I'm trying to understand BRST complex in its Lagrangian incarnation i.e. in the form mostly closed to original Faddeev-Popov formulation. It looks like the most important part of that construction (proof of vanishing of higher cohomology groups) is very hard to find in the literature, at least I was not able to do so. Let me formulate couple of questions on BRST, but in the form of exercises on Lie algebra cohomology.

Let $X$ be a smooth affine variety, and $g$ is a (reductive?) Lie algebra acting on $X$, I think we assume $g$ to be at least unimodular, otherwise BRST construction won't work, and also assume that map $g \to T_X$ is injective. In physics language this is closed and irreducible action of a Lie algebra of a gauge group of the space of fields $X$. Structure sheaf $\mathcal{O}_X$ is a module over $g$, and I could form Chevalley-Eilenberg complex with coefficients in this module $$ C=\wedge g^* \otimes \mathcal{O}_X. $$

The ultimate goal if BRST construction is to provide "free model" of algebra of invarinats $\mathcal{O}_X^g$, it is nor clear what is "free model", but I think BRST construction is just Tate's procedure of killing cycles for Chevalley-Eilenberg complex above (Tate's construction works for any dg algebra, and $C$ is a dg algebra).

My first question is what exactly are cohomology of the complex $C$? In other words before killing cohomology I'd like to understand what exactly have to be killed. For me it looks like a classical question on Lie algebra cohomology and, perhaps, it was discussed in the literature 60 years ago.

It is not necessary to calculate these cohomology groups and then follow Tate's approach to construct complete BSRT complex (complete means I added anti-ghosts and lagrange multipliers to $C$ and modified the differential), but even if I start with BRST complex $$ C_{BRST}=(\mathcal{O}_X \otimes \wedge (g \oplus g^*) \otimes S(g), d_{BRST}=d_{CE}+d_1), $$ where I could find a proof that all higher cohomology vanishes?

field theoryis rather technical and I don't know whether their vanishing follows from a simple hypothesis like faithfulness. You can find examples of such computations in the review by Barnich, Brandt and Henneaux (arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0002245). $\endgroup$ – Igor Khavkine Nov 20 '13 at 14:552more comments