A Lie group is a group (in the sense of abstract algebra) that is also a differentiable manifold, such that the group operations (addition and inversion) are smooth, and so we can study them with differential calculus. They are a special type of topological group. Consider using with the ...

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36
votes
7answers
3k views

How many connected components does $\mathrm{GL}_n(\mathbb R)$ have?

I've noticed that $\mathrm{GL}_n(\mathbb R)$ is not a connected space, because if it were $\det(\mathrm{GL}_n(\mathbb R))$ (where $\det$ is the function ascribing to each $n\times n$ matrix its ...
28
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there an easy way to show which spheres can be Lie groups?

I heard that using some relatively basic differential geometry, you can show that the only spheres which are Lie groups are $S^0$, $S^1$, and $S^3$. My friend who told me this thought that it ...
27
votes
10answers
5k views

What's a good place to learn Lie groups?

Ok so I read the following article the other day: http://www.aimath.org/E8/ and I wanted to learn more about lie groups. Using my exceptional deduction skills I thought "oh it must have something to ...
21
votes
2answers
346 views

How can I lift a path to $\mathrm{Spin}(n)$?

Suppose I am given an explicit differentiable path $\gamma\colon[a,b]\to SO(n)$, with $\gamma(a)=\gamma(b)=I$. Then $\gamma$ either does or does not lift to a closed loop in $\mathrm{Spin}(n)$. How ...
21
votes
1answer
480 views

Shrinking Group Actions

Suppose $H\subset G$ is a subgroup of a topological group $G$, and $Y\subset X$ is a subspace of a topological space $X$. Suppose we are given a continuous group action $\rho : G\times X\rightarrow X$ ...
20
votes
1answer
722 views

Given a group $ G $, how many topological/Lie group structures does $ G $ have?

Given any abstract group $ G $, how much is known about which types of topological/Lie group structures it might have? Any abstract group $ G $ will have the structure of a discrete topological group ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Irreducible representations of Poincaré group

I am looking for any reference on Wigner's classification of irreducible representations of the Poincaré group. I know the classification, but is there any reference where the representations ...
19
votes
4answers
549 views

How is $\operatorname{GL}(1,\mathbb{C})$ related to $\operatorname{GL}(2,\mathbb{R})$?

I am trying to get a grasp on what a representation is, and a professor gave me a simple example of representing the group $Z_{12}$ as the twelve roots of unity, or corresponding $2\times 2$ matrices. ...
19
votes
0answers
172 views

Geometric & Intuitive Meaning of $SL(2,R)$, $SU(2)$, etc… & Representation Theory of Special Functions

Many special functions of mathematical physics can be understood from the point of view of the representation theory of lie groups. An example of the power of this viewpoint is given in my question ...
18
votes
1answer
387 views

Can we prove that there are countably many isomorphism classes of compact Lie groups without appealing to the classification of simple Lie algebras?

It is a nontrivial fact that there are only countably many isomorphism classes of compact Lie groups. One can prove this by a series of reductions: first to the connected case, then to the simply ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Visualizing the fundamental group of SO(3)

Recently I became interested in trying to visualize the fact that $\pi_1(\text{SO}(3)) = \mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$. For whatever reason, the plate trick doesn't do it for me, so I've been looking for ...
15
votes
1answer
306 views

Geometric interpretation of the map $SO(4) \to SO(3)$

Let me first explain the background of my question. As is well known, the group $SO(n+1)$ acts transitively on the sphere $S^n$, and the stabilizer is the group $SO(n)$, so that we get a fibration ...
14
votes
6answers
511 views

How to show path-connectedness of $GL(n,\mathbb{C})$

Well, I am not getting any hint how to show $GL_n(\mathbb{C})$ is path connected. So far I have thought that let $A$ be any invertible complex matrix and $I$ be the idenity matrix, I was trying to ...
14
votes
1answer
233 views

Why is the dimension of $SL(2,\mathbb{H})$ equal to $15$?

Let me ask a very basic question which is inspired by reading M. Atiyah's "Geometry and physics of knots". Could you explain me (or give a reference to) the definition of the special linear group ...
13
votes
2answers
255 views

Is $SO_n({\mathbb R})$ a divisible group?

The title says it all ... Formally, if $SO_n(\mathbb R)=\lbrace A\in M_n({\mathbb R}) |AA^{T}=I_n, {\sf det}(A)=1 \rbrace$ and $W\in SO_n(\mathbb R)$, is it true that for every integer $p$, there is ...
13
votes
3answers
983 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 ...
13
votes
0answers
188 views

Fundamental domain of $\operatorname{GL}(n,\mathbb R)$ acted on by $\operatorname{GL}(n, \mathbb Z)$

What is a simple description of a fundamental domain of $\operatorname{GL}(n,\mathbb R)$ acted on by $\operatorname{GL}(n,\mathbb Z)$? $\operatorname{GL}(n,\mathbb R)$ is the group of all real ...
12
votes
3answers
626 views

Conditions for a smooth manifold to admit the structure of a Lie group

As we know, Lie group is a special smooth manifold. I want to find some geometric property, which is only satisfied by the Lie group. I only found one property: parallelizability. Can you show me ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Recovering the two SU(2) matrices from SO(4) matrix

Since there is a 2-1 homomorphism from SU(2)xSU(2) to SO(4) there should be a way to recover the two SU(2) matrices given an SO(4) matrix. I believe I could set this up as a system of equations ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Jacobian matrix of the Rodrigues' formula (exponential map)

I am working an algorithm which is supposed to align a pair of images. The motion model, which describes the pose $p$ of an image (with respect to the second) in 3D space, is purely rotational. ...
12
votes
1answer
139 views

Linear Algebra : Invertible Matrix Proof

I was doing some linear algebra exercises and came across the following tough problem : Let $M_{n\times n}(\mathbf{R})$ denote the set of all the matrices whose entries are real numbers. Suppose ...
12
votes
2answers
178 views

Non-isomorphic Group Structures on a Topological Group

Which Topological Groups Have a Unique Group Structure (up to isomorphism)? I know that there are many non-isomorphic finite groups of same order, so there are many group structures possible for ...
12
votes
1answer
723 views

What is reductive group intuitively?

I am studying Geometric invariant theory and wonder how I should understand linearly reductive algebraic group. We say that an affine algebraic group $G$ is linearly reductive if all finite ...
12
votes
2answers
182 views

Is there a group between $SO(2,\mathbb{R})$ and $SL(2,\mathbb{R})$?

Is there a non-trivial subgroup $H \subset SL(2,\mathbb{R})$ such that $H \supset SO(2,\mathbb{R})$ ? My intuition is that, since $\dim SO(2)=1$ and $\dim SL(2)=3$, there should be some group ...
12
votes
1answer
421 views

Diffeomorphic, group-isomorphic Lie groups that are not isomorphic as Lie groups

Do there exist two Lie groups which are diffeomorphic as smooth manifolds, have isomorphic group structures, yet are not isomorphic as Lie groups? Of course, for this to happen, any diffeomorphism ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

What is a Lie Group in layman's terms?

I'm having trouble getting my head arround the concept. The folks at mathoverflow were too clever to answer me. Can someone explain it to me?
11
votes
2answers
899 views

References on Linear Algebraic Groups/Lie Theory

I am currently doing a course on Lie groups, Lie Algebras and Representation theory based on Brian Hall's book of the same name. We should cover upto chapter 4/5 in this book by the end of the ...
11
votes
1answer
378 views

The Quaternions and $SO(4)$

I am interested in the map $\phi:S^3 \times S^3 \to GL_4(\mathbb{R})$ given as follows: Let $(p,q) \in S^3 \times S^3$. We identify $p$ and $q$ as real quaternions with unit norms and define ...
11
votes
1answer
253 views

Conditions for a topological group to be a Lie group.

In flipping through the Springer lecture notes on Serre's 1964 'Lie Algebras and Lie Groups' lectures at Harvard, I found this pair of suprising results (page 157): Let $G$ be a locally compact ...
11
votes
0answers
170 views

p-adic Lie groups vs. algebraic groups over $\mathbb{Q}_p$

I am somewhat confused about the following two concepts and the relations between them- One concept is a Lie group $G$ over the $p$-adic field. This is defined in a similar fashion to a (real) Lie ...
10
votes
3answers
372 views

What is the main use of Lie brackets in the Lie algebra of a Lie group?

I am beginner in Lie group theory, and I can't find the answer a question I am asking myself : I know that the Lie algebra $\mathfrak g$ of a Lie group $G$ is more or less the tangent vector of $G$ at ...
10
votes
5answers
340 views

$\varphi$ in $\operatorname{Hom}{(S^1, S^1)}$ are of the form $z^n$

I'd like to see a proof why $\varphi \in \operatorname{Hom}{(S^1, S^1)}$ looks like $z^n$ for an integer $n$. At first I thought I could argue that if I have a homomorphism that maps $e^{ix}$ to some ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is $SO(3)\times SO(3)$ isomorphic to $SO(4)$?

Could you please explain me the reason why they are isomorphic? Thanks, bye!
10
votes
2answers
793 views

Homology and Euler characteristics of the classical Lie groups

I'm interested in methods of computing the homology groups and Euler characteristics of the classical Lie groups ($GL(n,\mathbb{R}), SL(n,\mathbb{R})$, etc.). (But I'd be interested in techniques ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

how to show $SU(2)/\mathbb{Z}_2\cong SO(3)$

Could any one give me hint for this one? how to show $SU(2)/\mathbb{Z}_2\cong SO(3)$, well, Is it the same: there is a 2-fold covering map from $SU(2)$ to $SO(3)$? what is that map will be?
10
votes
5answers
265 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
635 views

The action of SU(2) on the Riemann sphere

One way to get the famous double cover $\text{SU}(2) \to \text{SO}(3)$ is to note that $\text{SU}(2)$ is isomorphic to the group of unit quaternions and to let unit quaternions $q$ act on the subspace ...
10
votes
2answers
234 views

Does projectivizing always fix problems at infinity? (Or, am I making a mistake somewhere?)

This question is motivated by the following homework problem. I'm trying to explicitly compute the homeomorphism $f:S^2 \rightarrow \mathbb{CP}^1$ by using stereographic projection and considering ...
10
votes
1answer
90 views

Understanding Dynkin Diagrams - any organising ideas - are they now adequately understood?

Some 30 or so years ago JH Conway posed a question about the ubiquity of the Dynkin Diagram - not necessarily in public, but I heard him ask it. I think it was in the context of "what would be ...
10
votes
1answer
126 views

Good book for studying $S_\infty$.

I'm looking for any books with some good information involving $S_\infty$ and other Polish groups. Specifically interested in $S_\infty$. This is an extremely amazing topological group, now having ...
10
votes
0answers
56 views

When do two matrices have the same exponential?

Let $A$ and $B$ be $n\times n$ hermitean matrices. When do we have $e^{iA}=e^{iB}$? Can we somehow classify those pairs of matrices that have the same exponential? Here are some observations that I ...
9
votes
2answers
672 views

Is the universal cover of an algebraic group an algebraic group?

Here algebraic group means affine algebraic group in both instances. Also I'm mainly interested in groups over $\mathbb{C}$. In fact I'm taking $\pi_1(G)$ to mean the fundamental group of $G_{an}$, ...
9
votes
1answer
240 views

Lie Groups which are not Hausdorff

I suspect this isn't a terribly difficult question, but I don't know the answer and I'd guess someone has already looked into it. Is it possible for a Lie group on a non-Hausdorff manifold to exist? ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
562 views

Proper, smooth action with singular orbit space

This is a problem from Lee, Smooth Manifolds (Problem 9.4). It's not an homework problem, I'm just systematically solving every problem of that book, and I got stuck on this one. Usually I try not to ...
9
votes
4answers
190 views

Examples of familiar, easy-to-visualize manifolds that admit Lie group structures

I have a trouble learning Lie groups --- I have no canonical example to imagine while thinking of a Lie group. When I imagine a manifold it is usually some kind of a $2$D blanket or a circle/curve or ...
9
votes
2answers
210 views

Relation between $SU(4)$ and $SO(6)$

This is more of a particle physics question than maths. Since $SO(6)$ and $SU(4)$ are isomorphic, how are the fields (say for example scalar fields of ${\mathcal{N}}=4$ Super Yang Mills in $4d$) ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Intuitive explanation of Left invariant Vector Field

Intuitively what is meant by a left invariant vector field on a manifold?
9
votes
1answer
390 views

Learning Roadmap for Borel - Weil - Bott Theorem

Next semester I may study a course where the ultimate goal is to get to the Borel - Weil - Bott (BWB) Theorem, if not at least try to understand it in the case that we have $G = \text{SL}_n$. I have ...
9
votes
2answers
512 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 ...