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
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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
2answers
347 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
484 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 $\rho : G\times X\rightarrow X$ ...
21
votes
0answers
189 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
739 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. ...
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
11answers
362 views

Why represent a complex number $a+ib$ as $[\begin{smallmatrix}a & -b\\ b & \hphantom{-}a\end{smallmatrix}]$? [duplicate]

I am reading through John Stillwell's Naive Lie Algebra and it is claimed that all complex numbers can be represented by a $2\times 2$ matrix $\begin{bmatrix}a & -b\\ b & ...
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
526 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
235 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 ...
14
votes
0answers
192 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
258 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
2k views

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

Since there is a $2$-$1$ homomorphism from $SU(2)\times SU(2)$ 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
998 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
637 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
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
155 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
187 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
776 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
184 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
425 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 ...
12
votes
0answers
175 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 ...
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
3answers
380 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
343 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
909 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
393 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
214 views

$5$ dimensional space over $\mathbb{R}$

When coming up with a double cover of $SO(5)$, I used conjugation by matrices of the form $$\begin{pmatrix} r & q\\ \overline{q} & r \end{pmatrix}$$ where $r\in\mathbb{R}$ and $q$ is a ...
11
votes
1answer
262 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 ...
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
803 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
270 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
639 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
130 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
435 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
688 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
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
574 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
192 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
214 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 $4d$) ...