Clifford algebras are associative algebras constructed from quadratic forms on vector spaces. They can be viewed as generalizations of the real numbers, complex numbers, and quaternions. These algebras have applications in geometry and theoretical physics.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

27
votes
6answers
3k views

Good introductory book on geometric algebra

The title of the question already says it all but I would like to add that I would really like the book to be more about geometric algebra than its applications : it should contain theorems' proofs. ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the Clifford algebra?

I'm reading a book on Clifford algebra for physicists. I don't quite understand it conceptually even if I can do most algebraic manipulations. Can some-one teach me what the Clifford algebra really ...
9
votes
2answers
150 views

Is there a deeper meaning behind the “determinant” formula for the cross product?

We all know that for all vectors $\mathbf{a}, \mathbf{b} \in \mathbb{R^3}$, if $(a_x,a_y,a_z)^\top$ is the component form of $\mathbf{a}$ and similarly $(b_x, b_y, b_z)^\top$ is the component form of ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Are Clifford algebras and differential forms equivalent frameworks for differential geometry?

I recently discovered Clifford's geometric algebra and its application to differential geometry. Some claim that this conceptual framework subsumes and generalizes the more traditional approach based ...
9
votes
2answers
272 views

Opposite Clifford-Algebra

for a symmetric bilinearform $\beta$ on a $\mathbb{K}$-vectorspace $V$ the associated Clifford Algebra $Cl(\beta)$ is the associative algebra with unit subject to the relations $$v\cdot ...
8
votes
1answer
657 views

How can I derive the back propagation formula in a more elegant way?

When you compute the gradient of the cost function of a neural network with respect to its weights, as I currently understand it, you can only do it by computing the partial derivative of the cost ...
7
votes
1answer
129 views

What are some simple examples I can use to demonstrate the power of geometric algebra?

What are some simple examples I can use to demonstrate the power of geometric algebra over "everyday" vector algebra? An alternative way of thinking of this question might be: what example ...
6
votes
1answer
720 views

Mathematical significance of the “Dirac conjugate”

Let $\psi$ be a Dirac spinor. The so-called "Dirac conjugate" of $\psi$ is defined to be $\widetilde{\psi}:=\psi ^*\gamma ^0$, where $^*$ denotes the adjoint and the gamma matrices $\gamma ^\mu$ ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Formal Definition of Yang Mills Lagrangian

I have a question regarding the Lagrangian in non abelian gauge theory. Say, $G$ is the gauge group and $\mathfrak g$ the associated Lie algebra. The Lagrangian is often written as $$ \mathcal ...
5
votes
2answers
224 views

How to prove the tensor product of two copies of $\mathbb{H}$ is isomorphic to $M_4 (\mathbb{R})$?

How to prove the tensor product over $\mathbb{R}$ of two copies of the quaternions is isomorphic to the matrix algebra $M_4 (\mathbb{R})$ as algebras over $\mathbb{R}$? More precisely, the problem ...
5
votes
1answer
284 views

Geometric algebra approach to Lorentz group representations

Background: Let $\Lambda$ be the Lorentz transformation parameterized by the asymmetric real matrix $w_{\mu \nu}$. That is, let $\Lambda = \exp(\frac{w_{\mu \nu}}{2}J^{\mu \nu})$, where $(J^{\mu ...
5
votes
1answer
192 views

How do you show that the Laplacian is the square of the (Euclidean) Dirac operator?

If I understand correctly, the Euclidean Dirac operator is given by $$D=\sum_{i=1}^n e_i \frac{\partial}{\partial x_i},$$ where $e_i$ are bases for $Cl_{0,n}(\mathbb{R})$, i.e., the $n$-dimensional ...
5
votes
0answers
136 views

Why is the radical of a Clifford algebra generated by the kernel of the associated symmetric form? [duplicate]

I was recently reading through Jacobson's Basic Algebra. I got to the section on Clifford algebras, and have the following question. Let $Cl_\omega$ be the Clifford algebra with bilinear symmetric ...
4
votes
2answers
449 views

Clifford Algebras

What would be the best source to learn Clifford Algebras from? Anything online would suffice or any textual sources for that matter.. I'm interested in doing a project in the subject, but I'm not ...
4
votes
1answer
453 views

Center of Clifford Algebra depending on the parity of $\dim V$?

While reading about the structure of Clifford algebra, there were two facts listed as bullet points about the center of Clifford algebra based on the parity of the dimension of the underlying vector ...
4
votes
1answer
391 views

Solving a geometric algebra equation

I'm reading Hestenes' book "New Foundations of Classical Mechanics" as an introduction to Geometric (Clifford) Algebra. Don't worry, no physics mentioned here :) An exercise asks to solve a vector ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

Identifying the algebra

In order to solve an obscure (physics) problem I have been considering whose details are not important, I am looking for elements (I am thinking in terms of matrices and their products but this may ...
4
votes
1answer
556 views

Clifford Algebra Multiplication Intuition

I discovered Clifford Algebra recently and I am deeply impressed with its explanatory power and geometrical intuitiveness. I've been playing with the GAViewer ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

Automorphism groups of real clifford algebras

I'm sure someone has already worked-out what all the relevant groups really are; my question is about how signature duality interacts with these groups. So, by an awful calculation, and choosing a ...
4
votes
1answer
228 views

Quotient of a Clifford algebra by its radical is a Clifford algebra?

I'm fumbling a bit in my reading on Clifford algebras. I'm hoping someone can shed some light on the following isomorphism. Suppose you have a symmetric bilinear form $G$ over a vector space $V$, and ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

troubles showing existence of Clifford-algebra

We had the following definition in class: Let $V$ be a vector space, $K$ a field and $Q$ be a quadratic form. We call $(C(V,Q),j)=C$ a Clifford-algebra if: $C$ is an assoziative algebra with 1, ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Can vectors act as Identity under Clifford Multiplication?

Let $\newcommand{\CCl}{\mathbb{C}l}\CCl_{p,q}$ be the complex Clifford-Algebra associated to the Minkowski space $\mathbb{R}^{p,q}$ of signature $(p,q)$, where we consider $\mathbb{R}^{p,q}$ as a ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

Clifford Algebra for understanding Atiyah Singer Index Theorem Reference Request

I am interested in studying Atiyah Singer Index Theorem and Spin Geometry and would like to study Clifford Algebras and their representations for this purpose. I have a book 'Clifford Algebras : An ...
4
votes
3answers
103 views

When does the next complex split occur?

So I was thinking about complex numbers and how they came about and someting interesting occured to me: the formation of complex numbers occurs because there exists a function (namely $f(x)=x^2$) ...
4
votes
1answer
221 views

On Chevalley's linear identification of the Clifford algebra $C(\mathbf p)$ with the exterior algebra $\wedge \mathbf p$

In reading Sternberg's notes on Clifford algebras and spin representations (page 148) I encountered the following: "...Consider the linear map $$C(\mathbf p)\rightarrow \wedge \mathbf p, x\mapsto ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Set of 4 anticommutative matrices

How would you go about showing that there cannot be a set of four 2 by 2 matrices that satisfy the anticommutative relation $AB + BA = 0 $ or $2I$ if $A=B$? i.e minimum order has to be 4. I know that ...
3
votes
5answers
807 views

Looking for a clear definition of the geometric product

In brief: I'm looking for a clearly-worded definition1 of the geometric product of two arbitrary multivectors in $\mathbb{G}^n$. I'm having a hard time getting my bearings in the world of ...
3
votes
3answers
270 views

What is the “grade” in geometric algebra

I'm reading a book (Linear and Geometric Algebra, by Alan Macdonald) where the author uses the term grade without ever defining it. I have a murky sense of what the grade of a blade may be (a ...
3
votes
2answers
304 views

How do I evaluate the Clifford product in dimensions greater than 3?

The Clifford product of a pair of vectors $a,b$ is an associative operation defined by $$ ab = a \cdot b + a \wedge b.$$ In sufficiently low dimensions I am used to being able to define the Clifford ...
3
votes
2answers
274 views

Distinguishing the two irreducible representations of odd-dimensional complex Clifford-Algebras

The complex Clifford algebra $A$ of a complex, non-degenerate quadratic space $(V,q)$ of odd dimension $2k+1$ admits up to isomorphism exactly two non-trivial, irreducible and finite-dimensional ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Finding quaternion that transforms to particular basis

I want to find a quaternion $x \in{\mathbb{H}} $ that transforms (rotates) the $ i,j,k $ basis to a particular basis. In equations: $$ x i x^{-1} = a_1 $$ $$ x j x^{-1} = a_2 $$ $$ x k x^{-1} = a_3 ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Clifford Algebra with Degenerate Bilinear form

This is a follow up question to this question on Clifford Algebras. As I understand it, if the associated bilinear form $\beta$ of a Clifford Algebra $C_{\ell}$ is non-degenerate, then $ker\beta$ is ...
3
votes
1answer
396 views

Properties of different matrix representations of clifford algebras

I am looking for some theorems about matrix representations of Clifford algebras. Let $a \in G_{p,q,r}$, where $p$ elements square to $1$, $q$ to $-1$, and $r$ to $0$, that is ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Clifford Algebras in Characteristic Two

A Clifford algebra $Cl(V)$ for a vector space $V$ is defined to be the quotient of the tensor algebra $T(V)$ with the ideals generated by elements of the form $v \otimes v - (v,v)1$, where $(,)$ is ...
3
votes
2answers
390 views

Within Geometric Algebra, is there a way to express a linear operator within the language of geometric algebra?

Thanks for your time and effort. I appreciate your help. I'm new to geometric algebra and I get that it supersedes linear algebra. I was wondering though how I could learn to take an operator in ...
3
votes
0answers
112 views

Does Clifford algebra depend on the topology of manifold?

We know the greatest feature of Clifford algebra is coordinate-free. One can do vector operations without knowing the representation of vectors. And due to its very characteristc, Clifford or ...
3
votes
0answers
57 views

An expression for $e_1e_2e_3e_4$

In a real Clifford algebra over ${\mathbb R}^4$ with the quadratic form defined on the orthogonal basis $e_1,e_2,e_3,e_4$ by $e_1^2=1, e_2^2=1, e_3^2=-1$, and $e_4^2=-1$, find an even number of ...
2
votes
3answers
440 views

What's the motivation to add inner product and wedge product together in geometric product

I am reading some geometric algebra notes. They all started from some axioms. But I am still confused on the motivation to add inner product and wedge product together by defining $$ ab = a\cdot b + ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Composition of two axis-angle rotations

Please note that I am not referring to Euler angles of the form (α,β,γ). I am referring to the axis-angle representation, in which a unit vector indicates the direction axis of a rotation and a scalar ...
2
votes
3answers
195 views

index free proof of dot product of two wedge products

I am learning geometric algebra, and meet an identy of (edited according to Andrey's comments below) $$ (a\wedge b)\cdot(c\wedge d) = (a \cdot d)(b\cdot c) - (a \cdot c)(b \cdot d)$$ as in wiki ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Clifford Algebras for Projective and Conformal Geometry

According to Clifford Algebra: A Visual Introduction, A Clifford Algebra over $\mathbb{R}^3$ may describe the rigid motions in space (namely, conjugation acts as a reflection by a plane). A ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Proof: Clifford-Algebra representations are semisimple / completely reducible

There is a theorem: Every finite-dimensional Clifford-Algebra representation $V$ is semisimple / completely reducible, which means that it's a direct sum of irreducible subrepresentations. How this ...
2
votes
3answers
97 views

Infinite dimensional Clifford algebras?

Do infinite dimensional Clifford (and/or Grassmann) algebras exist/makes sense? Do you know good references about them?
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Number of Involutive Automorphisms on a Clifford Algebra

Let $V$ be a vector space with dimension $n$ and $q$ a quadratic form on $V$. How many involutive automorphisms are there in $\mathcal{Cl}(V,q)$?
2
votes
1answer
186 views

Vectors in Clifford Algebra

I'm studying Clifford Algebra $\mathcal{Cl}_2$ and got stuck in an exercise: Let $\mathbf{a}=e_2+e_{12},\quad \mathbf{b}=(1/2)(1+e_1).$ Compute $\mathbf{ab}$. The answer is zero, but I can't get to ...
2
votes
1answer
181 views

Natural number matrix solutions to $\sigma_i\sigma_j+\sigma_j\sigma_i = I\delta_{ij}$

Given the two matrices: $\sigma_i$ and $\sigma_j$ we can construct a Clifford algebra based on the anti commutator rule: $$\{\sigma_i,\sigma_j\}=\delta_{ij}1$$ where $\delta_{ij}$ is the Kronecker ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the adjoint of the connection operator on a Clifford bundle?

From Elliptic Operators, topology and asymptotic methods, John Roe, page 43-45. Let $M$ be a Riemannian manifold. Let $S$ be a Clifford bundle over $M$, such that each $S_{m}$ over $m\in M$ is a ...
2
votes
2answers
228 views

What is an even Clifford algebra?

I'm reading a paper and he defines $C_0(f)$ to be the "even Clifford algebra over $R$ associated to $f$", where $R$ is a principal ideal domain and $f$ is a non-degenerate ternary quadratic form. What ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Associativity of Moyal-like products

The Moyal product of two smooth functions $f,g$ on $\mathbb R^{2n}$ can be defined as $$ f\star g = \exp\left(-\omega^{ij} \frac{\partial}{\partial y^i} \frac{\partial}{\partial z^j}\right) f(y)g(z) ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Aren't these linear transformations only orthogonal with respect to *some* inner product?

On p.154 in Husemoller's Fibre Bundles, during his introduction of Clifford algebras, I found a claim which seems questionable to me (highlighted in red): You can click here for some context ...