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Primary operations in differential cohomology

Abstract

We characterize primary operations in differential cohomology via stacks, and illustrate by differentially refining Steenrod squares and Steenrod powers explicitly. This requires a delicate interplay between integral, rational, and mod p cohomology, as well as cohomology with U(1) coefficients and differential forms. Along the way we develop computational techniques in differential cohomology, including a K\"unneth decomposition, that should also be useful in their own right, and point to applications to higher geometry and mathematical physics.Comment: 36 pages, minor correction

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