XXVIII Workshop on Geometric Methods in Physics 28.06-04.07.2009

Jouko Mickelsson

From gauge anomalies to gerbes and gerbal actions

The purpose of this talk is to point out connections between recent ideas about gerbes and gerbal actions (as higher categorical extension of representation theory) and old discussion in quantum field theory on commutator anomalies, gauge group extensions, and 3-cocycles. The unifying concept is the classical obstruction theory for group extensions as explained in the monograph by Saunders Mac Lane on Homology.