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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28
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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 ...
8
votes
4answers
345 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
269 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
2answers
492 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
185 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
355 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} ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
469 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
101 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
725 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
1answer
334 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
31 views

How to write $\mathfrak{su}(3)$ Lie algebra as a sum of two subspaces?

Let $K,F\subset\mathfrak{su}(3)$ be subspaces, such that $K \oplus F =\mathfrak{su}(3)$, and $K$ has a $\mathfrak{su}(2)$ structure. How can we show that $[K,K] = K$ (i.e., commutator of any two ...
10
votes
5answers
263 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
155 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Proving $[L_X,i_Y]=[i_X,L_Y]=i_{[X,Y]}$

Let $X,Y$ be vector fields. $L_X$ is the Lie derivative and $i_X$ is the contraction of a $k$-form. I am really stuck on how you could prove the identity $[L_X,i_Y]=[i_X,L_Y]=i_{[X,Y]}$. Update: I ...
3
votes
1answer
88 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 $\mathbb{C}^n$. ...
3
votes
2answers
497 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
77 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
56 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
24 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
2answers
260 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, ...
1
vote
0answers
35 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Finding coefficients for this Lie algebra isomorphism

This is a question closely related to my previous questions. How, in this thread here did Hee Kwon Lee find the coefficients $(-i,1,0),\ (-i,-1,0)$ and $(0,0,2i)$? In the linked thread ...
0
votes
0answers
28 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 $\mathfrak so(V,B)$ ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
398 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 ...
1
vote
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} ...
8
votes
2answers
585 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
626 views

What does the symbol $\operatorname{Tr}$ in the Yang-Mills action mean?

I find that many authors write the Yang-Mills action as follows: $$\mathcal{J}= \int \operatorname{Tr}(F \wedge \star F).$$ I have yet to find a formal description of the symbol $\operatorname{Tr}$ ...
4
votes
2answers
433 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
976 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
319 views

Definition of a “root” of a Lie Algebra

I am using the notation that $g$ is the Lie algebra of the Lie group $G$ and $T$ is the maximal torus of $G$ and $t$ is the Lie algebra of $T$ (and hence $t$ is the Cartan subalgebra of $g$). A ...
7
votes
1answer
266 views

What are spinors mathematically?

In the wikipedia article on spinors a number of mathematical definitions are given of spinors which I find slightly confusing. There are essentially two frameworks for viewing the notion of a ...
5
votes
1answer
617 views

What are defining & fundamental representations?

In physics terminology, one hears of the fundamental & defining representations of lie algebras or groups - are these the same as irreducible representations?
4
votes
3answers
722 views

How should I show that the Lie algebra so(6) of SO(6) is isomorphic to the Lie algebra su(4) of SU(4)?

As far as I can see, an isomorphism of Lie algebras is a bijective map which preserves the Lie bracket. I need to show that $\mathfrak{so}(6)$ (the Lie algebra of SO(6)) is isomorphic to the ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Show that $\Psi_{t*}\mathbb{X}-\Phi_{t*}\mathbb{X}=\mathbb{X}-\mathbb{Y} $

Let $\mathbb{X},\mathbb{Y}$ be vector fields and let $\Phi_t$ denote the flow of $\mathbb{X}$. Given that $\displaystyle \frac{\partial}{\partial t}\Phi_{t*}\mathbb{Y} ...
7
votes
1answer
162 views

Ideal defining the nilpotent cone of $\mathfrak{gl}_n(k)$

Let $k$ be an algebraically closed field, and let $\mathfrak{g}=\mathfrak{gl}_n(k)$. Let $\mathcal{N}\subset\mathfrak{g}$ be the nilpotent cone, that is: $$\mathcal{N}=\{A\in\mathfrak{g}\mid ...
7
votes
1answer
207 views

Three-dimensional simple Lie algebras over the rationals

Let $\mathfrak g$ be a three-dimensional $\mathbf Q$-vectorspace endowed with the structure of a simple Lie algebra. How many non-isomorphic such $\mathfrak g$ are there? Over the complex numbers, ...
6
votes
3answers
235 views

Prove where exp: Skew($3\times 3$) $\rightarrow SO(3)$ is local homeomorphism

The matrix exponential on skew-symmetric $3\times3$ matrices onto $SO(3)$ is not local homeomorphism everywhere. I have been instructed that one problem is with the spheres of radius $2n\pi$ ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

Kernel of the Lie bracket

Let $\mathfrak{g}$ be a dimension 3 Lie algebra and $[\quad,\quad]$ be a rank 1 map from $\bigwedge^{2}\mathfrak{g} \rightarrow \mathfrak{g}$. In this case, the kernel of $[\quad,\quad]$ is $3 - 1 = ...
5
votes
1answer
256 views

Whether matrix exponential from skew-symmetric 3x3 matrices to SO(3) is local homeomorphism?

$SO(3)$ denotes 3x3 rotation matrices. This is Lie group, with corresponding Lie algebra being $\mathrm{Skew}_3$, the space of 3x3 skew-symmetric matrices. The link between them is the matrix ...
5
votes
1answer
450 views

Expression for the Maurer-Cartan form of a matrix group

I understand the definition of the Maurer-Cartan form on a general Lie group $G$, defined as $\theta_g = (L_{g^{-1}})_*:T_gG \rightarrow T_eG=\mathfrak{g}$. What I don't understand is the expression ...
4
votes
1answer
653 views

Endomorphisms of $V$ and the dual space

I was told that $V\otimes V^{*}\simeq\mbox{End}\left(V\right)$. I can't find the isomorphism itself though. Can anyone tell me what it is with a proof? Thanks!
3
votes
1answer
310 views

Matrix Exponential does not map open balls to open balls?

Consider the following theorem from Hall's Lie Groups, Lie Algebras and Representations: Theorem 2.27: For $0 < \varepsilon < \textrm{ln} 2$, let $U_\varepsilon = \{X \in M_n(\Bbb{C}) | ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

Complete reducibility of sl(3,F) as an sl(2,F)-module

I was reading the Weyl's theorem on the complete reducibility of a finite dimensional representation of semi-simple Lie algerba and wanted to apply the theorem to the following problem which was ...
2
votes
1answer
179 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

One-dimensional Lie algebra with non-trivial bracket operation

We can define a Lie algebra letting $\mathbb{R}$ be the vector space and also the field. We can then have $[x,y]=xy-yx=0$ for all $x,y$. Is there a one-dimensional Lie algebra such that $[x,y]$ is ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

The trace as an integral over a sphere [duplicate]

Let $V$ be a real vector space of dimension $n$ and let $\langle \, \cdot\, , \,\cdot\, \rangle$ be an inner product on $V$. We can define a linear functional on the space of endomorphisms of $V$ by ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Question regarding isomorphisms in low rank Lie algebras

I am reading Brian Hall's book 'Lie Groups, Lie Algebras, & Representations' and on p.271 I find that in low rank Lie algberas there are some isomorphisms. For example, ...