Singular cohomology from supersymmetric field theories

Christopher Schommer-Pries, Nathaniel Stapleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We show that Sullivan's model of rational differential forms on a simplicial set X may be interpreted as a (kind of) 0|1-dimensional supersymmetric quantum field theory over X, and, as a consequence, concordance classes of such theories represent the rational cohomology of X. We introduce the notion of superalgebraic cartesian sets, a concept of space which should roughly be thought of as a blend of simplicial sets and supermanifolds, but valid over an arbitrary base ring. Every simplicial set gives rise to a superalgebraic cartesian set and so we can formulate the notion of 0|1-dimensional supersymmetric quantum field theory over X, entirely within the language of such spaces. We explore several variations in the kind of field theory and discuss their cohomological interpretations. Finally, utilizing a theorem of Cartan-Miller, we describe a variant of our theory which is valid over any commutative ring S and allows one to recover the S-cohomology H(X;S) additively and with multiples of the cup product structure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107944
JournalAdvances in Mathematics
StatePublished - Oct 29 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The second author was partially supported by NSF grant DMS-0943787.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Quantum field theory
  • Singular cohomology
  • Supersymmetric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (all)


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