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Logic of differential calculus and the Zoo of geometric structures

Volume 110 / 2016

Alexandre M. Vinogradov Banach Center Publications 110 (2016), 257-285 MSC: Primary 58A99, 53C99, 13N99; Secondary 53A55, 53C50, 55R15. DOI: 10.4064/bc110-0-17


Since the discovery of differential calculus by Newton and Leibniz and the subsequent continuous growth of its applications to physics, mechanics, geometry, etc. it was observed that partial derivatives in the study of various natural problems are (self-)organized in certain structures usually called geometric. Tensors, connections, jets, etc. are commonly known examples. This list of classical geometrical structures is sporadically and continuously widening. For instance, Lie algebroids and BV-bracket are popular recent additions to it.

Our goal is to show that the “zoo” of all geometrical structures has a common source in the calculus of functors of differential calculus over commutative algebras, which surprisingly comes from a due mathematical formalization of observability mechanism in classical physics. We also use this occasion for some critical remarks and discussion of some perspectives.


  • Alexandre M. VinogradovLevi-Civita Institute
    83050 Santo Stefano del Sole (AV)

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