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Gray categories with duals and their diagrams

Barrett, John; Meusburger, Catherine; Schaumann, Gregor


Professor of Mathematical Physics

Catherine Meusburger

Gregor Schaumann


The geometric and algebraic properties of Gray categories with duals are investigated by means of a diagrammatic calculus. The diagrams are three-dimensional stratifications of a cube, with regions, surfaces, lines and vertices labelled by Gray category data. These can be viewed as a generalisation of ribbon diagrams. The Gray categories present two types of duals, which are extended to functors of strict tricategories with natural isomorphisms, and correspond directly to symmetries of the diagrams. It is shown that these functors can be strictified so that the symmetries of a cube are realised exactly. A new condition on Gray categories with duals called the spatial condition is defined. A class of diagrams for which the evaluation for spatial Gray categories is invariant under homeomorphisms is exhibited. This relation between the geometry of the diagrams and structures in the Gray categories proves useful in computations and has potential applications in topological quantum field theory.


Barrett, J., Meusburger, C., & Schaumann, G. Gray categories with duals and their diagrams

Other Type Other
Deposit Date Nov 2, 2017
Publisher Elsevier
Public URL
Additional Information This is an preprint. Last revision: 26 Sep 2018.