We review our proposal to generalize the standard two-dimensional flatness construction of Lax-Zakharov-Shabat to relativistic field theories in d+1 dimensions. The fundamentals from the theory of connections on loop spaces are presented and clarified. These ideas are exposed using mathematical tools familiar to physicists. We exhibit recent and new results that relate the locality of the loop space curvature to the diffeomorphism invariance of the loop space holonomy. These result are used to show that the holonomy is Abelian if the holonomy is diffeomorphism invariant. These results justify in part and set the limitations of the local implementations of the approach which has been worked out in the last decade. We highlight very interesting applications like the construction and the solution of an integrable four-dimensional field theory with Hopf solitons, and new integrability conditions which generalize BPS equations to systems such as Skyrme theories. Applications of these ideas leading to new constructions are implemented in theories that admit volume-preserving diffeomorphisms of the target space as symmetries. Applications to physically relevant systems like Yang-Mills theories are summarized. We also discuss other possibilities that have not yet been explored.
- Integrable field theories
- Loop spaces
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Astronomy and Astrophysics