We study generalized electric/magnetic duality in Abelian gauge theory by combining techniques from locally covariant quantum field theory and Cheeger–Simons differential cohomology on the category of globally hyperbolic Lorentzian manifolds. Our approach generalizes previous treatments using the Hamiltonian formalism in a manifestly covariant way and without the assumption of compact Cauchy surfaces. We construct semi-classical configuration spaces and corresponding presymplectic Abelian groups of observables, which are quantized by the CCR-functor to the category of C*-algebras. We demonstrate explicitly how duality is implemented as a natural isomorphism between quantum field theories. We apply this formalism to develop a fully covariant quantum theory of self-dual fields.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics