We present a cocycle model for elliptic cohomology with complex coefficients in which methods from –dimensional quantum field theory can be used to rigorously construct cocycles. For example, quantizing a theory of vector-bundle-valued fermions yields a cocycle representative of the elliptic Thom class. This constructs the complexified string orientation of elliptic cohomology, which determines a pushforward for families of rational string manifolds. A second pushforward is constructed from quantizing a supersymmetric –model. These two pushforwards agree, giving a precise physical interpretation for the elliptic index theorem with complex coefficients. This both refines and supplies further evidence for the long-conjectured relationship between elliptic cohomology and –dimensional quantum field theory. Analogous methods in supersymmetric mechanics recover path integral constructions of the Mathai–Quillen Thom form in complexified –theory and a cocycle representative of the –class for a family of oriented manifolds.
"Supersymmetric field theories and the elliptic index theorem with complex coefficients." Geom. Topol. 25 (5) 2287 - 2384, 2021. https://doi.org/10.2140/gt.2021.25.2287