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Oxford Quantum Talks Archive

The locally covariant approach to quantum field theory in curved spacetimes

Chris Fewster, University of York
Categories, Logic and Foundations of Physics III, August 2008, University of Oxford

A long-established guiding principle for quantum field theory in curved spacetimes is that it should be formulated in a local and geometrically covariant way. Recently, Brunetti, Fredenhagen and Verch have given an elegant formulation of this principle in categorical terms: a theory should be understood as a functor from a category of spacetimes to a category of star-algebras. This conceptual clarification is at the heart of a number of important results for QFT in general spacetimes, such as a proof of the spin-statistics theorem and the perturbative construction of interacting QFT. This talk reviews the locally covariant approach and some of its applications, and also describes joint work with Verch that refines and sharpens the framework.

[video] [streaming video]