quasi-Hopf algebra




The notion of a quasi-Hopf algebra generalizes this of a Hopf algebra by weakening the associativity coherence (Drinfeld 89).

In particular, quasi-Hopf algebras may be obtained from ordinary Hopf algebras by twisting by a Drinfeld associator, i.e. a nonabelian bialgebra 3-cocycle.

Motivation from quantum field theory

Drinfel’d was motivated by study of monoidal categories in rational 2d conformal field theory (RCFT) as well as by an idea from Grothendieck’s Esquisse namely the Grothendieck-Teichmüller tower and its modular properties. In RCFT, the monoidal categories appearing can be, by Tannaka reconstruction considered as categories of modules of Hopf algebra-like objects where the flexibility of associativity coherence in building a theory were natural thus leading to quasi-Hopf algebras.

A special case of the motivation in RCFT has a toy example of Dijkgraaf-Witten theory which can be quite geometrically explained. Namely, where the groupoid convolution algebra of the delooping groupoid BG\mathbf{B}G of a finite group GG naturally has the structure of a Hopf algebra, the twisted groupoid convolution algebra of BG\mathbf{B}G equipped with a 3-cocycle c:BGB 3U(1)c \colon \mathbf{B}G \to \mathbf{B}^3 U(1) is naturally a quasi-Hopf algebra. Since such a 3-cocycle is precisely the background gauge field of the 3d TFT called Dijkgraaf-Witten theory, and hence quasi-Hopf algebras arise there (Dijkgraaf-Pasquier-Roche 91).


A quasibialgebra is a unital associative algebra (A,m,η)(A,m,\eta) with a structure of not necessarily coassociative coalgebra (A,Δ,ϵ)(A,\Delta,\epsilon) and an invertible element ϕAAA\phi \in A\otimes A\otimes A such that

(Δ1)Δ(a)=ϕ((1Δ)Δ(a))ϕ 1,aA, (\Delta \otimes 1)\Delta(a) = \phi\left((1\otimes\Delta)\Delta(a)\right)\phi^{-1},\,\,\,\,\,\forall a\in A,
(11Δ)(ϕ)(Δ11)(ϕ)=(1ϕ)(1Δ1)(ϕ)(ϕ1) (1\otimes 1\otimes\Delta)(\phi)(\Delta\otimes 1\otimes 1)(\phi) = (1\otimes\phi)(1\otimes\Delta\otimes 1)(\phi)(\phi\otimes 1)

and some identities involving unit η\eta and counit ϵ\epsilon hold.

A quasi-Hopf algebra is a quasibialgebra with a suitable notion of an antipode.


The notion was introduced in

  • Vladimir Drinfel'd, Квазихопфовы алгебры, Algebra i Analiz 1 (1989), no. 6, 114–148, pdf; translation Quasi-Hopf algebras, Leningrad Math. J. 1 (1990), no. 6, 1419–1457 MR1047964

The relation to Dijkgraaf-Witten theory appeared in

  • Robbert Dijkgraaf, V. Pasquier, P. Roche, QuasiHopf algebras, group cohomology and orbifold models, Nucl. Phys. B Proc. Suppl. 18B (1990), 60-72; Quasi-quantum groups related to orbifold models, Modern quantum field theory (Bombay, 1990), 375–383, World Sci. 1991

and some arguments about the general relevance of quasi-Hopf algebras is in

  • Gerhard Mack, Volker Schomerus, Quasi Hopf quantum symmetry in quantum theory, Nuclear Physics B 370:1 (1992) 185–230 doi

Other articles include

  • В. Г. Дринфельд, О структуре квазитреугольных квазихопфовых алгебр, Функц. анализ и его прил. 26:1 (1992), 78–80, pdf; transl. V. G. Drinfeld, Structure of quasitriangular quasi-hopf algebras, Funct. Anal. Appl., 26:1 (1992), 63–65

  • V. G. Drinfelʹd, О квазитреугольных квазихопфовых алгебрах и одной группе, тесно связанной с Gal(Q¯/Q)\mathrm{Gal}(\overline{\mathbf{Q}}/\mathbf {Q}), Algebra i Analiz 2 (1990), no. 4, 149–181, pdf; translation On quasitriangular quasi-Hopf algebras and on a group that is closely connected with Gal(Q¯/Q)\mathrm{Gal}(\overline{\mathbf{Q}}/\mathbf {Q}), Leningrad Math. J. 2 (1991), no. 4, 829–860, MR1080203

  • V. G. Drinfelʹd, Quasi-Hopf algebras and Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov equations, Problems of modern quantum field theory (Alushta, 1989), 1–13, Res. Rep. Phys., Springer 1989.

  • Shahn Majid, Quantum double for quasi-Hopf algebras, Lett. Math. Phys. 45 (1998), no. 1, 1–9, MR2000b:16077, doi, q-alg/9701002

  • Peter Schauenburg, Hopf modules and the double of a quasi-Hopf algebra, Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 354 (2002), 3349-3378 pdf

Last revised on October 17, 2016 at 13:41:39. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.