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In Lagrangian field theory a field history is a section of some fiber bundle $E \overset{fb}{\to} \Sigma$ over spacetime/worldvolume $\Sigma$. This is then called the field bundle.
The de Rham complex of the jet bundle of the field bundle, equipped with its canonical horizontal/vertical bigrading, is the variational bicomplex of the Lagrangian field theory.
For more see at A first idea of quantum field theory the chapter Fields.
The notion of field bundle captures only some aspects of the general notion of spaces of physical fields. For instance the configurations of the B-field do not form sections of a fiber bundle (but of a fiber 2-bundle) and hence for instance the magnetic charge anomaly has no real description by field bundles. See at field (physics) in the section The idea of field bundles and its problems for more.
For $E \to X$ the trivial bundle $X \times \mathbb{R} \to X$ or $X \times \mathbb{C} \to X$ a smooth section is simply a smooth function on $X$ with values in the real numbers or complex numbers, respectively. In physics this is called a scalar field.
More generally, for $V$ a vector space, the trivial field bundle $X \times V \to X$ has as secton $V$-valued functions. These are also called linear sigma-model fields.
Still more generally, if $Y$ is any manifold, then the sections of the tricial field bundle $X \times Y \to X$ are called non-linear sigma-model fields.
For $X$ a smooth manifold and $E \to X$ some tensor product of copies of the tangent bundle $T X \to X$ and the cotangent bundle $T^* X \to X$ a section is a tensor field of the corresponding rank.
Many physical fields are related to tensor fields, but few are genuinely tensor fields. See at field (physics) for more on this.
The traditional idea of field bundle is discussed for instance around section 7.3.3 of
Detailed discussion of field bundles in gauge theory with a fixed instanton sector/principal bundle-class is around section 2.5 of
and the issue is highlighted more explicitly in
Alexander Schenkel, On the problem of gauge theories
in locally covariant QFT_, talk at Operator and Geometric Analysis on Quantum Theory Trento, 2014 (pdf)
Urs Schreiber, Higher field bundles for gauge fields, talk at Operator and Geometric Analysis on Quantum Theory Trento, 2014 (web)
The issue was then fixed in
precisely by retaining to groupoids/stacks of fields, hence using a higher stacky field bundle.
A discussion of the problems of the traditional notion and its rectification in higher geometry is at
Last revised on January 3, 2018 at 02:16:42. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.