Classifying tangent structures using Weil algebras

Poon Leung

At the heart of differential geometry is the construction of the tangent bundle of a manifold. There are various abstractions of this construction, and of particular interest here is that of Tangent Structures. Tangent Structure is defined via giving an underlying category M and a tangent functor T along with a list of natural transformations satisfying a set of axioms, then detailing the behaviour of T in the category End(M). However, this axiomatic definition at first seems somewhat disjoint from other approaches in differential geometry. The aim of this paper is to present a perspective that addresses this issue. More specifically, this paper highlights a very explicit relationship between the axiomatic definition of Tangent Structure and the Weil algebras (which have a well established place in differential geometry).

Keywords: Tangent Structure, Weil algebra

2010 MSC: 18D99,53A99

Theory and Applications of Categories, Vol. 32, 2017, No. 9, pp 286-337.

Published 2017-02-15.

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