# LECTURE 28: VECTOR BUNDLES AND FIBER BUNDLES

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1 LECTURE 28: VECTOR BUNDLES AND FIBER BUNDLES 1. Vector Bundles In general, smooth manifolds are very non-linear. However, there exist many smooth manifolds which admit very nice partial linear structures. For example, given any smooth manifold M of dimension n, the tangent bundle T M = {(p, X p ) p M, X p T p M} is linear in tangent variables. We have seen in PSet 2 Problem 9 that T M is a smooth manifold of dimension 2n so that the canonical projection π : T M M is a smooth submersion. A local chart of T M is given by T ϕ = (π, dϕ) : π 1 (U) U R n, where {ϕ, U, V } is a local chart of M. Note that the local chart map T ϕ preserves the linear structure nicely: it maps the vector space π 1 (p) = T p M isomorphically to the vector space {p} R n. As a result, if you choose another chart ( ϕ, Ũ, Ṽ ) containing p, then the map T ϕ T ϕ 1 : {p} R n {p} R n is a linear isomorphism which depends smoothly on p. In general, we define Definition 1.1. Let E, M be smooth manifolds, and π : E M a surjective smooth map. We say (π, E, M) is a vector bundle of rank r if for every p M, there exits an open neighborhood U α of p and a diffeomorphism (called the local trivialization) so that Φ α : π 1 (U α ) U α R r (1) E p = π 1 (p) is a r dimensional vector space, and Φ α Ep : E p {p} R r is a linear map. (2) For U α U β, there is a smooth map g βα : U α U β GL(r, R) so that Φ β Φ 1 α (m, v) = (m, g βα (m)(v)), m U α U β, v R r. We will call E the total space, M the base and π 1 (p) the fiber over p. (In the case there is no ambiguity about the base, we will denote a vector bundle by E for short.) (Roughly speaking, a vector bundle E over M is a smooth varying family of vector spaces parameterized by a base manifold M.) Remark. A vector bundle of rank 1 is usually called a line bundle. Remark. It is easy to define conception of a vector sub-bundle: a vector bundle (π 1, E 1, M) is a sub-bundle of (π, E, M) if (E 1 ) p E p for any p, and π 1 = π E1. 1

2 2 LECTURE 28: VECTOR BUNDLES AND FIBER BUNDLES Example. Here are some known examples: (1) For any smooth manifold M, E = M R r is a trivial bundle over M. (2) The tangent bundle T M and the cotangent bundle T M are both vector bundles over M. (3) Given any smooth submanifold X M, the normal bundle NX = {(p, v) p X, v N p X}, (where N p X is the quotient vector space T p M/T p X) is a vector bundle over X. Note: NX is NOT a vector sub-bundle of T M. (4) Any rank r distribution V on M is a rank r vector bundle over M. It is a vector sub-bundle of the tangent bundle T M. Example. The canonical line bundle over RP n = {l is a line through 0 in R n+1 } is γ 1 n = {(l, x) l RP n, x l R n+1 }. (Can you write down a local trivialization?) In particular if n = 1, we have RP 1 S 1. In this case the canonical line bundle γ 1 1 is nothing else but the infinite Möbius band, which is a line bundle over S 1. Another way to obtain the infinite Möbius band γ 1 1 is to identify S 1 with [0, 1], with end points 0 and 1 glued together. Then the Möbius band is [0, 1] R, with boundary lines {0} R and {1} R glued together via (0, t) (1, t). Example. One can extend operations on vector spaces to operations on vector bundles. (1) Given any vector bundle (π, E, M), one can define the dual vector bundle by replacing each E p with its dual E p. (How to define local trivializations? What are the transition maps g βα s?) For example, T M is the dual bundle of T M. (2) Let (π 1, E 1, M) and (π 2, E 2, M) be two vector bundles over M of rank r 1 and r 2 respectively. Then the direct sum bundle (π 1 π 2, E 1 E 2, M) is the rank r 1 + r 2 vector bundle over M with fiber (π 1 π 2 ) 1 (p) = (E 1 ) p (E 2 ) p. (How to define local trivializations? What are the transition maps g βα s?) (3) Then the tensor product bundle (π 1 π 2, E 1 E 2, M) is the rank r 1 r 2 vector bundle over M with fiber (π 1 π 2 ) 1 (p) = (E 1 ) p (E 2 ) p. (How to define local trivializations? What are the transition maps g βα s?) For example, we have the (k, l)-tensor bundle k,l T M := (T M) k (T M) l over M. (4) Similarly one can define the exterior power bundle Λ k T M, whose fiber at point p M is the linear space Λ k T p M. (Local trivializations? Transition maps?) (5) Let f : N M be a smooth map, and (π, E, M) a vector bundle over M. Then one can define a pull-back bundle f E over N by setting the fiber over x N to be the fiber of E f(x). (Local trivializations? Transition maps?) In particular, the restriction of a vector bundle (π, E, M) to a submanifold N of the base manifold M is a vector bundle over the submanifold N. (Note: this is not a vector sub-bundle of (π, E, M)!)

3 LECTURE 28: VECTOR BUNDLES AND FIBER BUNDLES 3 We have seen that any smooth manifold can be embedded into the simplest manifold: an Euclidian space. A natural question is whether the same conclusion holds for vector bundles? More precisely, can we embed any vector bundle (π, E, M) into some trivial bundle M R N as a vector sub-bundle? The answer is yes if M is compact, and the proof is similar to the proof of the simple Whitney embedding theorem in Lecture 9. (The conclusion could be wrong if M is non-compact.) Theorem 1.2. If M is compact, then any vector bundle E over M is isomorphic to a sub-bundle of a trivial vector bundle over M. Proof. (Please compare this proof with the proof of Theorem 1.1 in Lecture 9). Take a finite open cover {U i } 1 i k of M so that E is trivial over each U i via the trivialization maps Φ i = (π, Φ 2 i ) : π 1 (U i ) U i R r. Let {ρ i } 1 i k be a P.O.U. subordinate to {U i } 1 i k. Consider Φ : E M (R r ) k, v (π(v), ρ 1 (π(v))φ 2 1(v),, ρ k (π(v))φ 2 k(v)). Note that on each fiber E p, Φ is a linear isomorphism onto its image. The conclusion follows, since the image of Φ is a vector sub-bundle of M R rk : for any p M, there exists i so that ρ i (p) 0. Then the map Φ 2 i induces a local trivialization near p. As a corollary we get the following fundamental fact in topological K-theory: Corollary 1.3. If M is compact, then for any vector bundle E over M, there exists a vector bundle F over M so that E F is a trivial bundle over M. Proof. We have seen that E is a vector sub-bundle of a trivial bundle M R N over M. Now we put an inner product on R N, and take the fiber F p of F at p M to be the orthogonal complement of E p in R N. (One should check that F is a vector bundle over M.) The following definition is natural: 2. Sections of vector bundles Definition 2.1. A (smooth) section of a vector bundle (π, E, M) is a (smooth) map s : M E so that π s = Id M. The set of all sections of E is denoted by Γ(E), and the set of all smooth sections of E is denoted by Γ (E). Remark. Obviously if s 1, s 2 are smooth sections of E, so is as 1 + bs 2. So Γ (E) is an (infinitely dimensional) vector space. In fact, one can say more: if s is a smooth section of E and f is a smooth function on M, then fs is a smooth section of E. So Γ (E) is a C (M)-module. (According to the famous Serre-Swan theorem, there is an equivalence of categories between that of finite rank vector bundles over M and finitely generated projective modules over C (M).) Remark. Many geometrically interesting objects on M are defined as smooth sections of some (vector) bundles over M. For example,

4 4 LECTURE 28: VECTOR BUNDLES AND FIBER BUNDLES A smooth vector field on M = a smooth section of T M. A smooth (k, l)-tensor field on M = a smooth section of k,l T M. A smooth k-form on M = a smooth section of Λ k T M. A volume form on M = a non-vanishing smooth section of Λ n T M. A Riemannian metric on M = a smooth section of 2 T M satisfying some extra (symmetric, positive definite) conditions A symplectic form on M = a smooth section of Λ 2 T M satisfying some extra (closed, non-degenerate) conditions By definition any vector bundle admits a trivial smooth section: the zero section s 0 : M E, p (p, 0). On the other hand, it is possible that a vector bundle admits no non-vanishing section. For example, we have seen M is orientable if and only if Λ n T M admits a global non-vanishing section. T S 2n admits no non-vanishing section. Here is another example: Example. Consider the canonical line bundle γ 1 n over RP n. We claim that there is no non-vanishing smooth section s : RP n γ 1 n. To see this we consider the composition ϕ : S n P RP n s γn, 1 where P is the projection p(±x) = l x, the line through x. By definition, ϕ is of form x (l x, f(x)x), where f is a smooth function on S n satisfying f( x) = f(x). By mean value property, f vanishes at some x 0. It follows that s vanishes at x 0 also. Although there might be no non-vanishing global sections, locally there are plenty of non-vanishing sections. Let E be a rank r vector bundle over M, and U an open set in M. Definition 2.2. A local frame of E over U is an ordered r-tuple s 1,, s r of smooth section of E over U so that for each p U, s 1 (p),, s r (p) form a basis of E p. Example. Let M be a smooth manifold and U be a coordinate patch. Then 1,, n form a local frame of T M over U. dx 1,, dx n form a local frame of T M over U. The following fact is basic. We will leave the proof as an exercise. Proposition 2.3. Let E be a smooth vector bundle over M. (1) A section s Γ(E) is smooth if and only if for any p M, there is a neighborhood U of p and a local frame s 1,, s r of E over U so that s = c 1 s 1 + +c r s r for some smooth functions c 1,, c r defined in U. (2) E is a trivial bundle if and only if there exists a global frame of E on M.

5 We have seen LECTURE 28: VECTOR BUNDLES AND FIBER BUNDLES 5 3. De Rham cohomology groups of vector bundles HdR(M k R r ) HdR(M) k and Hc k (M R r ) Hc k r (M). A vector bundle E can be viewed as a twisted product of a smooth manifold M (the base) with a vector space (the fiber). So it is natural to study the relation between the cohomology groups of E and the cohomology groups of M. Proposition 3.1. For any vector bundle E over M, one has H k dr(e) = H k dr(m), Proof. This is a consequence of the homotopy invariance: E is homotopy equivalent to M, since if we let s 0 : M E be the zero section, then π s 0 = Id M, and s 0 π Id E via the homotopy F : E R E, (x, v, t) (x, tv). In general, the same result fails for compact supported cohomology groups. For example, let E be the infinite Möbius band, which is a line bundle over S 1. Since E is non-orientable, one has k. H 2 c (E) = 0 R H 1 dr(s 1 ) = H 1 c (S 1 ). On the other hand, if we assume orientablity, then Proposition 3.2. Let E be a rank r vector bundle over M. Assume both E and M are oriented with finite dimensional compact supported de Rham cohomology groups, then Proof. We apply Poincaré duality twice: H k c (E) H n+r k dr H k c (E) H k r c (M), k. (E) H n+r k dr (M) Hc k r (M). Now let M be an oriented, compact and connected smooth n-manifold, and E an oriented vector bundle of rank r over M. The constant function 1 on M gives us a degree-0 cohomology class [1] HdR 0 (M). So the isomorphism above produces an element [T ] Hc r (E). Definition 3.3. We call [T ] the Thom class of (π, E, M). Remark. The isomorphism Hc k (E) Hc k r (M) is called the Thom duality. It is given explicitly by an integration along the fibers map π : Ω k c(e) Ω k r (M).

6 6 LECTURE 28: VECTOR BUNDLES AND FIBER BUNDLES More precisely, on a local trivialization we can pick coordinates x 1,, x n of M and s 1,, s r of the fiber. For any k-form (k r) ω on M, locally we can write ω = f(x, s)(π θ) ds 1 ds r + terms with less fiber 1-forms, where θ is a (k r)-form on M, and f is compactly supported. Then π ω := θ f(x, s) ds 1 ds r. R r One can check that π ω is well-defined. To prove the independence of the choices of the fiber variables s 1,, s r, one need the following fact: Since E and M are both orientable, one can always choose fiber variables so that the transition maps g αβ GL + (n, R). dπ = π d. (= π induces a linear map π : Hc k (E) Hc k c (M).) The induced map π : Hc k (E) Hc k c (M) is an isomorphism. Moreover, one has the projection formula π (π θ ω) = θ π ω, θ Ω (M) and ω Ω c(e). The Thom class gives us the inverse to the integration along fibers map. More precisely, by definition, π ([T ]) = 1. By using the projection formula above, one has (π ) 1 ([ω]) = [π ω] [T ], ω Z c (E). Let E be an oriented vector bundle of rank r over an oriented connected compact smooth manifold M. Let s : M E be any global section of E. Then by using the pull-back, we get an element s ([T ]) H r dr(m). Proposition 3.4. The de Rham cohomology class s ([T ]) is independent of the choices of s. Proof. Let s 0 : M E be the zero section. Then s 0 s via the homotopy F : M R, (m, t) (m, ts(m)). So s ([T ]) = s 0([T ]). Definition 3.5. The de Rham cohomology class χ(e) := s ([T ]) HdR(M) r is called the Euler class of E. The Euler class of a vector bundle is an obstruction to the existence of a nonvanishing global section. Theorem 3.6. If an oriented vector bundle E over an oriented compact connected smooth manifold M admits a non-vanishing global section, then χ(e) = 0.

7 LECTURE 28: VECTOR BUNDLES AND FIBER BUNDLES 7 Proof. Let s : M E be an non-vanishing section. Take T Z r c (E) so that [T ] is the Thom class. Take c R so that the section s 1 = cs does not intersect supp(t ). It follows χ(e) = s 1([T ]) = [s 1T ] = 0. Finally we remark that for E = T M the tangent bundle, one has χ(t M) = χ(m)[µ], where µ Ω n (M) is any top form with µ = 1, and M n χ(m) = ( 1) i dim HdR(M) i i=0 is the Euler characteristic number of M. This explains the name Euler class. Moreover, this explains why any smooth vector field on S 2n admits at least one zero, while there exists non-vanishing smooth vector fields on S 2n+1 : χ(s 2n ) 0 while χ(s 2n+1 ) = 0.

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