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VOL. 46 | 2017 Mednykh's Formula via Lattice Topological Quantum Field Theories


Mednykh [Me78] proved that for any finite group G and any orientable surface S, there is a formula for $# \mathrm{Hom}(\pi_1(S),G)$ in terms of the Euler characteristic of $S$ and the dimensions of the irreducible representations of $G$. A similar formula in the nonorientable case was proved by Frobenius and Schur [FS06]. Both of these proofs use character theory and an explicit presentation for $\pi_1$. These results have been reproven using quantum field theory ([FQ93], [MY05], and others). Here we present a greatly simplified proof of these results which uses only elementary topology and combinatorics. The main tool is an elementary invariant of surfaces attached to a semisimple algebra called a lattice topological quantum field theory.


Published: 1 January 2017
First available in Project Euclid: 21 February 2017

zbMATH: 06990161
MathSciNet: MR3635678

Rights: Copyright © 2017, Centre for Mathematics and its Applications, Mathematical Sciences Institute, The Australian National University. This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without permission. Inquiries should be made to the publisher.


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