The study of tensor categories involves the interplay of representation theory, combinatorics, number theory, and low dimensional topology (from a string diagram calculation, describing the 3-dimensional bordism 2-category [arXiv:1411.0945]).

Symmetry, as formalized by group theory, is ubiquitous across mathematics and science. Classical examples include point groups in crystallography, Noether's theorem relating differentiable symmetries and conserved quantities, and the classification of fundamental particles according to irreducible representations of the PoincarĂ© group and the internal symmetry groups of the standard model. However, in some quantum settings, the notion of a group is no longer enough to capture all symmetries. Important motivating examples include Galois-like symmetries of von Neumann algebras, anyonic particles in condensed matter physics, and deformations of universal enveloping algebras. The language of tensor categories provides a unified framework to discuss these notions of quantum symmetry.

Symmetry, as formalized by group theory, is ubiquitous across mathematics and science. Classical examples include point groups in crystallography, Noether's theorem relating differentiable symmetries and conserved quantities, and the classification of fundamental particles according to irreducible representations of the Poincaré group and the internal symmetry groups of the standard model. However, in some quantum settings, the notion of a group is no longer enough to capture all symmetries. Important motivating examples include Galois-like symmetries of von Neumann algebras, anyonic particles in condensed matter physics, and deformations of universal enveloping algebras. The language of tensor categories provides a unified framework to discuss these notions of quantum symmetry.

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