# Questions tagged [rt.representation-theory]

Linear representations of algebras and groups, Lie theory, associative algebras, multilinear algebra.

4,609 questions
11answers
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### Is Fourier analysis a special case of representation theory or an analogue?

I'm asking this question because I've been told by some people that Fourier analysis is "just representation theory of $S^1$." I've been introduced to the idea that Fourier analysis is related to ...
12answers
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### Why aren't representations of monoids studied so much?

It seems to me like every book on representation theory leaps into groups right away, even though the underlying ideas, such as representations, convolution algebras, etc. don't really make explicit ...
0answers
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### Why do combinatorial abstractions of geometric objects behave so well?

This question is inspired by a talk of June Huh from the recent "Current Developments in Mathematics" conference: http://www.math.harvard.edu/cdm/. Here are two examples of the kind of combinatorial ...
3answers
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### 5/8 bound in group theory

The odds of two random elements of a group commuting is the number of conjugacy classes of the group $$\frac{ \{ (g,h): ghg^{-1}h^{-1} = 1 \} }{ |G|^2} = \frac{c(G)}{|G|}$$ If this number exceeds ...
3answers
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### Does linearization of categories reflect isomorphism?

Given a category $C$ and a commutative ring $R$, denote by $RC$ the $R$-linearization: this is the category enriched over $R$-modules which has the same objects as $C$, but the morphism module between ...
7answers
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### A learning roadmap for Representation Theory

As Akhil had great success with his question, I'm going to ask one in a similar vein. So representation theory has kind of an intimidating feel to it for an outsider. Say someone is familiar with ...
20answers
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### Fun applications of representations of finite groups

Are there some fun applications of the theory of representations of finite groups? I would like to have some examples that could be explained to a student who knows what is a finite group but does not ...
10answers
4k views

### Why are characters so well-behaved?

Last year I attended a first course in the representation theory of finite groups, where everything was over C. I was struck, and somewhat puzzled, by the inexplicable perfection of characters as a ...
1answer
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### Feit-Thompson conjecture

The Feit-Thompson conjecture states: If $p<q$ are primes, then $\frac{q^p-1}{q-1}$ does not divide $\frac{p^q-1}{p-1}$. On page xiii of these proceedings of a conference at the University of ...
3answers
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### 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 ...
11answers
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### Why is the exterior algebra so ubiquitous?

The exterior algebra of a vector space V seems to appear all over the place, such as in the definition of the cross product and determinant, the description of the Grassmannian as a variety, the ...
1answer
5k views

### Double affine Hecke algebras and mainstream mathematics

This is something of a followup to the question "Kapranov's analogies", where a connection between Cherednik's double affine Hecke algebras (DAHA's) and Geometric Langlands program was mentioned. I ...
9answers
5k views

### Is every finite group a group of “symmetries”?

I was trying to explain finite groups to a non-mathematician, and was falling back on the "they're like symmetries of polyhedra" line. Which made me realize that I didn't know if this was actually ...
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 (...
8answers
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### 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 ...
5answers
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### How much of the ATLAS of finite groups is independently checked and/or computer verified?

In a recent talk Serre made some comments about proofs that rely on the classification of finite simple groups (CFSG) and on the ATLAS of Finite Groups. Namely, he said that a proof that relied on the ...
5answers
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### Beautiful descriptions of exceptional groups

I'm curious about the beautiful descriptions of exceptional simple complex Lie groups and algebras (and maybe their compact forms). By beautiful I mean: simple (not complicated - it means that we need ...
3answers
5k views

### What to do now that Lusztig's and James' conjectures have been shown to be false?

Lusztig and James provided conjectures for dimensions of simple modules (or decomposition numbers) for algebraic groups and symmetric groups in characteristic $p$. These conjectures have been ...
0answers
782 views

8answers
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