Chern-Simons theory on a closed contact three-manifold is studied when the Lie group for gauge transformations is compact, connected, and abelian. The abelian Chern-Simons partition function is derived using the Faddeev-Popov gauge fixing method. The partition function is then formally computed using the technique of non-abelian localization. This study leads to a natural identification of the abelian Reidemeister-Ray-Singer torsion as a specific multiple of the natural unit symplectic volume form on the moduli space of flat abelian connections for the class of Sasakian three-manifolds. The torsion part of the abelian Chern-Simons partition function is computed explicitly in terms of Seifert data for a given Sasakian three-manifold.
Journal of Mathematical Physics, 2013, Vol 54, Issue 2