Fermionic modular categories and the 16-fold way


We study spin and super-modular categories systematically as inspired by fermionic topological phases of matter, which are always fermion parity enriched and modelled by spin topological quantum field theories at low energy. We formulate a 16-fold way conjecture for the minimal modular extensions of super-modular categories to spin modular categories, which is a categorical formulation of gauging the fermion parity. We investigate general properties of super-modular categories such as fermions in twisted Drinfeld doubles, Verlinde formulas for naive quotients, and explicit extensions of $PSU(2)_{4m+2}$ with an eye towards a classification of the low-rank cases.

J. Math. Phys. 58 (2017), no. 4, 041704, 31 pp