Kontsevich quantization formula

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In mathematics, the Kontsevich quantization formula describes how to construct a generalized ★-product operator algebra from a given arbitrary Poisson manifold. This operator algebra amounts to the deformation quantization of the corresponding Poisson algebra. It is due to Maxim Kontsevich.[1][2]

Deformation quantization of a Poisson algebra[edit]

Given a Poisson algebra (A, {⋅, ⋅}), a deformation quantization is an associative unital product ★ on the algebra of formal power series in ħ, A[[ħ]], subject to the following two axioms,

If one were given a Poisson manifold (M, {⋅, ⋅}), one could ask, in addition, that

where the Bk are linear bidifferential operators of degree at most k.

Two deformations are said to be equivalent iff they are related by a gauge transformation of the type,

where Dn are differential operators of order at most n. The corresponding induced ★-product, ★′, is then

For the archetypal example, one may well consider Groenewold's original "Moyal–Weyl" ★-product.

Kontsevich graphs[edit]

A Kontsevich graph is a simple directed graph without loops on 2 external vertices, labeled f and g; and n internal vertices, labeled Π. From each internal vertex originate two edges. All (equivalence classes of) graphs with n internal vertices are accumulated in the set Gn(2).

An example on two internal vertices is the following graph,

Kontsevich graph for n=2

Associated bidifferential operator[edit]

Associated to each graph Γ, there is a bidifferential operator BΓ( f, g) defined as follows. For each edge there is a partial derivative on the symbol of the target vertex. It is contracted with the corresponding index from the source symbol. The term for the graph Γ is the product of all its symbols together with their partial derivatives. Here f and g stand for smooth functions on the manifold, and Π is the Poisson bivector of the Poisson manifold.

The term for the example graph is

Associated weight[edit]

For adding up these bidifferential operators there are the weights wΓ of the graph Γ. First of all, to each graph there is a multiplicity m(Γ) which counts how many equivalent configurations there are for one graph. The rule is that the sum of the multiplicities for all graphs with n internal vertices is (n(n + 1))n. The sample graph above has the multiplicity m(Γ) = 8. For this, it is helpful to enumerate the internal vertices from 1 to n.

In order to compute the weight we have to integrate products of the angle in the upper half-plane, H, as follows. The upper half-plane is H ⊂ ℂ, endowed with a metric

and, for two points z, wH with zw, we measure the angle φ between the geodesic from z to i and from z to w counterclockwise. This is

The integration domain is Cn(H) the space

The formula amounts


where t1(j) and t2(j) are the first and second target vertex of the internal vertex j. The vertices f and g are at the fixed positions 0 and 1 in H.

The formula[edit]

Given the above three definitions, the Kontsevich formula for a star product is now

Explicit formula up to second order[edit]

Enforcing associativity of the ★-product, it is straightforward to check directly that the Kontsevich formula must reduce, to second order in ħ, to just


  1. ^ M. Kontsevich (2003), Deformation Quantization of Poisson Manifolds, Letters of Mathematical Physics 66, pp. 157–216.
  2. ^ Cattaneo, Alberto and Felder, Giovanni (2000). "A Path Integral Approach to the Kontsevich Quantization Formula". Communications in Mathematical Physics. 212 (3): 591. doi:10.1007/s002200000229.