Characteristic classes of Q-manifolds: Classification and applications

S. L. Lyakhovich, E. A. Mosman, A. A. Sharapov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


A Q-manifold M is a supermanifold endowed with an odd vector field Q squaring to zero. The Lie derivative LQ along Q makes the algebra of smooth tensor fields on M into a differential algebra. In this paper, we define and study the invariants of Q-manifolds called characteristic classes. These take values in the cohomology of the operator LQ and, given an affine symmetric connection with curvature R, can be represented by universal tensor polynomials in the repeated covariant derivatives of Q and R up to some finite order. As usual, the characteristic classes are proved to be independent of the choice of the affine connection used to define them. The main result of the paper is a complete classification of the intrinsic characteristic classes, which, by definition, do not vanish identically on flat Q-manifolds. As an illustration of the general theory we interpret some of the intrinsic characteristic classes as anomalies in the BV and BFV-BRST quantization methods of gauge theories. An application to the theory of (singular) foliations is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-759
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Geometry and Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Characteristic classes
  • Gauge theories
  • Q-manifolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Geometry and Topology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Characteristic classes of Q-manifolds: Classification and applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this