For questions about Lie algebras, an algebraic structure whose main use is in studying geometric objects such as Lie groups and differentiable manifolds.

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12
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2answers
2k views

On surjectivity of exponential map for Lie groups

A recent question made me realize I didn't know any proof that exponential of a Lie algebra $\mathfrak g$ of a compact connected Lie group $G$ is surjective. After a bit of thinking I've come up with ...
30
votes
4answers
1k views

“Cayley's theorem” for Lie algebras?

Groups can be defined abstractly as sets with a binary operation satisfying certain identities, or concretely as a collection of permutations of a set. Cayley's theorem ensures that these two ...
4
votes
3answers
585 views

Under what conditions is the exponential map on a Lie algebra injective?

Let $G$ be a Lie group with Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ and let $\exp :\mathfrak{g}\rightarrow G$ be the exponential map. In his blog, Terrence Tao notes that if a Lie group is not simply-connected, ...
5
votes
4answers
173 views

Showing the Lie Algebras $\mathfrak{su}(2)$ and $\mathfrak{sl}(2,\mathbb{R})$ are not isomorphic.

I am working through the exercises in "Lie Groups, Lie Algebras, and Representations" - Hall and can't complete exercise 11 of chapter 3. My aim was to demonstrate that there does not exist a vector ...
3
votes
1answer
256 views

Radical of $\mathfrak{gl}_n$

I find it intuitive enough that the radical of $\mathfrak{gl}_n\mathbb F$ is the scalar matrices, but I have trouble finding an easy, but complete proof: Proof. Let $\mathfrak s$ denote the scalar ...
2
votes
2answers
220 views

Solvable equivalent to nilpotency of first derived Lie algebra?

The Wikipedia "Solvable Lie Algebra" page lists the following property as a notion equivalent to solvability: $\mathfrak{g}$ is solvable iff the first derived algebra $[\mathfrak{g},\,\mathfrak{g}]$ ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How do you find the Lie algebra of a Lie group (in practice)?

Given a Lie group, how are you meant to find its Lie algebra? The Lie algebra of a Lie group is the set of all the left invariant vector fields, but how would you determine them? My group is the set ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Classsifying 1- and 2- dimensional Algebras, up to Isomorphism

I am trying to find all 1- or 2- dimensional Lie Algebras "a" up to isomorphism. This is what I have so far: If a is 1-dimensional, then every vector (and therefore every tangent vector field) is of ...
11
votes
6answers
760 views

Getting started with Lie Groups

I am looking for some material (e.g. references, books, notes) to get started with Lie Groups and Lie Algebra. My motivation is that I (eventually) want to understand the theory underpinning papers ...
11
votes
1answer
866 views

Which Lie groups have Lie algebras admitting an Ad-invariant inner product?

I am trying to answer the following question: Which Lie groups have a Lie algebra admitting an $\text{Ad}$-invariant inner product? First of all, all compact Lie groups satisfy this condition ...
8
votes
4answers
376 views

Determining the action of the operator $D\left(z, \frac d{dz}\right)$

This question was motivated by a question by Tobias Kienzler and its wonderful answers. I begin as in the linked question... Using the Taylor expansion $$f(z+a) = \sum_{k=0}^\infty \frac{a^k}{k!}\...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

symplectic lie algebra is simple

The symplectic lie algebra defined by $sp\left(n\right)=\left\{ X\in gl_{2n}\,|\, X^{t}J+JX=0\right\}$ when $J=\begin{pmatrix}0 & I\\ -I & 0\end{pmatrix}$. So $X\in sp\left(n\right)$ is of ...
6
votes
2answers
832 views

Is every skew-adjoint matrix a commutator of two self-adjoint matrices

I'm looking to solve some matrix equations. One of the equations involves a commutator, so my question is as follows: let $A$ be a skew-self-adjoint, traceless matrix, does the equation $[X,Y] = A$ ...
3
votes
2answers
198 views

Is every element of a complex semisimple Lie algebra a commutator?

Let $L$ be a (finite-dimensional) complex semisimple Lie algebra. Then we know that $L = [L,L]$. Is it true that every element of $L$ must be a commutator? Since a complex semisimple Lie algebra is ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

The center of a nilpotent Lie algebra intersects each ideal

If $\cal h$ is a nonzero ideal in a nilpotent Lie algebra $\cal g$. How to prove that $\mathcal h\cap Z(\mathcal g)\not =0$, where $Z(\mathcal g)$ is the center of $\mathcal g$?
0
votes
2answers
128 views

$ gl(2,\mathbb C) \cong sl(2,\mathbb C) \oplus \mathbb C $

Hi I just start learning Lie algebra and there is one hw question I don't really understand how to do, hope somebody give me some hints. $L_1,L_2$ are Lie algebras. $L=\{(x_1,x_2):x_i \in L_i\}$. Lie ...
11
votes
3answers
650 views

Translations in two dimensions - Group theory

I have just started learning Lie Groups and Algebra. Considering a flat 2-d plane if we want to translate a point from $(x,y)$ to $(x+a,y+b)$ then can we write it as : $$ \left( \begin{array}{ccc} ...
7
votes
1answer
759 views

Reference for Lie-algebra valued differential forms

I am learning about vector-valued differential forms, including forms taking values in a Lie algebra. On Wikipedia there is some explanation about these Lie algebra-valued forms, including the ...
5
votes
0answers
354 views

Exponential map is surjective for compact connected Lie group

How do I show that for every compact connected group $G$, the exponential map $\exp \colon\mathfrak{g} \rightarrow G$ is surjective? I tried to find the proof on the internet but most of them are ...
5
votes
0answers
132 views

— Cartan matrix for an exotic type of Lie algebra --

(1) Is there a notion of Cartan matrix for non-semisimple Lie algebra? For example, consider this Lie algebra: $$ [X_i, X_j] = f_{ij}{}^k X_k \qquad\qquad [X_i,Y^j] = - f_{ik}{}^j Y^k \qquad\qquad [...
8
votes
2answers
979 views

Universal Cover of $SL_{2}(\mathbb{R})$

Why does the universal cover of $SL_{2}(\mathbb{R})$ have no finite dimensional representations?
7
votes
1answer
820 views

Lie algebra and Killing form

Let $L$ be a Lie algebra. I have to prove that if $L$ is a simple Lie algebra every bilinear associative form (e.g. $([x,y],z)= (x,[y,z])$ for all $x,y,z \in L$) is a multiple of Killing form.
5
votes
2answers
456 views

Representations of Direct Sum of Lie Algebras

I'm trying to prove the following. Let $\frak{g}$ and $\frak{h}$ be (semisimple) Lie algebras. Then every representation $d$ of $\frak{g}\oplus\frak{h}$ is the tensor product of representations $d^1$ ...
4
votes
1answer
389 views

Why Lie algebras of type $B_2$ and $C_2$ are isomorphic?

both of Lie algebras of type $B_2$ and $C_2$ have dimension 10 and we can find two basis of them on page 3 in the book: Introduction to Lie algebras and representation theory . How could we show that ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

$\mathfrak{su}(2)$ not isomorphic to $\mathfrak{sl}(2,\mathbb R)$

I would like to prove that the two algebras $\mathfrak{su}(2)$ and $\mathfrak{sl}(2,\mathbb R)$ are not isomorphic as Lie algebras. I started considering the following basis for $\mathfrak{su}(2)$: \...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Tensor formula in SU(3) representations

I am trying to understand the Georgi chapter of tensor methods in $SU(3)$ representations, and I don't know how to resolve the tensor product of 2 matrices in a 2 heavy quark + 2 light antiquark ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Proof that these two definitions are equivalent

Where can I find a proof of or how can I prove that these two definitions are equivalent? Definition 1: The Lie algebra of a Lie group $G \subset GL_n$ is the tangent space at $I$. Definition 2: ...
4
votes
2answers
421 views

Lie algebra isomorphism between ${\rm sl}(2,{\bf C})$ and ${\bf C}^3$

I think that this is an exercise. I can not find a solution. We can define Lie bracket multiplication on ${\bf C}^3$ : $$ x\wedge y $$ where $x=(x_1,x_2, x_3)$, $y= (y_1,y_2,y_3)$, and $\wedge $ is ...
4
votes
3answers
199 views

How to prove that $B^\vee$ is a base for coroots?

Let $\Phi$ be a root system in a real inner product space $E$. Define $\alpha^\vee = \frac{2\alpha}{(\alpha, \alpha)}$. Then the set $\Phi^\vee = \{\alpha^\vee: \alpha \in \Phi \}$ is also a root ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

An short exact sequence of $\mathfrak{g}$ of which head and tail are in category $\mathcal{O}$.

Let $\mathfrak{g}$ be a finite-dimensional, semisimple Lie algebra over $\mathbb{C}$. Let $$ 0\rightarrow X \rightarrow Y \rightarrow Z \rightarrow 0 $$ be a short exact sequence of $\mathfrak{g}$-...
2
votes
1answer
298 views

Does the abstract Jordan decomposition agree with the usual Jordan decomposition in a semisimple Lie subalgebra of endomorphisms?

Is it true that for every element $x$ of a semisimple Lie subalgebra of endomorphisms $L\subseteq \text{End}(V)$, where $V$ is a finite dimensional vector space over $\mathbb{C}$, the abstract Jordan ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Compute $ad_X$, $ad_Y$, and $ad_Z$ relative to a basis

For a lie algebra $\mathbb{g} $ we can define the adjoint representation as: $ ad: \mathbb{g} \rightarrow End(\mathbb{g}) $ as the map such that $ad_x(y)=[x, y] $ for all $\in \mathbb{g} $ I am ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Are the $C$-points of a simply connected algbraic group simply connected?

Let $G$ be a simply connected algebraic group defined over $C$. Note : I see the definition of simply connected as "Every isogeny to $G$ is an isomorphism" as given in Hochschild's "Basic Theory of ...
5
votes
1answer
544 views

Precise connection between complexification of $\mathfrak{su}(2)$, $\mathfrak{so}(1,3)$ and $\mathfrak{sl}(2, \mathbb{C})$

I'm desperatly confused by notations and formulations so if someone could clarify the following things a little Í would be deeply grateful. The Lie algebra $\mathfrak{so}(1,3)_+^{\uparrow}$ of the ...
5
votes
2answers
255 views

Subgroups of $\Bbb{R}^n$ that are closed and discrete

I am trying to prove that every closed discrete subgroup of $\Bbb{R}^n$ under addition is a free abelian group of finite rank. I have tried to do this by induction on the dimension $n$. Base ...
4
votes
0answers
172 views

How to understand Weyl chambers?

Recall the definition of the Weyl Chambers: A Weyl Chamber is a region of $V \setminus \bigcup_{\alpha \in \Phi} H_{\alpha}$, where $V$ is underlying Euclidean space, and $H_\alpha$ the hyperplane ...
4
votes
2answers
264 views

The generators of $SO(n)$ are antisymmetric, which means there are no diagonal generators and therefore rank zero for the Lie algebra?

Okay, this may be a silly question but I can't figure it out myself right now. By definition $O \in SO(n)$ fulfils $O^T O=1$ and $\det(O)=1$. For the generators of the group $ T_a \in so(n)$, this ...
3
votes
2answers
217 views

Defining an isomorphism that respects the Lie bracket: is my work correct?

I previously determined that if $\mathfrak{sl}$ denotes the Lie algebra of $SL_2(\mathbb C)$ and $\mathfrak o$ denotes the Lie algebra of $O(3,\mathbb C)$ then a basis for $\mathfrak{sl}$ is given by ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

Lie algebras and roots systems

Let $\Phi$ an irreducible system of roots, $\Phi^{+} \subset \Phi$ a choose of positive roots. I have to prove that if $(\alpha, \beta) \ge 0$ for al $\beta \in \Phi^{+}$ then $\alpha$ is the highest ...
3
votes
1answer
219 views

Help needed in understanding the basics of Cartan decomposition of a Lie algebra

I am trying to learn the basics of Cartan decomposition of Lie algebra, and have come across the following example. Consider $\mathfrak{gl_n}$ as the Lie algebra of endomorphisms of $\mathbb{C}^n$. ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Showing $[L,rad(L)]$ is nilpotent.

Suppose L is a finite dimensional Lie Algebra over an algebraically closed field of characteristic zero. I want to show that $[L,rad(L)]$ is nilpotent. I was given a hint that all operators of the ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Radical of a Lie algebra bracket itself

Let $\mathfrak{g}$ be a Lie Algebra over $k$, $\mathfrak{n}$ its radical. Why is $[\mathfrak{n},\mathfrak{g}]$ the smallest of its ideals $\mathfrak{a}$ such that $\mathfrak{g}/\mathfrak{a}$ is ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

System of roots [duplicate]

Let $\Phi$ an irreducible system of roots, $\Phi^{+} \subset \Phi$ a choose of positive roots. I have to prove that if $(\alpha, \beta) \ge 0$ for al $\beta \in \Phi^{+}$ then $\alpha$ is the highest ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Complex Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ is solvable implies that $\mathfrak{g}'$ is nilpotent. [duplicate]

I want to show that for a complex Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ which is solvable that $\mathfrak{g}'$ is nilpotent. Where $\mathfrak{g}'$ is the derived algebra $[\mathfrak{g},\mathfrak{g}]$. I have ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Killing form on $\mathfrak{sp}(2n)$

I have the same question as this one from a long time ago. Is there an easy way to see that the Killing form on $\mathfrak{sp}(2n)$ is $\kappa(x,y) = (4n+2) \mathrm{tr}(xy)$? For example, the Killing ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Let $\rho$ f.d. rep of a nilpotent Lie algebra such that $\rm{det} \rho(X) = 0$, $\forall X$. Then $\exists v \neq 0$: $\rho(X)v = 0, \forall X$.

Could you help me with this question? Let $\mathcal{g}$ be a nilpotent Lie algebra over $k$ and $\rho$ a representation of $\mathcal{g}$ in a finite-dimensional nonzero vector space $V$ over $k$. ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Computing information about a Lie algebra from cartan matrix

Let's consider the Cartan matrix : $$ \begin{pmatrix} 2 & -2 \\ -1 & 2 \end{pmatrix} $$ I am asked to find the number of roots and then to compute character of the adjoint representation. ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Where does the ambiguity in choosing a basis for a Lie algebra come from?

This is a follow-up to this question. For matrix Lie algebras, we can define the Lie algebra $g$ of a group $G$ as the set $T_a \in g$ that yield an element of $G$ when put into the exponential map: ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Borel subalgebras contain solvable radical

Let $L$ be a Lie algebra and let $B$ be a Borel subalgebra (a maximal solvable subalgebra) of $L$. I want to understand why $\operatorname{Rad} L \subseteq B$. In his proof, Humphreys (Introduction ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Relationship between proper orthochronous Lorentz group $SO^+(1,3)$ and $SU(2)\times SU(2)$, or their Lie algebras

I have seen sources claim that $SO^+(1,3) \cong SU(2) \times SU(2)$, but have seen others claim that only their Lie algebras are isomorphic. Is it true that $SO^+(1,3) \cong SU(2) \times SU(2)$? If ...