Questions tagged [lie-groups]

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 (group-theory) tag.

Lie groups are groups that are also differentiable manifolds that represent the best developed theory of continuous symmetry of mathematical objects.

Examples of lie groups are:

1) The Euclidean space $\mathbb{R}^n$ under addition is a lie group.

2) The special orthogonal group of real orthogonal matrices with determinant $1$ (note that $n=3$ is the rotation group in $\mathbb{R}^3$).

3) The spin group, which is the double cover of the special orthogonal group such that $\exists$ a sequence of lie groups:

\begin{equation*} 1\to Z_2\to~\text{Spin}(n)\to SO(n)\to 1. \end{equation*}

Note that it has dimension $\frac{n(n-1)}{2}.$

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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 here. The gist of the theory is as follows: The…
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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 involved de Rham cohomology, but I don't really know…
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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 do with groups" So I picked up a copy of Dummit…
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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 determinant) would be a connected space too, since…
Bartek
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Which Algebraic Properties Distinguish Lie Groups from Abstract Groups?

This question is motivated by a previous one: Conditions for a smooth manifold to admit the structure of a Lie group, and wants to be a sort of "converse". Here I am taking an abstract group $G$ and looking for necessary conditions for it to admit…
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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 (since generally, any set can be given the…
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What is Lie Theory/ a Lie Group, simply?

I'm studying physics, and I continually come across mentions of "Lie Theory" and "Lie Groups" as they relate to such topics as particle physics and String Theory, as well as vague mentions of "symmetry". I've attempted to read some texts on the…
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Why do we care about two subgroups being conjugate?

In classifications of the subgroups of a given group, results are often stated up to conjugacy. I would like to know why this is. More generally, I don't understand why "conjugacy" is an equivalence relation we care about, beyond the fact that it…
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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 $H\hookrightarrow G$ gives an embedding of Lie…
user8766
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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 two proofs. First is based on relation between…
Marek
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Intuitive explanation of Left invariant Vector Field

Intuitively what is meant by a left invariant vector field on a manifold?
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Geometric intuition behind the Lie bracket of vector fields

I understand the definition of the Lie bracket and I know how to compute it in local coordinates. But is there a way to "guess" what is the Lie bracket of two vector fields ? What is the geometric intuition ? For instance, if we take $U = x…
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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 dimensional $G$-modules are semi-simple. I am not sure if…
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Can every manifold be turned into a Lie group?

I am studying Lie theory and just thought of this random question out of curiosity. Can any manifold be turned into a Lie group? More precisely, given a manifold $G$, can we always construct (or prove the existence of) some smooth map $m:G\times…
WillG
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Meaning of Exponential map

I've been studying differential geometry using Do Carmo's book. There's the notion of exponential map, but I don't understand why it is called "exponential" map. How does it has something to do with our common notion of exponentiation? I read from…
Henry
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