I used to think that things called "parabolic" must have something to do with parabolas or their defining quadratic equations. In fact, terms like parabolic coordinate, parabolic partial differential equation and so on, are indeed related to parabolas and their equations.

But, why are parabolic groups in algebraic group theory (correspondingly, parabolic subalgebras in Lie algebra theory) named "parabolic"? Do they have anything to do with parabolas or parabolic equations?

Thank you very much.

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ See this MathOverflow question. $\endgroup$ – Dylan Moreland Dec 23 '11 at 19:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Dylan Moreland: Thank you very much~ I like the creative inferrence of "para-Borelic"~ If it really is the case, then the translation to Chinese, or properbably other languages, might be changed~ $\endgroup$ – ShinyaSakai Dec 25 '11 at 16:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.