# Lie algebra

A over a field $k$ is a vector space  $\mathfrak{g}$ with a bilinear map $[\ ,\ ]:\mathfrak{g}\times\mathfrak{g}\to\mathfrak{g}$, called the Lie bracket and denoted $(x,y)\mapsto[x,y]$. It is required to satisfy:

1. 1.

$[x,x]=0$ for all $x\in\mathfrak{g}$.

2. 2.

The : $[x,[y,z]]+[y,[z,x]]+[z,[x,y]]=0$ for all $x,y,z\in\mathfrak{g}$.

## 1 Subalgebras & Ideals

A vector subspace $\mathfrak{h}$ of the Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ is a if $\mathfrak{h}$ is closed under  the Lie bracket operation, or, equivalently, if $\mathfrak{h}$ itself is a Lie algebra under the same bracket operation as $\mathfrak{g}$. An ideal of $\mathfrak{g}$ is a subspace $\mathfrak{h}$ for which $[x,y]\in\mathfrak{h}$ whenever either $x\in\mathfrak{h}$ or $y\in\mathfrak{h}$. Note that every ideal is also a subalgebra.

Some general examples of subalgebras:

• The center of $\mathfrak{g}$, defined by $Z(\mathfrak{g}):=\{x\in\mathfrak{g}\mid[x,y]=0\text{for all }y\in\mathfrak{g}\}$. It is an ideal of $\mathfrak{g}$.

• The of a subalgebra $\mathfrak{h}$ is the set $N(\mathfrak{h}):=\{x\in\mathfrak{g}\mid[x,\mathfrak{h}]\subset\mathfrak{h}\}$. The Jacobi identity guarantees that $N(\mathfrak{h})$ is always a subalgebra of $\mathfrak{g}$.

• The of a subset $X\subset\mathfrak{g}$ is the set $C(X):=\{x\in\mathfrak{g}\mid[x,X]=0\}$. Again, the Jacobi identity implies that $C(X)$ is a subalgebra of $\mathfrak{g}$.

## 2 Homomorphisms

Given two Lie algebras $\mathfrak{g}$ and $\mathfrak{g}^{\prime}$ over the field $k$, a from $\mathfrak{g}$ to $\mathfrak{g}^{\prime}$ is a linear transformation $\phi:\mathfrak{g}\to\mathfrak{g}^{\prime}$ such that $\phi([x,y])=[\phi(x),\phi(y)]$ for all $x,y\in\mathfrak{g}$. An injective  homomorphism is called a , and a surjective  homomorphism is called an .

The kernel of a homomorphism $\phi:\mathfrak{g}\to\mathfrak{g}^{\prime}$ (considered as a linear transformation) is denoted $\ker(\phi)$. It is always an ideal in $\mathfrak{g}$.

## 4 Historical Note

Lie algebras are so-named in honour of Sophus Lie, a Norwegian mathematician who pioneered the study of these mathematical objects. Lie’s discovery was tied to his investigation of continuous transformation groups and symmetries   . One joint project with Felix Klein called for the classification of all finite-dimensional  groups acting on the plane. The task seemed hopeless owing to the generally non-linear nature of such group actions  . However, Lie was able to solve the problem by remarking that a transformation group can be locally reconstructed from its corresponding “infinitesimal generators”, that is to say vector fields corresponding to various 1-parameter subgroups. In terms of this geometric correspondence, the group composition operation manifests itself as the bracket of vector fields, and this is very much a linear operation. Thus the task of classifying group actions in the plane became the task of classifying all finite-dimensional Lie algebras of planar vector field; a project that Lie brought to a successful conclusion  .

This “linearization trick” proved to be incredibly fruitful and led to great advances in geometry and differential equations. Such advances are based, however, on various results from the theory of Lie algebras. Lie was the first to make significant contributions to this purely algebraic theory, but he was surely not the last.

 Title Lie algebra Canonical name LieAlgebra Date of creation 2013-03-22 12:03:36 Last modified on 2013-03-22 12:03:36 Owner djao (24) Last modified by djao (24) Numerical id 18 Author djao (24) Entry type Definition Classification msc 17B99 Related topic CommutatorBracket Related topic LieGroup Related topic UniversalEnvelopingAlgebra Related topic RootSystem Related topic SimpleAndSemiSimpleLieAlgebras2 Defines Jacobi identity Defines subalgebra Defines ideal Defines normalizer Defines centralizer Defines kernel Defines homomorphism Defines center Defines centre Defines abelian Lie algebra Defines abelian