Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov equation

under construction




Given a suitable Lie algebra 𝔤\mathfrak{g} a Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov equation is the equation expressing flatness of certain class of vector bundles with connection on Fadell's configuration space of NN distinct points in C N\mathbf{C}^N. It appeared in the study of Wess-Zumino-Novikov-Witten model (WZNW model) of 2d CFT in (Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov 84).

The Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov equation involves what is called the Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov connection and it is related to monodromy representations of the Artin’s braid group.

In the standard variant, its basic data involve a given complex simple Lie algebra 𝔤\mathfrak{g} with a fixed bilinear invariant polynomial (,)(,) (the Killing form) and NN (not necessarily finite-dimensional) representations V 1,,V nV_1,\ldots, V_n of 𝔤\mathfrak{g}. Let V=V 1V NV = V_1\otimes \ldots\otimes V_N. Consder the Fadell's configuration space Conf N(CP 1)Conf_N(\mathbf{C}P^1) of NN distinct points in CP 1\mathbf{C}P^1 and its subset Conf N(C)Conf_N(\mathbf{C}).


From geometric quantization of Chern-Simons theory

The existence of the Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov connection can naturally be understood from the holographic quantization of the WZW model on the Lie group GG by geometric quantization of GG-Chern-Simons theory:

as discussed there, for a 2-dimensional manifold Σ\Sigma, a choice of polarization of the phase space of 3d Chern-Simons theory on Σ\Sigma is naturally induced by a choice JJ of conformal structure on Σ\Sigma. Once such a choice is made, the resulting space of quantum states Σ (J)\mathcal{H}_\Sigma^{(J)} of the Chern-Simons theory over Σ\Sigma is naturally identified with the space of conformal blocks of the WZW model 2d CFT on the Riemann surface (Σ,J)(\Sigma, J).

But since from the point of view of the 3d Chern-Simons theory the polarization JJ is an arbitrary choice, the space of quantum states Σ (J)\mathcal{H}_\Sigma^{(J)} should not depend on this choice, up to specified equivalence. Formally this means that as JJ varies (over the moduli space of conformal structures on Σ\Sigma) the Σ (J)\mathcal{H}_{\Sigma}^{(J)} should form a vector bundle on this moduli space of conformal structures which is equipped with a flat connection whose parallel transport hence provides equivalences between between the fibers Σ (J)\mathcal{H}_{\Sigma}^{(J)} of this vector bundle.

This flat connection is the Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov connection. This was maybe first realized and explained in (Witten 89).


The original articles are

  • A. Belavin , Alexander Polyakov , Alexander Zamolodchikov, Infinite conformal symmetry in two-dimensional quantum field theory (1984) Nucl. Phys. B 241 (2): 333–80.

  • Daniel Friedan, S. Shenker, The analytic geometry of two-dimensional conformal field theory, Nuclear Physics B281 (1987) (pdf)

The interpretation of this structure in terms of a flat connection on the moduli space of conformal structures was given in

  • Graeme Segal, Conformal field theory, Oxford preprint and lecture at the IAMP Congress, Swansea July 1988.

The generalization to higher genus surfaces is due to

  • D. Bernard, On the Wess-Zumino-Witten models on the torus, Nucl. Phys. B 303 77-93 (1988)

  • D. Bernard, On the Wess-Zumino-Witten models on Riemann surfaces, Nucl. Phys. B 309 145-174 (1988)

Finally the interpreation of this connection in terms of the geometric quantization of Chern-Simons theory is due to the discussion on p. 20 of

  • Edward Witten Quantum Field Theory and the Jones Polynomial Commun. Math. Phys. 121 (3) (1989) 351–399. MR0990772 (EUCLID)

A quick review of the Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov equation in the context of an introduction to WZW model CFT is in section 5.6 of

A review of the definition of the Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov connection on the moduli space of genus-0 surfaces with nn marked points is in section 2 of

  • Shu Oi, Kimio Ueno, Connection Problem of Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov Equation on Moduli Space 0,5\mathcal{M}_{0,5} (arXiv:1109.0715)

See also

  • wikipedia Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov equations

  • Philippe Di Francesco,Pierre Mathieu,David Sénéchal, Conformal field theory, Springer 1997

  • P. Etingof, I. Frenkel, Lectures on representation theory and Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov equations, book; V. Chari, review in Bull. AMS: pdf

  • I. B. Frenkel, N. Yu. Reshetikihin, Quantum affine algebras and holonomic diference equations, Comm. Math. Phys. 146 (1992), 1-60, MR94c:17024

  • Valerio Toledano-Laredo, Flat connections and quantum groups, Acta Appl. Math. 73 (2002), 155-173, math.QA/0205185

  • Toshitake Kohno, Conformal field theory and topology, transl. from the 1998 Japanese original by the author. Translations of Mathematical Monographs 210. Iwanami Series in Modern Mathematics. Amer. Math. Soc. 2002. x+172 pp.

  • P. Etingof, N. Geer, Monodromy of trigonometric KZ equations, math.QA/0611003

  • Valerio Toledano-Laredo, A Kohno-Drinfeld theorem for quantum Weyl groups, math.QA/0009181

  • A. Tsuchiya, Y. Kanie, Vertex operators in conformal field theory on P 1\mathbf{P}^1 and monodromy representations of braid group, Adv. Stud. Pure Math. 16, pp. 297–372 (1988); Erratum in vol. 19, 675–682

  • C. Kassel, Quantum groups, Grad. Texts in Math. 155, Springer 1995

  • V. Chari, , A. Pressley, A guide to quantum groups, Camb. Univ. Press 1994В.

  • А. Голубева, В. П. Лексин, Алгебраическая характеризация монодромии обобщенных уравнений Книжника–Замолодчикова типа B nB_n, Монодромия в задачах алгебраической геометрии и дифференциальных уравнений, Сборник статей, Тр. МИАН, 238, Наука, М., 2002, 124–143, pdf; V. A. Golubeva, V. P. Leksin, “Algebraic Characterization of the Monodromy of Generalized Knizhnik–Zamolodchikov Equations of Bn Type”, Proc. Steklov Inst. Math., 238 (2002), 115–133

  • V. A. Golubeva, V. P. Leksin, Rigidity theorems for multiparametric deformations of algebraic structures, associated with the Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov equations, Journal of Dynamical and Control Systems, 13:2 (2007), 161–171, MR2317452

  • V. A. Golubeva, Integrability conditions for two–parameter Knizhnik–Zamolodchikov equations of type B nB_n in the tensor and spinor cases, Doklady Mathematics, 79:2 (2009), 147–149

  • V. G. Drinfelʹd, Quasi-Hopf algebras and Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov equations, Problems of modern quantum field theory (Alushta, 1989), 1–13, Res. Rep. Phys., Springer 1989.

  • R. Rimányi, V. Tarasov, A. Varchenko, P. Zinn-Justin, Extended Joseph polynomials, quantized conformal blocks, and a qq-Selberg type integral, arxiv/1110.2187

  • E. Mukhin, V. Tarasov, A. Varchenko, KZ characteristic variety as the zero set of classical Calogero-Moser Hamiltonians, arxiv/1201.3990

Revised on March 20, 2014 02:59:10 by Urs Schreiber (