Colliding holes in Riemann surfaces and quantum cluster algebras

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Colleges, School and Institutes


In this paper, we describe a new type of surgery for non-compact Riemann surfaces that naturally appears when colliding two holes or two sides of the same hole in an orientable Riemann surface with boundary (and possibly orbifold points). As a result of this surgery, bordered cusps appear on the boundary components of the Riemann surface. In Poincaré uniformization, these bordered cusps correspond to ideal triangles in the fundamental domain. We introduce the notion of bordered cusped Teichmüller space and endow it with a Poisson structure, quantization of which is achieved with a canonical quantum ordering. We give a complete combinatorial description of the bordered cusped Teichmüller space by introducing the notion of maximal cusped lamination, a lamination consisting of geodesic arcs between bordered cusps and closed geodesics homotopic to the boundaries such that it triangulates the Riemann surface. We show that each bordered cusp carries a natural decoration, i.e. a choice of a horocycle, so that the lengths of the arcs in the maximal cusped lamination are defined as λ-lengths in Thurston–Penner terminology. We compute the Goldman bracket explicitly in terms of these λ-lengths and show that the groupoid of flip morphisms acts as a generalized cluster algebra mutation. From the physical point of view, our construction provides an explicit coordinatization of moduli spaces of open/closed string worldsheets and their quantization.


Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2017