Almost Flat Connections On Principal G-Bundles - MathOverflow most recent 30 from http://mathoverflow.net 2013-05-25T08:48:11Z http://mathoverflow.net/feeds/question/68794 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/rdf http://mathoverflow.net/questions/68794/almost-flat-connections-on-principal-g-bundles Almost Flat Connections On Principal G-Bundles Dheeraj Kulkarni 2011-06-25T16:28:08Z 2012-03-19T22:11:13Z <p>Let $E \rightarrow F$ be a principal $G$-bundle. Let $\alpha$ be a connection 1-form with values in the Lie algebra of $G$. Let $\omega$ denote the curvature 2-form of connection $\alpha$. </p> <p>We know that $\omega =0$ everywhere i.e., $\alpha$ is a flat connection if and only if the distribution $ker (\alpha)= \{v_x \in T_x E \ | \ \alpha (v_x)=0 \ ; x \in E \}$ on $E$ is completely integrable.</p> <p>Now, suppose we have a norm on the space of 2-forms. We start with an "almost flat connection $\alpha$ " i.e., the curvature form satisfies inequality, $|\omega| &lt; \epsilon$ everywhere, for sufficiently small $\epsilon$. Is it true that the distribution $\ker(\alpha)$ on $E$ is "close" to a completely integrable distribution? and "close" in what sense? We may assume that the base $F$ is compact.</p> <p>I have a feeling that with appropriate notion of "closeness" of distributions the above question has an affirmative answer. While I am trying to show that it is so, I have a difficulty deducing any useful information about connection 1-form from bounds on curvature. Thanks in advance for bringing in any new insight.</p> <p>I have posted this question on Math SE also. <a href="http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/47571/curvature-and-connections-in-principal-g-bundles" rel="nofollow">http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/47571/curvature-and-connections-in-principal-g-bundles</a></p> http://mathoverflow.net/questions/68794/almost-flat-connections-on-principal-g-bundles/91670#91670 Answer by Misha for Almost Flat Connections On Principal G-Bundles Misha 2012-03-19T22:11:13Z 2012-03-19T22:11:13Z <p>The answer depends on the setting. If the group $G$ is compact, $M$ is compact and you are working modulo the gauge group, then the answer is positive and follows from Uhlenbeck's compactness theorem (first proven in her paper "Connections with $L^p$-bounds on curvature"). This theorem was extended by Katrin Wehrheim to the case when the base-manifold $M$ noncompact, see her book "Uhlenbeck compactness." In the case when $G$ is noncompact, I do not think there is a meaningful way to get a positive answer. For instance, $S^3$ admits "almost flat" symmetric affine connections, see Agaoka's example in <a href="http://www.jstor.org/stable/2161101" rel="nofollow">http://www.jstor.org/stable/2161101</a> On the other hand, the frame bundle of $S^3$ admits unique flat connection, namely, the trivial one (up to gauge transformations), but it is highly nonsymmetric. Thus, there is no way you can approximate Agaoka's connections (lifted to the frame bundle) by flat ones. I am sure there are other examples. </p>