Covariant Hamiltonian field theories on manifolds with boundary: Yang-Mills theories Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2017

start page

  • 47

end page

  • 82


  • 1


  • 9

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1941-4889

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1941-4897


  • The multisymplectic formalism of field theories developed over the last fifty years is extended to deal with manifolds that have boundaries. In particular, a multisymplectic framework for first-order covariant Hamiltonian field theories on manifolds with boundaries is developed. This work is a geometric fulfillment of Fock's formulation of field theories as it appears in recent work by Cattaneo, Mnev and Reshetikhin [11]. This framework leads to a geometric understanding of conventional choices for boundary conditions and relates them to the moment map of the gauge group of the theory. It is also shown that the natural interpretation of the Euler-Lagrange equations as an evolution system near the boundary leads to a presymplectic Hamiltonian system in an extended phase space containing the natural configuration and momenta fields at the boundary together with extra degrees of freedom corresponding to the transversal components at the boundary of the momenta fields of the theory. The consistency conditions for evolution at the boundary are analyzed and the reduced phase space of the system is shown to be a symplectic manifold with a distinguished isotropic submanifold corresponding to the boundary data of the solutions of Euler-Lagrange equations. This setting makes it possible to define well-posed boundary conditions, and provides the adequate setting for the canonical quantization of the system. The notions of the theory are tested against three significant examples: scalar fields, Poisson sigma-model and Yang-Mills theories.


  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Telecommunications


  • classical field theories; hamiltonian field theories; multisymplectic formalism; yang-mills theories; symmetries; presymplectic formalism; symplectic reduction; quantization; geometry