Indexed on: 21 Dec '08Published on: 21 Dec '08Published in: Mathematics - Quantum Algebra
The author, and independently De Concini, conjectured that the monodromy of the Casimir connection of a simple Lie algebra g is described by the quantum Weyl group operators of the quantum group U_h(g). The aim of this paper, and of its sequel [TL4], is to prove this conjecture. The proof relies upon the use of quasi-Coxeter algebras, which are to generalised braid groups what Drinfeld's quasitriangular quasibialgebras are to the Artin braid groups B_n. Using an appropriate deformation cohomology, we reduce the conjecture to the existence of a quasi-Coxeter, quasitriangular quasibialgebra structure on the enveloping algebra Ug which interpolates between the quasi-Coxeter structure underlying the Casimir connection and the quasitriangular quasibialgebra underlying the KZ equations. The existence of this structure will be proved in [TL4].