# nLab spin^h structure

Contents

## Spin geometry

spin geometry

Dynkin labelsp. orth. groupspin grouppin groupsemi-spin group
SO(2)Spin(2)Pin(2)
B1SO(3)Spin(3)Pin(3)
D2SO(4)Spin(4)Pin(4)
B2SO(5)Spin(5)Pin(5)
D3SO(6)Spin(6)
B3SO(7)Spin(7)
D4SO(8)Spin(8)SO(8)
B4SO(9)Spin(9)
D5SO(10)Spin(10)
B5SO(11)Spin(11)
D6SO(12)Spin(12)
$\vdots$$\vdots$
D8SO(16)Spin(16)SemiSpin(16)
$\vdots$$\vdots$
D16SO(32)Spin(32)SemiSpin(32)

string geometry

cohomology

# Contents

## Definition

With Sp(1) denoting the quaternion unitary group, we define the Spin$^h$ group

$Spin^h(n) = (Spin(n) \times Sp(1))/(\mathbf{Z}/2),$

in complete analogy to the Spin$^c$ group

$Spin^c(n) = (Spin(n) \times U(1))/(\mathbf{Z}/2),$

and the Spin group

$Spin(n) = (Spin(n) \times O(1))/(\mathbf{Z}/2).$

We have a canonical double covering, which is a homomorphism of Lie groups:

$Spin^h(n) \to SO(n)\times SO(3).$

It induces canonical homomorphisms of Lie groups

$Spin^h(n) \to SO(n)$

and

$Spin^h(n) \to SO(3).$

A spin$^h$-structure on a principal bundle $P\to B SO(n)$ is a lift through the canonical map $B Spin^h(n) \to B SO(n)$.

Thus, in concrete terms, a spin$^h$-structure on $P$ is a principal $SO(3)$-bundle $E$ together with a principal $Spin^h(n)$-bundle $Q$ and a double covering map $Q\to P\times E$ equivariant with respect to the homomorphism $Spin^h(n) \to SO(n)\times SO(3)$.

The canonical inclusions

$Spin(n)\to Spin^c(n)\to Spin^h(n)$

allow promotions of spin-structures to spin^c-structures to spin^h-structures. The converse is not true: just as $\mathbb{CP}^2$ is a spin$^c$ manifold with no spin structure, the Wu manifold $SU(3)/SO(3)$ is a spin$^h$ manifold with no spin$^c$ structure (MathOverflow discussion).

## Obstructions to existence

The homotopy fiber of $B Spin^h(n) \to B SO(n)$ is not an Eilenberg-MacLane space, so we cannot expect a single cohomological class to control the existence of spin$^h$-structures.

The first obstruction is the vanishing of the fifth integral Stiefel-Whitney class.

## In physics

Freed-Hopkins use spin$^h$ invertible field theories to model and classify SPT phases in Altland-Zirnbauer class C.

Wang-Wen-Witten study an anomaly in 4d $SU(2)$ gauge theory that can appear when the theory is placed in spin$^h$ manifolds.

The original definition is due to

• Christian Bär, Elliptic symbols. Mathematische Nachrichten, 201(1), 7–35.

A survey is given in

• Michael Albanese, Aleksandar Milivojevic, Spin^h and further generalisations of spin. arXiv:2008.04934

Applications in physics: