Open Access Short report

A simple proof of orientability in colored group field theory

Francesco Caravelli

Author Affiliations

, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada

, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 2Y5, Canada

, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Am M├╝hlenberg 1, D-14476 Golm, Germany

SpringerPlus 2012, 1:6  doi:10.1186/2193-1801-1-6

Published: 5 July 2012



Group field theory is an emerging field at the boundary between Quantum Gravity, Statistical Mechanics and Quantum Field Theory and provides a path integral for the gluing of n-simplices. Colored group field theory has been introduced in order to improve the renormalizability of the theory and associates colors to the faces of the simplices.

The theory of crystallizations is instead a field at the boundary between graph theory and combinatorial topology and deals with n-simplices as colored graphs. Several techniques have been introduced in order to study the topology of the pseudo-manifold associated to the colored graph.

Although of the similarity between colored group field theory and the theory of crystallizations, the connection between the two fields has never been made explicit.


In this short note we use results from the theory of crystallizations to prove that color in group field theories guarantees orientability of the piecewise linear pseudo-manifolds associated to each graph generated perturbatively.


Colored group field theories generate orientable pseudo-manifolds. The origin of orientability is the presence of two interaction vertices in the action of colored group field theories. In order to obtain the result, we made the connection between the theory of crystallizations and colored group field theory.