Title: Deformations of polyhedra and polygons by the unitary group

We introduce the set of framed (convex) polyhedra with N faces as the symplectic quotient C{sup 2N}//SU(2). A framed polyhedron is then parametrized by N spinors living in C{sup 2} satisfying suitable closure constraints and defines a usual convex polyhedron plus extra U(1) phases attached to each face. We show that there is a natural action of the unitary group U(N) on this phase space, which changes the shape of faces and allows to map any (framed) polyhedron onto any other with the same total (boundary) area. This identifies the space of framed polyhedra to the Grassmannian space U(N)/ (SU(2)×U(N−2)). We show how to write averages of geometrical observables (polynomials in the faces' area and the angles between them) over the ensemble of polyhedra (distributed uniformly with respect to the Haar measure on U(N)) as polynomial integrals over the unitary group and we provide a few methods to compute these integrals systematically. We also use the Itzykson-Zuber formula from matrix models as the generating function for these averages and correlations. In the quantum case, a canonical quantization of the framed polyhedron phase space leads to the Hilbert space of SU(2) intertwiners (or, in other words, SU(2)-invariant states in tensor productsmore » of irreducible representations). The total boundary area as well as the individual face areas are quantized as half-integers (spins), and the Hilbert spaces for fixed total area form irreducible representations of U(N). We define semi-classical coherent intertwiner states peaked on classical framed polyhedra and transforming consistently under U(N) transformations. And we show how the U(N) character formula for unitary transformations is to be considered as an extension of the Itzykson-Zuber to the quantum level and generates the traces of all polynomial observables over the Hilbert space of intertwiners. We finally apply the same formalism to two dimensions and show that classical (convex) polygons can be described in a similar fashion trading the unitary group for the orthogonal group. We conclude with a discussion of the possible (deformation) dynamics that one can define on the space of polygons or polyhedra. This work is a priori useful in the context of discrete geometry but it should hopefully also be relevant to (loop) quantum gravity in 2+1 and 3+1 dimensions when the quantum geometry is defined in terms of gluing of (quantized) polygons and polyhedra.« less

Laboratoire de Physique, ENS Lyon, CNRS-UMR 5672, 46 Allée d'Italie, Lyon 69007, France and Perimeter Institute, 31 Caroline St N, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 2Y5 (Canada)

Publication Date:

OSTI Identifier:

22217742

Resource Type:

Journal Article

Resource Relation:

Journal Name: Journal of Mathematical Physics; Journal Volume: 54; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)