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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492 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 ...
10
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1answer
235 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 ...
9
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3answers
985 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 ...
9
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1answer
271 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
84 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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0answers
211 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 ...
6
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1answer
174 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 ...
6
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1answer
109 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
94 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 ...
5
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1answer
170 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
62 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
79 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
130 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
votes
2answers
112 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
41 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
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1answer
124 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
134 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
119 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
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1answer
206 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
45 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
63 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
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1answer
474 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 ...
4
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1answer
127 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
189 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
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1answer
30 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
2answers
94 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Lifting Riemannian metrics on principal bundles

Given a principal bundle $\pi:M\rightarrow M/G$, there are natural maps $$\pi_{\mathcal{F}}:\mathcal{F}(M)^G\rightarrow\mathcal{F}(M/G)$$ ...
4
votes
1answer
110 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
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0answers
61 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
votes
0answers
25 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
116 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
99 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, ...
4
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0answers
188 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
117 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
47 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
244 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
95 views

Naive question: what good are characteristic classes of principal bundles?

I recently read a development of characteristic classes on principal bundles through curvature forms and the Chern–Weil homomorphism. Unfortunately, this exposition concluded without listing any ...
3
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1answer
130 views

Learning Fibre Bundle from “Topology and Geometry” by Bredon

Bredon defines bundle projection in the following way: $\bf13.1.$ Definition. Let $X,B$ and $F$ be Hausdorff spaces and $p:X\to B$ a map. Then $p$ is called a bundle projection with fiber $F$, if ...
3
votes
1answer
141 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
3
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0answers
47 views

Upgrading Leray–Hirsch to Künneth for principal bundles

The Leray–Hirsch theorem says that given a fiber bundle $F \to E \to B$ such that $H^*(F)$ is free (as a module over whatever coefficient ring $k$) and, for each $n \geq 0$ there is a set of classes ...
3
votes
0answers
70 views

Reference for principal bundles and related concepts

I am looking for a good reference for fibre bundles, Ehresmann connections, principal $G$-bundles and principal Ehresmann connections (the $G$-equivariant version of Ehresmann connections). Could ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

How are the components of a connection on a homogenous space related to the Mauer-Cartan form?

I am finding it hard to understand in what way the Mauer-Cartan form $\omega_G$ of a Lie group $G$ can be used to define a connection on a bundle $G \to G/H$ in the same way that parallel transport of ...
3
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0answers
55 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
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0answers
96 views

What is the commutator of a horizontal and vector field for a connection on a Fiber bundle?

I would be tempted to rephrase my question as : why do people seem to care only about the curvature of a connection on fiber bundles ? Indeed, the curvature gives the vertical part of the commutator ...
2
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1answer
382 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
97 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) ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

The curvature of the connection one form - misunderstanding

Let $(P,M,G,\pi,\cdot)$ be a principal bundle. Let $\omega$ be the connection one form for a connection $H\subset TP$. Let $X,Y$ be smooth vector fields on $P$. Then the curvature $\Omega$ of the ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

If there exists a global section then the principal bundle is trivial - problem with smoothness

Let $\pi \colon P \to B$ be a principal $G$-bundle and let $s \colon B \to P$ be it's smooth section. In order to show that $P \simeq B \times G$ I define the map $\varphi \colon P \to B \times G$ by ...
2
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1answer
90 views

Characteristic classes not defined on vector bundles

If you read the definition on Wikipedia, you'll see that they allow characteristic classes to be defined on general principal $G$-bundles (vector bundles being subsumed in this general case by looking ...