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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11
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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 ...
29
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
150 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
227 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
157 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 $[\mathfrak{g},\,\mathfrak{g}]$ ...
8
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
633 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
360 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
762 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
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
388 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

How to “find” this Lie algebra: proof that $\mathfrak{sl}$ is trace zero matrices

I saw this table here on Wikipedia and it states that the Lie algebra of the special linear group $SL_n(\mathbb C)$ is the group of traceless matrices $\mathfrak{sl}_n$. I know the definition of a ...
6
votes
2answers
726 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
208 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
102 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
548 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
682 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
127 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
390 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 $d^1$ ...
8
votes
2answers
905 views

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

Why does the universal cover of $SL_{2}(\mathbb{R})$ have no finite dimensional representations?
4
votes
3answers
473 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
182 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
374 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
0answers
30 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
53 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: ...
10
votes
5answers
345 views

Does non-commuting $\mathfrak{g}$ imply non-abelian $G$?

Question 8.1 in Kristopher Tapp's introductory text on matrix groups asks to show that $SO(n)$ is non-abelian ($n>2$) by finding two elements of $so(n)$ that do not commute. Why is this method ...
3
votes
2answers
156 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
154 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
2answers
573 views

Lie Algebra Homomorphism Question

So this is a bit of a follow-up to my recent question. I don't mean to inundate the feed with my quandaries, but as I move through the theory I keep hitting stumbling blocks (which y'all so kindly ...
2
votes
1answer
49 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 $\mathfrak{su}(2)$: ...
1
vote
0answers
40 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
252 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
2answers
154 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
0answers
133 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
169 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
83 views

How to show trace of $AB$ is zero for $A \in \mathfrak{u}_n$ and $B \in \mathcal{H}_n$?

Please have a look at this question: Help needed in understanding the basics of Cartan decomposition of a Lie algebra I want to show that the decomposition $\mathfrak{gl}_n = u_n \oplus ...
1
vote
1answer
30 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
1answer
62 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
1answer
88 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
36 views

Lie algebra of affine linear maps

Let $G$ be the Lie group of affine transformations, $$\{x \mapsto Ax+b,A \in GL(n), b \in \mathbb{R}^n\}.$$ We can represent these maps as matrices $$\begin{pmatrix} A & b \\ 0 & 1 ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Solving a large system of linear equations to satisfy the Lie bracket: am I doing it right?

I'm still working on a Lie algebra isomorphism from the Lie algebra of $SL_2(\mathbb C)$ into the Lie algebra of $O(3, \mathbb C)$. It has been suggested to me to use linear combinations of ...
1
vote
1answer
106 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
366 views

A covering map from a differentiable manifold

Let $p: C \to X$ is a covering map. Suppose that $C$ is a differentiable manifold. Is X - differentiable manifold? More precisely, I am interested in the case where $C$ is Submanifold of Lie algebra, ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

$\mathfrak so(V,B)$ as subalgebra and trace if subsets of it.

I'm studying lie algebras, and got stuck on this one: Let $B$ be a bilinear form on a finite-dimensional vector space $V$ over $\mathbb F$. I've seen many books that say that $\mathfrak so(V,B)$ ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Question on fundamental weights and representations

I am a bit confused about the notion of "fundamental weights". In a complexified setting, I am thinking of my Lie algebra to be decomposed as, $\cal{g} = \cal{t} \oplus _\alpha \cal{g}_\alpha$ where ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Lie derivative of a vector field equals the lie bracket

Let $X$ and $Y$ be vector fields on a smooth manifold $M$, and let $\phi_t$ be the flow of $X$, i.e. $\frac{d}{dt} \phi_t(p) = X_p$. I am trying to prove the following formula: $\frac{d}{dt} ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Lie algebra of a quotient of Lie groups

Suppose I have a Lie group $G$ and a closed normal subgroup $H$, both connected. Then I can form the quotient $G/H$, which is again a Lie group. On the other hand, the derivative of the embedding ...
8
votes
2answers
696 views

Canonical isomorphism between $\mathfrak{so}(3)$ and $\mathbb R^3$ with vector cross product

There is a well-known isomorphism between the Lie algebra $\mathfrak{so}(3)$ and $\mathbb{R}^3$ which maps the Lie bracket to the vector cross product. It looks like $$ \begin{pmatrix} 0 & -z ...
5
votes
2answers
700 views

Relation between root systems and representations of complex semisimple Lie algebras

I'm trying to understand the machinery of root systems for the purpose of classifying complex semisimple Lie algebras. During this process i lost the overview, espacially when it came to highest ...