topological Yang-Mills theory


\infty-Chern-Simons theory

∞-Chern-Weil theory

∞-Chern-Simons theory

∞-Wess-Zumino-Witten theory




Quantum field theory


physics, mathematical physics, philosophy of physics

Surveys, textbooks and lecture notes

theory (physics), model (physics)

experiment, measurement, computable physics



Topological Yang-Mills theory is a gauge theory topological quantum field theory .


For XX a 4-dimensional smooth manifold, 𝔤\mathfrak{g} a Lie algebra with Lie group GG and ,W(𝔤)\langle-,-\rangle \in W(\mathfrak{g}) a binary invariant polynomial on 𝔤\mathfrak{g}, topological Yang-Mills theory is the quantum field theory defined by the action functional

S:GBund (X) S : G Bund_\nabla(X) \to \mathbb{R}

on the groupoid of GG-principal bundles with connection on a bundle that sends a connecton \nabla to the integral of the curvature 4-form F F \langle F_\nabla \wedge F_\nabla \rangle of the corresponding Chern-Simons circle 3-bundle:

S: XF AF A. S : \nabla \mapsto \int_X \langle F_A \wedge F_A\rangle \,.

Relation to other models

The ordinary kinetic term of Yang-Mills theory differs from this by the fact that the Hodge star operator appears F F \langle F_\nabla \wedge \star F_\nabla \rangle. In full Yang-Mills theory both terms appear.

The topological Yang-Mills action also appears in the generalized Chern-Simons theory given by a Chern-Simons element in a Lie 2-algebra, where it is coupled to BF-theory. See Chern-Simons element for details.


The term originates with


Review emphasizing the relation to Chern-Simons theory is

The relation to Chern-Simons theory on the boundary in an ambient string theoretic context is indicated in section 2 (starting around p. 21) of

On the Gribov ambiguity in topological Yang-Mills theory:

See also