# THE EULER CHARACTERISTIC OF A LIE GROUP

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1 THE EULER CHARACTERISTIC OF A LIE GROUP JAY TAYLOR 1 Examples of Lie Groups The following is adapted from [2] We begin with the basic definition and some core examples Definition A Lie group is a smooth manifold G equipped with a group structure so that the maps µ : G G G; (x, y) xy and ι : G G; x x 1 are smooth Example The manifold R n forms a group under addition and hence is a Lie group We have that C n is diffeomorphic to R 2n and also forms a group under addition, hence is a Lie group R := R \ {0} is a smooth manifold and equipped with the standard multiplication in R we have R is a Lie group Lemma Let G 1, G 2 be Lie groups We can equip the product manifold G := G 1 G 2 with the product group structure Then G is a Lie group Proof The multiplication map µ : G G G is given by µ ( (x 1, x 2 ), (y 1, y 2 ) ) = [µ 1 µ 2 ] ( (x 1, y 1 ), (x 2, y 2 ) ) Hence µ = (µ 1 µ 2 ) (I G1 S I G2 ), where S : G 2 G 1 G 1 G 2 is defined by, S(x 2, y 1 ) = (y 1, x 2 ) Therefore µ is a composition of smooth maps and so smooth The inversion map of G is given by ι = (ι 1, ι 2 ) and so is smooth Lemma Let G be a Lie group and let H G be both a subgroup and a smooth submanifold Then H is also a Lie group Proof Let µ G : G G G be the multiplication map of G Then the multiplication map of H is given by µ H = µ H H This map is smooth because µ G is smooth and H H is a submanifold of G G Now H is a subgroup and so µ H maps into the smooth submanifold H and so µ H is a smooth map into H Similarly for ι H Definition Let G and H be Lie groups A Lie group homomorphism is a smooth map ϕ : G H which is also a homomorphism of groups A Lie group isomorphism is a bijective Lie group homomorphism, whose inverse is also a Lie group homomorphism An automorphism is a Lie group isomorphism from G to itself 1

2 2 JAY TAYLOR Example Consider the Lie group homomorphism ϕ = (ϕ 1,, ϕ n ) : R n T n, where T n is the standard topological torus, given by ϕ j (x) = e 2πix j We can easily verify that ϕ is a local diffeomorphism Its kernel equals Z n Therefore we must have that this map factors through an isomorphism of groups, say ϕ : R n /Z n T n Via this isomorphism we can pass the manifold structure of T n to a manifold structure of R n /Z n Therefore R n /Z n is a Lie group and ϕ is an isomorphism of Lie groups We now want to show that the general linear group is in fact a Lie group, this will enable us to see that lots of other familiar groups are Lie groups as well Example Let V be a real linear space of finite dimension n, then we write End(V ) for the linear space of all endomorphisms of V We write GL(V ) for the set of invertible endomorphisms of V, ie GL(V ) := {A End(V ) det A 0} Now the map det : End(V ) R is a continuous map and R \ {0} is an open subset of R Therefore det 1 (R \ {0}) is an open subset of End(V ) Therefore GL(V ) is a smooth manifold of dimension n We now want to show that the group operation and inversion maps are smooth Choose a basis for V, say v 1,, v n Let mat : End(V ) M(n, R) be the map that takes A End(V ) to it s corresponding matrix mat A = (a ij ) with respect to the chosen basis Clearly mat is a linear isomorphism We can think of M(n, R) = R n2 and the functions X ij (A) = a ij, for 1 i, j n, as coordinate functions for End(V ) The restriction of these form a global chart for GL(V ) So we have X ij (µ(ab)) = n X il (A)X lj (B), for A, B GL(V ) and so it is clear that µ is smooth In terms of the chart we have l=1 det = σ S n sgn(σ)x 1σ(1) X nσ(n) Clearly det is a smooth nowhere vanishing function and so the map A (det A) 1 is a smooth function on GL(V ) We know that A 1 = 1 adj(a) by Cramer s rule and so ι det(a) is a smooth function on GL(V ) Hence GL(V ) is a Lie group There is a basic idea of homogeneity in a Lie group Essentially this is the idea that we can determine information about the whole Lie group by looking at only one point Specifically by examining a small open neighbourhood of the identity element we can extrapolate information about the whole group Let G be a Lie group If x G then the left translation map l x : G G is a smooth map given by y µ(x, y) The map l x is a bijection with smooth inverse l x 1 and so l x is a diffeomorphism of G onto itself Similarly the right translation map r x : G G is a diffeomorphism of G onto G So, given two points a, b G we can see that l ab 1 and

3 THE EULER CHARACTERISTIC OF A LIE GROUP 3 r a 1 b are diffeomorphisms of G sending a to b Therefore we can compare structures on G at different points Lemma Let G be a Lie group and H a subgroup Then the following are equivalent: (a) H is a submanifold of G at the point h; (b) H is a submanifold of G Proof Omitted Example Let V be a finite dimensional real linear space, of dimension n special linear group is defined to be Then the SL(V ) := {A GL(V ) det A = 1} Clearly SL(V ) is a subgroup of GL(V ) as it is the kernel of the map det We wish to show that SL(V ) is a submanifold of GL(V ) By the above Lemma it will be enough to do this at the identity GL(V ) is an open subset of End(V ) and so we can identify T I (G) with End(V ) The det : G R function is smooth and so its tangent map is a linear map from End(V ) to R In fact this tangent map is the trace function, tr : End(V ) R Clearly the trace is a surjective linear map and so det is a submersion at I, (ie its derivative is everywhere surjective) The submersion theorem then tells us that SL(V ) = det 1 ({I}) is a smooth embedded submanifold of GL(V ) at I Theorem Let G be a Lie group and let H be a subgroup of G Then the following are equivlent: (a) H is closed, with respect to the topology of the manifold (b) H is a submanifold Proof Omitted Corollary Let G be a Lie group Then every closed subgroup of G is a Lie group Proof If H is a closed subgroup of G then it is a submanifold by the above theorem By a previous lemma any subgroup which is also a submanifold is a Lie group Corollary Let ϕ : G H be a homomorphism of Lie groups Then the kernel of ϕ is a closed subgroup of G In particular, ker ϕ is a Lie group Proof We have ker ϕ is a subgroup of G Now ϕ is continuous and {e H } is a closed subset of H and so ϕ 1 ({e H }) is a closed subset of G Therefore by the above Corollary ker ϕ is a Lie group This Corollary quickly shows us that SL(V ) is a Lie group as it is the kernel of det : GL(V ) R Example Let V be a finite dimensional complex linear vector space, of dimension n Choose a basis, say v 1,, v n, for V Then the matrix map mat : End(V ) M(n, C) is a complex linear isomorphism It restricts to Lie group isomorphisms GL(V ) GL(n, C) and SL(V ) SL(n, C)

4 4 JAY TAYLOR We want to state a Lemma that will allow us to show that all the classical groups are in fact Lie groups Let V, W be finite dimensional real linear vector spaces and β : V V W be a real bilinear form We can define an action of GL(V ) on β by g β(u, v) = β(g 1 u, g 1 v) Hence the stabilizer of this action GL(V ) β = {g GL(V ) g β = β} is a subgroup of GL(V ) Similarly SL(V ) β = SL(V ) GL(V ) β is a subgroup Lemma The stabilizers GL(V ) β and SL(V ) β are closed subgroups of GL(V ) In particular they are Lie groups Proof Omitted Example Let V = R n and β : R n R n R be the standard Euclidean inner product, ie β(x, y) = n i=1 x iy i Then GL(V ) β = O(n), the orthogonal group and SL(V ) β = SO(n), is the special orthogonal group Example Let V = R 2n and let β : R 2n R 2n be the standard symplectic form given by β(x, y) = n x i y n+i i=1 Then GL(V ) β is the symplectic group Sp(n) n x n+i y i Example Let V be a finite dimensional complex linear vector space, equipped with a hermitian inner product β Note this is not a complex bilinear form as it is skew-symmetric in the second component However as a map V V C it is bilinear over R and in particular is continuous Therefore we have GL(V ) β = U(V ), the unitary group, (ie the group that preserves all hermitian inner products), is a closed subgroup of GL(V ) and hence a Lie group Similarly the special unitary group SU(V ) := U(V ) SL(V ) is a Lie group We have now given three very important examples of Lie groups, namely the orthogonal, symplectic and unitary groups However, we defined these in terms of real bilinear forms but it is easy to see them more concretely as matrix groups We use the previous results we have stated about GL(V ) for GL(n, C), (or GL(n, R) depending), by the isomorphism we specified previously Example Let β =, be the standard inner product on R n Then for any A M(n, R) we have Ax, y = x, A t y Let g GL(n, R) and x, y R n then i=1 g 1 β(x, y) = gx, gy = g t gx, y Now we defined the orthogonal group O(n) to be GL(n, R) β and so it is clear to see O(n) = {g GL(n, R) g t g = I}

5 THE EULER CHARACTERISTIC OF A LIE GROUP 5 Example Let β =, be the standard hermitian inner product on C n, ie x, y = n i=1 x iy i Then Ax, y = x, A y for A M(n, C) where A denotes complex conjugate transpose Now again we have for g GL(n, C) and x, y C n that g 1 β(x, y) = gx, gy = g gx, y Now we defined the unitary group U(n) to be GL(n, C) β and so it is clear to see U(n) = g GL(n, C) g g = I Example Let β be the standard symplectic form on R 2n as defined previously Let Q M(2n, R) be defined by 0 In Q = I n 0 Let, be the standard Euclidean inner product on R 2n Then for all x, y R 2n we have β(x, y) = x, Qy Let g GL(n, R) then g 1 β(x, y) = gx, Qgy = x, g t Qgy Now we defined the symplectic group Sp(n) to be GL(n, R) β and so it is clear to see Sp(n) = {g GL(n, R) g t Qg = Q} 2 The Euler Characteristic Throughout this section any Lie group G will be compact and connected We note that the following section is adapted from [1] Definition Let G be a Lie group then we say T G is a maximal torus if T is a maximal, (with respect to inclusion), abelian subgroup of G Let T be a maximal torus of a Lie group G Then we will find the Euler characteristic of G/T as a consequence of showing a deeper result that any element of G is contained in a conjugate of T Before persuing this theorem we first state, without proof, the following important theorem Theorem (Lefschetz s Fixed Point Theorem) Let X be a compact topological space such that there exists a simplicial complex K that is homeomorphic to X, (ie X is triangulable) Let f : X X be a continuous map then we have this map induces a map on homology groups, which we denote f : H q (X; Q) H q (X; Q) We define the Lefschetz Number of f as Λ f := q 0( 1) q tr f Then if Λ f 0 then we must have f has a fixed point, ie there exists an x X such that f(x) = x

6 6 JAY TAYLOR Remark We note that the Lefschetz number depends only upon the induced map on homology groups of X Therefore this means that this theorem will hold for any map homotopic to f We also note that the converse of this theorem is not true We may have that f has fixed points but the Lefschetz number is 0 Definition Let G be a Lie group and H a subgroup generated by g Now g is a generator of G if H = G Proposition The standard topological torus T k has a generator In fact the generators are dense in T k Proof Let U 1, U 2, be a countable base for the open sets of T k Consider T k as R k /Z k then we have coordinates (x 1,, x k ) on T k Then we define a cube to be a set {x T k x i ζ i ε} for some fixed point ζ and real ε > 0 Let C 0 be any cube Suppose, inductively, that we have defined C 0 C 1 C m 1 and that C m 1 has side 2ε Then there is an integer N such that N 2ε > 1 and N C m 1 = T k We can find C m C m 1 such that N C m U m Let g m C m Then g N U m and so g is a generator of T k Having gathered enough small facts we can now go on to prove our main theorem Theorem Let G be a Lie group and T G be a maximal torus of G Then for any g G there exists h G, t T such that g = hth 1 Proof Consider the left coset space G/T and let f : G/T G/T be defined by left multiplication with g, ie f(xt) = gxt Then a fixed point of f is a coset xt such that gxt = xt x 1 gxt = T x 1 gx T, in other words g xtx 1 Hence to prove our theorem we only need to show that the map f has a fixed point To do this we will use Lefschetz fixed point theorem We recall from the statement of Lefschetz fixed point theorem that the Lefschetz number of f is defined to be Λ f = n ( 1) q tr f q=1 Note that Λ f is precisely the definition of the Euler characteristic as tr f is the rank of the homology group If f has only finitely many fixed points then Λ f counts the number of fixed points with multiplicity, which is defined as follows Let X be a smooth manifold and x a fixed point of a differentiable map f : X X Then consider 1 f : T x X T x X, (where T x X denotes the tangent space of X at x) If det(1 f ) > 0, then f has multiplicity +1 at x and if det(1 f ) < 0 then f has multiplicity 1 at x Now what we want to do is compute Λ f By the remark after the statement of the theorem it suffices to do this with any map f 0, which is homotopic to f So we can replace g in the definition of f with any other g 0 G as G is path-connected Take g 0 to be a generator of T and then define f 0 : G/T G/T by f 0 (xt) = g 0 xt Now the fixed points of f 0 are the cosets nt where n N G (T), (the normaliser of the torus in G) To see this let n N G (T) then

7 THE EULER CHARACTERISTIC OF A LIE GROUP 7 f 0 (nt) = g 0 nt = n(n 1 g 0 n)t = nt, as g 0 T, n N G (T) then n 1 g 0 nt = T and so nt is a fixed point of f 0 Conversely, assume xt is a fixed point of f 0 then gxt = xt x 1 g 0 xt = T x 1 g 0 x T and so x N G (T) because g 0 generates T We wish to examine N G (T) Now N G (T) is a closed subgroup of G and so is a Lie group The irreducible component of N G (T), written N G (T) 1, containing the identity is open and so has only a finite number of cosets We claim that N G (T) 1 = T Now N G (T) acts on T by conjugation, (ie n t ntn 1 ), which is a inner automorphism of T The group Aut T is discrete, (ie every subset of Aut T is defined to be an open set), and so N G (T) 1 acts trivially on T This is because the set of all actions of N G (T) 1 on T forms a subset of Aut T, in particular this subset contains the trivial action As Aut T is discrete we must have this subset only contains the trivial action Now, assume N G (T) 1 properly contains the torus Then there exists an element n N G (T) 1 T We know the conjugation action of this element on T is trivial and so we must have ntn 1 = t for all t T, in other words nt = tn for all t T This means that T {n} is an abelian subgroup of N G (T) 1 properly containing T but this invalidates the maximality of T Hence N G (T) 1 = T Therefore [N G (T) : T] is finite and so f 0 has only a finite number of fixed points It will be enough to only consider one of these fixed points, say T For example, let nt be another fixed point of f 0 We can then consider the right translation map r n : G/T G/T defined as r n (gt) = gtn This is a well defined diffeomorphism, which commutes with f 0, and takes T to nt Note we can see that r n (T) = Tn = nt because n N G (T) Therefore the multiplicity at nt is the same as at T What we now want to determine is det(1 f 0) Remember that this is a map from the tangent space T T (G/T) to itself, where T is the identity element of G/T To find this we will need to construct a basis for T T (G/T) To do this choose a basis of T 1 T then extend it to a basis of the tangent space defined on the whole group T 1 G Now if we throw away the basis vectors for T 1 T we are left with precisely a basis for T T (G/T) Before we carry on we need a small result from Representation theory Note this is stated without proof Definition Let F be a field, (ie R or C) and let G be a topological group Then an FG-space is a finite dimensional vector space V over F such that there exists a continuous homomorphism θ : G Aut V This may also be called a representation of G Proposition If T is a torus of G then the torus acts on T 1 G by the adjoint action G Aut T 1 G Note We define the adjoint action in the following way Consider the map ϕ : G Aut(G) defined as g ϕ g where ϕ g is the standard inner automorphism of G, such that ϕ g (h) = ghg 1 for all h G Then the derivative at the identity of the map ϕ g is an automorphism of the associated Lie algebra, we denote this map by ad g : g g Then the adjoint action is the map ad : G Aut(T 1 G) defined as g ad g

8 8 JAY TAYLOR We choose a positive definite symmetric form on T 1 G which is invariant under G and so under T also Then T 1 G decomposes into a direct sum of orthogonal irreducible T-spaces, say V 0 n i=1 V i The vector space V 0 is of dimension 1 and the other V i are of dimension 2 Now T acts trivially on V 0 and for the dimension 2 vector spaces we can choose an orthonormal basis of each V i and represent T by T SO(2, R) Therefore T acts on the V i as cos 2πθi (t) sin 2πθ i (t) sin 2πθ i (t) cos 2πθ i (t) Where θ i : T R/Z is a non-zero map which never takes integer values This prevents the action of T on the V i from being trivial Now we have this proposition we can state that 1 f 0, with respect to the chosen basis, has matrix form A cos 2πθi (g where A i := 0 ) sin 2πθ i (g 0 ) sin 2πθ i (g 0 ) 1 cos 2πθ i (g 0 ) 0 A m Now we can see that det A i = 1 cos 2πθ i(g 0 ) sin 2πθ i (g 0 ) sin 2πθ i (g 0 ) 1 cos 2πθ i (g 0 ) = 2(1 cos 2πθ i(g 0 )) and det(1 f 0) = m i=1 det A i Now det A i is greater than 0 unless θ i (g 0 ) is integer valued but the proposition tells us this never happens Therefore the multiplicity of T is +1 and hence each coset has multiplicity +1 So the Lefschetz number is Λ f = N G (T)/T > 0 Therefore f has at least one fixed point, which proves the theorem Remark In proving this theorem we have seen that the Euler characteristic of G/T is in fact just N G (T)/T but why is this special? Well for any Lie group G we have for a given maximal torus T G that N G (T)/T is in fact a Coxeter group This is a group that has the following special form, given by generators and relations, s 1,, s t s 2 i = 1 and (s i s j ) m ij = 1 for some m ij N In fact it can be shown that m ij must be either 2, 3, 4 or 6 A standard example of a Coxeter group is the symmetric group S n which is generated by transpositions You may be slightly concerned that this Coxeter group depends on the choice of maximal torus However as a Corollary to the above theorem we have any two maximal tori of G are conjugate Therefore any construction depending upon a maximal torus is unique up to an inner automorphism of G The Coxeter group is one the most important components of a Lie group as it determines almost everything about the Lie group It is essentially the symmetry group of the root system of the Lie group In fact the Coxeter group of a Lie group will have finite order and

9 THE EULER CHARACTERISTIC OF A LIE GROUP 9 so infinite Lie groups are in fact controlled, primarily, by something that is finite When we try to classify the Lie groups we can essentially reduce it to the problem of classifying all the finite Coxeter groups, which is a much simpler problem 3 Examples of Euler Characteristic (a) Consider the matrix group SU(2) Now any matrix X SU(2) will have the form α β X =, β α for some α, β C such that α 2 + β 2 = 1 We can define an embedding ϕ : C 2 M(2, C), (considering C 2 diffeomorphic to R 4 and M(2, C) diffeomorphic to R 8 ), by α β ϕ(α, β) = β α Now considering the restriction of ϕ to S 3 we see that ϕ is an embedding of S 3 into a compact submanifold of R 8 However, we also have ϕ(s 3 ) = SU(2) Therefore S 3 is diffeomorphic to SU(2) and hence S 3 is a Lie group Now a maximal torus of SU(2) will be the subgroup T of diagonal matrices of the form α 0 0 α The normaliser N G (T) will in fact be the matrices of the form α 0 0 β and 0 α β 0 Hence the Coxeter group of SU(2) will have order 2 Therefore the Euler characteristic of SU(2)/T is 2 In particular this also tells us that the Euler characteristic of S 3 /S 1 is 2 This makes sense as S 3 /S 1 is diffeomorphic to CP 1 which we know has Euler characteristic 2 (b) In general SU(n) will have Coxeter group S n and hence SU(n)/T has Euler characteristic n! (c) The group SO(2n + 1) has associated Coxeter group (Z/2Z) n S n A maximal torus of SO(2n + 1) is all diagonal matrices of the form diag(d 1,, d n, 1, d 1 n,, d 1 1 ) Hence the Euler characteristic of SO(2n + 1)/T is the order of the Coxeter group which is 2 n n! References [1] J Frank Adams, Lectures on Lie Groups W A Benjamin, Inc 1969 [2] Erik P van den Ban, Lie Groups Lecture Course Notes, Utrecht University, Spring 2003

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