Lie algebras are algebraic structures which were introduced to study the concept of infinitesimal transformations. The term "Lie algebra" (after Sophus Lie) was introduced by Hermann Weyl in the 1930s. In older texts, the name "infinitesimal group" is used. Related mathematical concepts include Lie ...

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29
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11answers
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What is significant about the half-sum of positive roots?

I apologize for the somewhat vague question: there may be multiple answers but I think this is phrased in such a way that precise answers are possible. Let $\mathfrak{g}$ be a semisimple Lie algebra ...
19
votes
17answers
9k views

Learning about Lie groups

Can someone suggest a good book for teaching myself about Lie groups? I study algebraic geometry and commutative algebra, and I like lots of examples. Thanks.
32
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7answers
3k views

Why the Killing form?

I'm teaching a short summer course on algebraic groups and it's time to talk about the Killing form on the Lie algebra. The students are all undergrads of varying levels of inexperience, and I try to ...
42
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “semisimple” a dense condition among Lie algebras?

The "Motivation" section is a cute story, and may be skipped; the "Definitions" section establishes notation and background results; my question is in "My Question", and in brief in the title. Some ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is there a connection between enumerative geometry and nonlinear waves?

Recently I encountered in a class the fact that there is a generating function of Gromov--Witten invariants that satisfies the Korteweg--de Vries hierarchy. Let me state the fact more precisely. ...
4
votes
1answer
321 views

Finite dimensional Lie algebra with non-degenerate invariant bilinear forms $\Omega_{ab}$

Firstly, my apology to MO experts that I am in a more science/physics background (a PhD). So please feel free refine/modify/comment my language if I have different math accents than yours. From ...
4
votes
1answer
246 views

The existence of a finite dimensional Lie algebra with a given symmetric invariant metric

The question is motivated by a more broad perspective in another MO post and here, but here we would like to understand a specific case (our question potentially connects to / is motivated b Quantum ...
13
votes
0answers
417 views

“Special” meanders

One of the open problems in combinatorics is enumeration of meanders. Here on MO I only could find them under the heading not-especially-famous-long-open-problems-which-anyone-can-understand. Since ...
8
votes
3answers
709 views

subgroup of SU(N) with maximal manifold dimension

Given the group SU(N) of NxN unitary matrices, does there exist a subgroup S with a manifold dimension larger than the SU(N-1) manifold dimension and smaller than the SU(N) one? S should not ...
7
votes
2answers
343 views

Quadratic Casimir of fundamental irreps of simply-laced Lie algebras

I have the following question, motivated by the expression for the character of level 1 highest weight integrable representations of simply-laced affine algebras (in terms of the string function). It ...
15
votes
2answers
791 views

Is homology finitely generated as an algebra?

If a differential graded algebra is finitely generated as an algebra, is its homology finitely generated as an algebra? Is it easier if we impose any of the three conditions: characteristic zero; ...
4
votes
2answers
595 views

Chevalley Groups over an arbitrary ring.

My question is simply about the Chevalley groups over rings. In many books, including Carter's book on "Simple groups of Lie types", the groups are considered over fields. I have checked the ...
3
votes
2answers
395 views

Complete classification of six dimensional non-semi simple Lie algebra

I would aim to know the complete classification of 6 dimensional non-semi simple Lie algebra (here the dimension stands for the generators; or the dimension $\leq 6$). In this paper, in page 7, it ...
1
vote
2answers
215 views

A question on involutions on the Lie algebra of vector fields

Edite According to the essential comment of Ian Agol I revise the question as follows For a smooth manifold $M$, is there a non identity involution $\theta$ on the lie algebra $\chi^{\infty}(M)$ ...
0
votes
1answer
259 views

Heisenberg Lie algebras

Dear forum, I would like to ask if $H(m)$ is the Heisenberg Lie algebra of dimension $2m+1$ and $M$ is an ideal of $H(m)$. Can we say that $M$ has a complement in $H(m)$?
59
votes
11answers
14k views

why study Lie algebras?

I don't mean to be rude asking this question, I know that the theory of Lie groups and Lie algebras is a very deep one, very aesthetic and that has broad applications in various areas of mathematics ...
31
votes
7answers
5k views

What is the symbol of a differential operator?

I find Wikipedia's discussion of symbols of differential operators a bit impenetrable, and Google doesn't seem to turn up useful links, so I'm hoping someone can point me to a more pedantic ...
31
votes
4answers
2k views

What role does the “dual Coxeter number” play in Lie theory (and should it be called the “Kac number”)?

While trying to get some perspective on the extensive literature about highest weight modules for affine Lie algebras relative to "level" (work by Feigin, E. Frenkel, Gaitsgory, Kac, ....), I run into ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Isometry group of a homogeneous space

Background Let $(M,g)$ be a finite-dimensional riemannian (or more generally pseudoriemannian) manifold. Suppose that I know that a certain Lie group $G$ acts transitively and isometrically on $M$ ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How to Compute the coordinate ring of flag variety?

Let $G$ be algebraic group over $\mathbb(C)$(semisimple), $B$ be Borel subgroup. consider flag variety $G/B$. It is known that $G/B$ is projective variety. So one consider the homogeneous coordinate ...
20
votes
1answer
898 views

What's the status of the following relationship between Ramanujan's $\tau$ function and the simple Lie algebras?

Qiaochu asked this in the comments to this question. Since this is really his question, not mine, I will make this one Community Wiki. In MR0522147, Dyson mentions the generating function $\tau(n)$ ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Cohomology of Lie groups and Lie algebras

The length of this question has got a little bit out of hand. I apologize. Basically, this is a question about the relationship between the cohomology of Lie groups and Lie algebras, and maybe ...
20
votes
8answers
2k views

Is every finite-dimensional Lie algebra the Lie algebra of an algebraic group?

Harold Williams, Pablo Solis, and I were chatting and the following question came up. In Lie group land (where you're doing differential geometry), given a finite-dimensional Lie algebra g, you can ...
24
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the quantum subgroup of quantum su_2 called E_8 have anything at all to do with the Lie algebra E_8?

The ordinary McKay correspondence relates the subgroups of SU(2) to the affine ADE Dynkin diagrams. The correspondence is that the vertices correspond to irreducible representations of the subgroup, ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

When is a finite dimensional real or complex Lie Group not a matrix group

I have a smattering of knowledge and disconnected facts about this question, so I would like to clarify the following discussion, and I also seek references and citations supporting this knowledge. ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Polynomial invariants of the exceptional Weyl groups

Let $\mathfrak{g}$ be a simple complex Lie algebra, and let $\mathfrak{h} \subset \mathfrak{g}$ be a fixed Cartan subalgebra. Let $W$ be the Weyl group associated to $\mathfrak{g}$. Let ...
10
votes
2answers
548 views

What is a Homotopy between $L_\infty$-algebra morphisms

A $L_\infty$-algebra can be defined in many different ways. One common way, that gives the 'right' kind of morphisms, is that a $L_\infty$-algebra is a graded cocommutative and coassociative ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Basis-free definition of Casimir element?

Let $V$ be a finite-dimensional vector space and let $\mathfrak g \subset \mathfrak{gl}(V)$ be a representation of a semisimple Lie algebra on $V$. Let $e_1, \dots, e_n$ be a basis for $V$. Let $e_1', ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How to interpret the Sugawara construction from a physical or mathematical viewpoint?

In theoretical physics, the Sugawara theory is a set of formulae and theorems that allow one to construct a stress-energy tensor of a specific type of conformal field theory from a bilinear expression ...
6
votes
3answers
389 views

Generators of invariant polynomials of semisimple Lie algebra

Suppose $\mathfrak{g}$ is a complex semi-simple Lie algebra. By a theorem of Chevalley, we know that $S(\mathfrak{g})^\mathfrak{g}$, i.e. the $\mathfrak{g}$ invariant polynomials, is generated by $l$ ...
14
votes
3answers
790 views

What is the Zariski closure of the space of semisimple Lie algebras?

Given Leonid Positselski's excellent answer and comments to this question, I expect that the present one is a hard question. Recall that the Lie algebra structures on a (finite-dimensional over ...
8
votes
2answers
581 views

Sign conventions for a Chevalley basis of a simple complex Lie algebra

Let $R$ be the root system of a simple complex Lie algebra $g$ with respect to some Cartan subalgebra $h$. Chevalley showed there is a basis of $g$ given by the simple coroots ...
7
votes
0answers
490 views

Small sum of group elements acting as rank 1 matrix.

I am interested in constructing small (as possible) group $G$ with large dimensional irreducible representation $\rho,V$ such that exist three elements of $g_1,g_2,g_3\in G$ such that for some ...
6
votes
4answers
732 views

Lie algebra admitting some hyperbolic automorphism is nilpotent

Let $\mathfrak{g}$ be a finite dimensional Lie algebra over $\mathbb{R}$ and $\phi:\mathfrak{g}\to\mathfrak{g}$ be a Lie algebra automorphism. Viewing $\mathfrak{g}$ as a linear space and $\phi$ a ...
4
votes
1answer
377 views

Cohomology Ring of the Flag Manifolds, Cartan Subalgebras, and Weyl Groups

I've recently read the following line in an interesting paper: It is well-known that the cohomology ring of a flag variety $G/B$ is isomorphic to the quotient ring of the ring of polynomial ...
10
votes
2answers
362 views

Which nilpotent Lie algebras appear as nilradicals of parabolic subalgabras?

I am interested to identify (ideally classify) nilpotent Lie algebras that occur as nilradicals of parabolic subalgebras in (say) reductive Lie algebras. For example, all Heisenberg Lie algebras ...
7
votes
1answer
490 views

Uniform proof of dimension formula for minimal special nilpotent orbit?

Given a simple Lie algebra over an algebraically closed field of good characteristic such as $\mathbb{C}$, its subvariety $\mathcal{N}$ of nilpotent elements has dimension $2N$ (where $N$ is the ...
5
votes
0answers
127 views

Does the normal ordered product on differential operators lift to $U\left(\mathfrak{gl}_n\right)$ ?

Let $n\in\mathbb N$. Let $k$ be a commutative ring. Let $\Omega$ denote the $k$-algebra of polynomial differential operators on $n$ variables $x_1$, $x_2$, ..., $x_n$ over $k$. (The multiplication in ...
15
votes
2answers
651 views

Is a retract of a free object free?

I wonder whether this is true in the categories of groups, monoids, commutative algebras, associative algebras, Lie algebras?
12
votes
4answers
416 views

Ternary “Lie structure”

One of the motivation of the theory of Lie Algebras is that every associative algebra $A$ is a LA when the bracket is defined by $[a,b]=ab-ba$ : this is skew-symmetric and satisfies the Jacobi ...
6
votes
5answers
627 views

Applications of Chevalley Restriction Theorem

Let $G$ be a simple linear algebraic group (over $\mathbb{C}$, say) and $\mathfrak{g}$ be its Lie algebra, $\mathfrak{t}\subset \mathfrak{g}$ the Lie algebra of a maximal torus in $G$ and $W$ the ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Quotient space of $\mathbb{C}^5$ under the action of $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$

One sees that given the $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$ action on $\mathbb{C}^5$, thought of as the space of polynomials of the form, $$a_0 x^4 + 4a_1 x^3 y + 6a_2x^2y^2 + 4a_3xy^3 + a_4 y^4$$ the ring of ...
5
votes
2answers
296 views

Heisenberg subalgebras of affine Lie algebras

It seems to be "well-known" that (infinite-dimensional) Heisenberg subalgebras of an affine Lie algebra $\hat{\mathfrak{g}}$ corresponding to a finite-dimensional simple Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ of ...
5
votes
3answers
829 views

Simple question in the representation of SL(2,C)

Let $V$ the standard two dimensional representation of SL(2,C). The Fulton's book in representation theory say in pag 156 that $Sym^3(Sym^2V)=Sym^6(V) \oplus Sym^2(V)$. In the excercises 11.23, the ...
4
votes
1answer
912 views

lie algebra semisimple?

If L is a semisimple lie algebra then L=[L,L]. Is the opposite true?
3
votes
3answers
574 views

Finite Order Automorphisms on Complex Simple Lie Algebras

Let $L$ be a finite dimensional complex simple Lie algebra, and let $F(L)$ be the set of all finite order automorphisms on $L$. Suppose that we declare $f,h \in F(L)$ to be equivalent if there exists ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

On the Weyl character formula

So let $G$ be a compact real Lie group. Let $\rho:G\rightarrow GL_n(\mathbb{C})$ be an irreducible representation of $G$ and let $\chi_{\rho}$ be the character associated to $\rho$. Let ...
3
votes
1answer
278 views

Why are relations of degree 3 or less enough in a presentation of the polynomial current Lie algebra g[t]?

Let $\mathfrak{g}$ be a finite dimensional simple Lie algebra over $\mathbb{C}$. The polynomial current Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}[t] = \mathfrak{g} \otimes \mathbb{C} [t]$ has the bracket $$[xt^r, ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

A class of Lie groups with $f^{abc} \neq -f^{acb}$ (not fully anti-symmetrized) or $f^{abc} \neq f^{bca}$ (not-cyclic)

With the motivation to understand the Lie group structure constraint on a non-Abelian Chern-Simons theory, could some experts give a class of Lie groups with structure constants cannot fully ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to find Casimir operators?

Given a general Lie algebra, is there a general procedure to find all its Casimir operator?