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Covariant canonical formalism for four-dimensional BF theory. (English) Zbl 1111.81136
Summary: The covariant canonical formalism for four-dimensional BF theory is performed. The aim of the paper is to understand in the context of the covariant canonical formalism both the reducibility that some first class constraints have in Dirac’s canonical analysis and also the role that topological terms play. The analysis includes also the cases when both a cosmological constant and the second Chern character are added to the pure BF action. In the case of the BF theory supplemented with the second Chern character, the presymplectic 3-form is different to the one of the BF theory in spite of the fact both theories have the same equations of motion while on the space of solutions they both agree to each other. Moreover, the analysis of the degenerate directions shows some differences between diffeomorphisms and internal gauge symmetries.

81T45Topological field theories
58E99Variational problems in infinite-dimensional spaces
81T13Yang-Mills and other gauge theories
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