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June 1, 2006

Fourier-Mukai, T-Duality and other linear 2-Maps

Posted by Urs Schreiber

Varghese Mathai is visiting, and will talk today on his work on T-duality. Yesterday he explained to us how T-duality is similar to the Fourier-Mukai transformation.

That’s nice, since it fits into the big picture ().

Here are some preliminary remarks, as a preparation for the talk this afternoon.

Let X be some space. A vector bundle EX is like a vector whose entries are vector spaces, each entry being the fiber over one point of X. We hence call such a vector bundle a (generalized Kapranov-Voevodsky ()) 2-vector. They live in the 2-vector space Vect X, the category of vector bundles over X.

Alternatively, we may think of this as

(1)Vect XModA X ,

where A X=C(X) is the algebra of functions on X (or the sheaf of such functions, according to taste).

We want a notion of linear 2-map from ModA X to ModA Y .

Consider the product space

(2)Y×X p 2 X p 1 Y

and a vector bundle L over that

(3)L Y×X p 2 X p 1 Y.

This is like a Y×X-matrix whose entries are vector spaces. (For Y and X finite sets, this are precisely the ordinary linear 2-maps of Kapranov-Voevodsky ()).

L is an A Y×X module, which we may regard as a A Y-A X bimodule.

We may act with L on E by pulling back along p 2 , tensoring fiberwise with L and pushing forward along p 1 .

(4)L Y×Xp 1 *(E) E Y×X p 2 X p 1 Y.

The result is a bundle (p 1 ) *(L Y×Xp 1 *(E))Y over Y, which we may regard as a A Y-module.

I believe that, possibly up to some subtleties, equivalently, we can regard this as the bimodule tensor product

(5)L A XE.

Of course the subtlety is the pushforward of vector bundles, which goes the “wrong way”. For the first of the examples below, the baby toy example, we can think of the push forward as being given by taking direct sums over fibers living over the same fiber of the map that we push along. For base spaces that are finite sets this makes sense. For continuous spaces we get infinite-dimensional fibers this way, which will need to be reduced to something finite using maybe a Dirac operator and its index, or related tricks.

(Thanks to Varghese Mathai for a lot of very helpful discussion on this point. All oversimplifications which I am making here are completely my fault, of course.)



One can check that, when Y and X are finite sets, this reproduces the 2-map operation of Kapranov-Voevodsky, where we multiply matrices whose entries are vector space with vectors whose entries are vector spaces by mimicking ordinary matrix multiplication but with sums of numbers replaced by direct sums of vector spaces, and with products of numbers replaced by tensor products of vector spaces.


The Fourier-Mukai transformation is of this form.

Shigeru Mukai
Duality between D(X) and D(Y)withitsapplicationtoPicardsheaves
Nagoya Mathematical J. 81 (1981) 153-175

In that context Y is the dual of X and L the Poincaré-line bundle on X *×X.

We can regard this as a categorified Fourier transformation from a 2-vector space of 2-functions on X to that of 2-functions on the dual of X.


The Hecke operator is of this form ().

In this case the line bundle over the correspondence space is trivial.


The equivalence constituting the Langlands duality is of this form. See p. 53 of Frenkel’s lecture notes.

In fact, at least in the classical limit, the geometric Langlands duality is essentially the same as a Fourier-Mukai transformation ().


T-duality can be understood as induced by pulling-tensoring-pushing using a certain line bundle on a certain correspondence.

I’ll talk about that in a seperate entry.

But see for instance def. 1.5 in

U. Bunke, P. Rumpf, Th. Schick
The topology of T-duality for T n-bundles
math.GT/0501487 .

Posted at June 1, 2006 12:44 PM UTC

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