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Lie groups are named after Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie, who laid the foundations of the theory of continuous transformation groups. Lie groups represent the...

Lie groups are named after Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie, who laid the foundations of the theory of continuous transformation groups. Lie groups represent the best-developed theory of continuous symmetry of mathematical objects and structures, which makes them indispensable tools for many parts of contemporary mathematics, as well as for modern theoretical physics. Lie groups lie algebras and some of their applications pdf theory for analysing the discrete symmetries of algebraic equations. An extension of Galois theory to the case of continuous symmetry groups was one of Lie’s principal motivations.


The circle of center 0 and radius 1 in the complex plane is a Lie group with complex multiplication. Lie groups are smooth differentiable manifolds and as such can be studied using differential calculus, in contrast with the case of more general topological groups. One of the key ideas in the theory of Lie groups is to replace the global object, the group, with its local or linearized version, which Lie himself called its “infinitesimal group” and which has since become known as its Lie algebra. Lie groups play an enormous role in modern geometry, on several different levels.

Felix Klein argued in his Erlangen program that one can consider various “geometries” by specifying an appropriate transformation group that leaves certain geometric properties invariant. Euclidean space R3, conformal geometry corresponds to enlarging the group to the conformal group, whereas in projective geometry one is interested in the properties invariant under the projective group. This idea later led to the notion of a G-structure, where G is a Lie group of “local” symmetries of a manifold. Lie group typically playing the role of a symmetry of a physical system.

Representation theory is used extensively in particle physics. On a “global” level, whenever a Lie group acts on a geometric object, such as a Riemannian or a symplectic manifold, this action provides a measure of rigidity and yields a rich algebraic structure. The presence of continuous symmetries expressed via a Lie group action on a manifold places strong constraints on its geometry and facilitates analysis on the manifold. Linear actions of Lie groups are especially important, and are studied in representation theory.

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