. IV: The 3-category. (English) Zbl 1433.81129
Summary: Conformal nets are a mathematical model for conformal field theory, and defects between conformal nets are a model for an interaction or phase transition between two conformal field theories. We previously introduced a notion of composition, called fusion, between defects. We also described a notion of sectors between defects, modeling an interaction among or transformation between phase transitions, and defined fusion composition operations for sectors. In this paper we prove that altogether the collection of conformal nets, defects, sectors, and intertwiners, equipped with the fusion of defects and fusion of sectors, forms a symmetric monoidal 3-category. This 3-category encodes the algebraic structure of the possible interactions among conformal field theories.
For Parts I–III, see [the authors, Int. Math. Res. Not. 2015, No. 13, 4975–5052 (2015; Zbl 1339.81085); Commun. Math. Phys. 354, No. 1, 393–458 (2017; Zbl 1430.81070); “Conformal nets. III: Fusion of defects”, Prepint, arXiv:1310.8263].

MSC:
81T40 Two-dimensional field theories, conformal field theories, etc. in quantum mechanics
18M05 Monoidal categories, symmetric monoidal categories
81T05 Axiomatic quantum field theory; operator algebras
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References:
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