Discrete Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science, Vol 1 (1997)

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BRST Charge and Poisson Algebras

H. Caprasse


An elementary introduction to the classical version of gauge theories is made. The shortcomings of the usual gauge fixing process are pointed out. They justify the need to replace it by a global symmetry: the BRST symmetry and its associated BRST charge. The main mathematical steps required to construct it are described. The algebra of constraints is, in general, a nonlinear Poisson algebra. In the nonlinear case the computation of the BRST charge by hand is hard. Itis explained how this computation can be made algorithmic. The main features of a recently created BRST computer algebra program are described. It can handle quadratic algebras very easily. Its capability to compute the BRST charge as a formal power series in the generic case of a cubic algebra is illustrated.

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