In mathematics, a principal bundle is a mathematical object which formalizes some of the essential features of the Cartesian product $X\times G$ of a space $X$ with a group $G$.

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618 views

Local triviality of principal bundles

Suppose I define a principal $G$-bundle as a map $\pi: P \to M$ with a smooth right action of $G$ on $P$ that acts freely and transitively on the fibers of $\pi$. Does it follow that $P$ is locally ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Texts on Principal Bundles, Characteristic Classes, Intro to 4-manifolds / Gauge Theory

I am looking for a textbook that might serve as an introduction to principal bundles, curvature forms and characteristic classes, and perhaps towards 4-manifolds and gauge theory. Currently, the only ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Does curvature zero mean the bundle is trivial?

Let $P\to M$ be some Bundle over $M$. I know that, if $P$ is a trivial bundle it must have curvature zero. Say I have the converse, my curvature is zero. Does this imply that the bundle ist trivial? ...
10
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1answer
411 views

Equivalence of Definitions of Principal $G$-bundle

I've finally gotten around to learning about principal $G$-bundles. In the literature, I've encountered (more than) four different definitions. Since I'm still a beginner, it's unclear to me whether ...
10
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1answer
282 views

Orbit space of a free, proper G-action principal bundle

Let $G$ be a topological group and let $r \colon E \times G \to E$ be a continuous right-action on a topological space $X$. If $p\colon E \to B$ is a continuous map into a topological space $B$ such ...
10
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1answer
265 views

Why base point makes a huge difference?

While preparing a talk, I was tempted to "prove" the following relationship: $$\text{Prin}_{G}(X)\cong [X,BG]\cong [B[\pi_{1}(X),BG]\cong [\Omega B[\pi_{1}(X)],\Omega BG]\cong [\pi_{1}(X),G]$$ Here ...
8
votes
1answer
397 views

Flat connection with non-trivial holonomy? I cannot get it

maybe this is a dumb question, but I cannot understand how a principal $G$-bundle can have non-trivial holonomy with a flat connection. Maybe I'm missing something, but doesn't Ambrose-Singer theorem ...
8
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1answer
127 views

What the curvature $2$-form really represents?

Let $(E,\pi,B)$ be a principal bundle with structure group $G$. The connection $1$-form can be thought of as a projection on the vertical part. It allows us to characterize the horizontal subspaces as ...
7
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1answer
183 views

Connections on principal bundles and vector bundles

In Donaldson and Kronheimer's book on the geometry of four manifolds, a brief review of connections on principal bundles is given. Three equivalent definition are stated: 1) Via horizontal subspaces, ...
6
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1answer
126 views

Formal Definition of Yang Mills Lagrangian

I have a question regarding the Lagrangian in non abelian gauge theory. Say, $G$ is the gauge group and $\mathfrak g$ the associated Lie algebra. The Lagrangian is often written as $$ \mathcal ...
6
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0answers
131 views

Exact sequence of tangent spaces of principal $G$-bundles

Let $P$ be a smooth manifold, $G$ a Lie group, $\alpha:P\times G\to P$ a smooth action and $p:P\to P/G$ a smooth principal $G$-bundle. Then, we have the sequence $$ G \xrightarrow{\alpha_a} P ...
6
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249 views

Group actions and associated bundles

Let $P$ be a principal $G$-bundle over $B$, and let $G$ act on some space $F$ (feel free to work in your favorite category of spaces, if this helps). Then $\text{Aut}{P}$ (aka the group of gauge ...
5
votes
4answers
105 views

Introduction a good text on principal bundle

Is there a good text that teaches principal bundle or frame bundle? I am looking for a textbook that might serve as an introduction to topology of principal bundles or frame bundles, specially the ...
5
votes
1answer
757 views

How a principal bundle and the associated vector bundle determine each other

It seems to me that given a vector bundle, the associated principal bundle is univocally determined. In fact one has to construct a principal bundle given the base, the fibre (the group $G$ in which ...
5
votes
1answer
674 views

Intuition of Chern-Weil theory

Let $ P \rightarrow M$ be a $G$-principal bundle. The lie algebra of $G$ is $\frak{g}$ and $P$ has connection form $\omega \in H^1(P,\frak{g})$ and curvature form $\Omega \in H^2(P,\frak{g})$. We ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

How does a left group action on the fiber of a principal bundle induce a right action on the total space?

Suppose I define a "principal $G$-bundle" as follows: A principal $G$-bundle is a fiber bundle $F \to P \overset{\pi}{\to} X$ with a left group action of $G$ on $F$ that is free and transitive, ...
5
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1answer
67 views

When can a connection be lifted?

Let $P \rightarrow X$ be a principal $G$-bundle, and $P' \rightarrow X'$ be a principal $G'$-bundle. Let $(f',f'')$ be a morphism from $P'$ to $P$, i.e., a pair of maps $f': P' \rightarrow P$ and ...
5
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1answer
80 views

Interpretation for the curvature and monodromy of a connection - Reality check

Let $P \to M$ be a principal $G$-bundle with connection form $\omega \in \Omega^1(P,\mathfrak{g})$. Here are the statements I'm basing my viewpoint on: A connection is flat (vanishing ...
5
votes
1answer
299 views

Intuition behind the connection one-form

When we define a connection on one principal bundle $\pi: P\to M$ with structure group $G$ we define it as an association of one subspace $H_pP\subset T_pP$ for each $p\in P$ such that $T_pP = H_pP ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

One-form on quotient manifold

Let $M$ be a smooth manifold with tangent bundle $TM$ and cotangent bundle $TM^*$ and $\psi\in TM^*$ a one-form. We denote the quotient manifold of $M$ by the free and proper $G$-action $\varphi$ as ...
5
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1answer
79 views

Is this operation meaningful or it is a mistake in the book?

I've been reading Nakahara's "Geometry, Topology and Physics" and found something quite strange on the section 10.3.3 which discusses the geometrical meaning of the curvature of a connection. It is ...
5
votes
2answers
152 views

Principal bundles, connection forms and fundamental vector fields

Suppose $\pi:P\rightarrow M$ is a principal bundle, $\omega\in \Omega^1(P;\mathfrak{g})$ is the connection one form and $\sigma(\cdot)$ is the fundamental vector field associated to some vector field ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

Lifting Riemannian metrics on principal bundles

Given a principal bundle $\pi:M\rightarrow M/G$, there are natural maps $$\pi_{\mathcal{F}}:\mathcal{F}(M)^G\rightarrow\mathcal{F}(M/G)$$ ...
5
votes
2answers
120 views

Principal $\mathrm{SL}_n$-bundles

It seems to be well-known that a principal $\mathrm{SL}_n$-bundle on a scheme or manifold $X$ is the same as a vector bundle of rank $n$ whose determinant is a trivial line bundle. One direction is ...
5
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0answers
107 views

Formal adjoint of curvature (Yang Mills)

Currently reading a paper on finding solutions to the Yang Mills equation $D^*\Omega=0$, where $\Omega$ is the curvature and $D^*$ is the formal adjoint of the exterior covariant derivative $D$. ...
5
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0answers
91 views

Does a left group action on a principal bundle induce an action on associated vector bundles?

Let $G\hookrightarrow P\xrightarrow{\pi}M$ be a principal $G$-bundle with right action $\cdot $ and suppose we are also given a left action $\rho: U\times P\rightarrow P$ of some group $U$ on $P$. ...
5
votes
0answers
58 views

Quotient space of equivariant vector bundle.

Let $p: P \to B$ be a principal $G$-bundle, and $\pi : E \to P$ a vector bundle with action of $G$ on $E$ such that $G$ acts by vector bundle isomorphisms and $\pi$ is equivariant. Is it always the ...
5
votes
0answers
54 views

Cartan geometry on manifolds with boundary

I was reading Sharpe's text on Cartan geometry, and I started to wonder: Does the theory change in any significant way if the base manifold for the Cartan principal bundle is allowed to be a smooth ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Explicit description of flat connections under pullback on principal bundles over Riemann surfaces

I'm trying to find a proof/reference for a statement that I've seen quoted in some way or the other, but without reference. The setting: let $P\longrightarrow M$ be a flat principal $G$-bundle over ...
5
votes
2answers
186 views

Connections on a manifold and principal connections on the frame bundle

Suppose $M$ is a manifold, and $E$ a vector bundle over $M$ equipped with a connection $\nabla $. If $F$ is the frame bundle of $E$, is there an explicit construnction of a connection on $F$ ...
4
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2answers
314 views

Classify sphere bundles over a sphere

Problem (1) Classify all $S^1$ bundles over the base manifold $S^2$. (2) Do the same question for $S^2$ bundles. Moreover, does there exist a universal method to solve this kind of ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

Is the $G$-action on a principal $G$-bundle proper?

Let $G$ be a Lie group. If $G$ acts properly and freely on a manifold $P$, then it is well-known that $P \to P/G$ form a principal $G$-bundle. I would like to know the converse: namely Question: if ...
4
votes
1answer
374 views

Principle G bundles v.s. Flat G connection

What is the difference between Principle G bundles v.s. Flat G connection? I heard that for a discrete group $G$ (in physics, or a finite group $G$ in math), the principle G bundles is the same ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

To Reconcile Two Different Descriptions of the Dual Bundle

$\newcommand{\mc}{\mathcal}$ Let $\pi:E\to M$ be a smooth vector bundle with typical fibre a $k$-dimensional vector space $\mc V$. There are (at least) two ways to construct the dual bundle of $E$. ...
4
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1answer
73 views

“Bundle of metrics” on a principal bundle?

I've come across the term "bundle of metrics" on a principal bundle. In particular, my setting is that for $N\longrightarrow M$ a universal cover of a compact Riemann surface, $P\longrightarrow M$ a ...
4
votes
1answer
271 views

Classifying map

Let $\xi=(E,p,B)$ a principal $G$-bundle and $\eta=(P,\pi,Q)$ a real vector bundle such that $\operatorname{rank}(\eta)=n$. We can consider a classificant space $BG$. What is the classifying map $f:X ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Sections of associated bundles

Let $\pi:P\rightarrow M$ be a Principal bundle and $\pi_V:P\times_G F\rightarrow M$ be its associated bundle via the representation $\rho:G\rightarrow GL(V)$. Fact: $\Gamma(P\times_G ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

Problems understanding the construction of Hitchin moduli space in his paper “The self-duality equations on a riemann surface”

First, if this post must be broken up in separate questions, please tell me so. I thought it would be better if I simply posed my questions in one thread, as they are directly related to each other. ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

When does the difference between a vector bundle and the associated frame bundle matter?

In the comments to this question How a principal bundle and the associated vector bundle determine each other, it was remarked that while there is a bijective correspondence between rank $n$ vector ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Transformation behavior of connection on vector bundle.

Using the notation from Jost's various books on geometry, let $$ D=d+A $$ be a connection on a vector bundle $\pi:E\rightarrow M$ with structure group $GL(n,\mathbb{R})$. Also let $\{U_\alpha\}$ be ...
4
votes
2answers
82 views

Associated bundles: isomorphism between spaces of differential forms.

I think this will be an easy question for numerous people. Let $\pi:P\rightarrow M$ be a principal bundle and $\rho:G\rightarrow GL(V)$ a representation. The space of $k$ forms on $M$ with values in ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Canonical connection on $CP^n$

I have heard something along the lines of "There is a canonical $U(1)$ connection on $CP^n$" and I am trying to understand what that means. First I suppose that the sentence refers to a line bundle ...
4
votes
0answers
57 views

Classifying vector bundles with a reduction of its structure group

Let $Bun(X)$ denote the set of equivalence classes of complex rank 2 vector bundles with a reduction of its structure group to $\mathbb{H}^*$. How can I proof that there is a bijection between ...
4
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0answers
87 views

Does naturality for characteristic classes imply the classifying space is universal for them?

Let $G$ be a Lie group, $\mathfrak g$ its Lie algebra, $K$ its maximal compact subgroup. To every flat $G$-bundle $P$ over a smooth manifold $M$ I can associate a homomorphism $w_P: H^*(\mathfrak g, ...
4
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0answers
37 views

Isomorphism of Principal Bundles with structure groupoid

Let $\mathcal{G}\rightrightarrows M$ be a Lie groupoid. Suppose that $\pi:P\rightarrow B$ is a $\mathcal{G}$-principal bundle and let $(h_s,g_s):(P,B)\rightarrow (P,B); s\in [0,1]$, be a homotopy ...
4
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0answers
153 views

Are all quotients of a weakly contractible space via a free group action classifying spaces of the group?

First of all, I don't want to restrict to any kind of "nice spaces" since I am interested in the most general situation. Especially I do not work in any "convenient" category of spaces. Wikipedia ...
4
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0answers
71 views

Heisenberg manifold

I am interested in the Heisenberg manifold, which is the quotient of the real Heisenberg group by the discrete Heisenberg (sub)group. It is a 3 -manifold which may be viewed as a circle bundle over ...
3
votes
2answers
115 views

If a connection on a principal $G$-bundle restricts to an $H$-subbundle, must its holonomy lie in $H$?

Let $P \to M$ be a principal $G$-bundle, equipped with a principal connection $D$. Let $Q \subset P$ be a principal subbundle with fiber $H$, where $H \leq G$ is a (let's say closed and connected) ...
3
votes
3answers
628 views

$M \times N$ orientable if and only if $M, N$ orientable

For two manifolds $M$ and $N$ I'm trying to prove that $M \times N$ is orientable if and only if $M$ and $N$ are orientable. My attempt so far: $\impliedby)$ Assume $M, N$ are orientable. Then ...
3
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1answer
70 views

Applications of Principal Bundle Construction: Vague Question

I recently read the principal $G$-bundle construction on a smooth manifold $M$, where $G$ is a Lie group. To understand them better, I am looking for some applications. Can the principal ...