Studying stability of certain non-autonomous dynamical systems on Lie groups I have come across the following question: Exactly which finite-dimensional, real Lie groups have adjoint representations that are bounded away from zero?
Edit: by "bounded away from zero" I mean that the image of the adjoint representation avoids an open neighborhood of zero in End(g), where g is the Lie algebra. Equivalently, the closure of the image does not contain zero, or, the norm (pick your favorite one) of every element of the adjoint representation is bounded from below by one and the same positive number. By Hadamard's inequality, a determinant bound will do as well. [end edit]
This should include compact Lie groups since for those there exists an inner product on the Lie algebra with respect to which all inner automorphisms are orthogonal, i.e. the elements of the adjoint representation have norm 1. Correct?
Also, for abelian Lie groups the adjoint representation is trivial, hence again bounded away from zero.
I believe that semisimple Lie groups should also be included but can not think of a valid argument.
Is there actually a counter example? I tried the general linear group GL(2) but the elements of the adjoint representation that I tried always have (some) unit eigenvalues. Is this an accident? I would have thought that GL(n) itself occurs as an adjoint representation somehow which would then not be bounded away from zero. But evidently I am not quite understanding the different dimensions here (the adjoint representation of GL(2) is a subgroup of GL(4)).
My apologies if this is trivial but I could not find anything that looked relevant in several books on Lie groups.