# The Unapologetic Mathematician

## Lie Groups

Now we come to one of the most broadly useful and fascinating structures on all of mathematics: Lie groups. These are objects which are both smooth manifolds and groups in a compatible way. The fancy way to say it is, of course, that a Lie group is a group object in the category of smooth manifolds.

To be a little more explicit, a Lie group $G$ is a smooth $n$-dimensional manifold equipped with a multiplication $G\times G\to G$ and an inversion $G\to G$ which satisfy all the usual group axioms (wow, it’s been a while since I wrote that stuff down) and are also smooth maps between manifolds. Of course, when we write $G\times G$ we mean the product manifold.

We can use these to construct some other useful maps. For instance, if $h\in G$ is any particular element we know that we have a smooth inclusion $G\to G\times G$ defined by $g\mapsto (h,g)$. Composing this with the multiplication map we get a smooth map $L_h:G\to G$ defined by $L_h(g)=hg$, which we call “left-translation by $h$“. Similarly we get a smooth right-translation $R_h(g)=gh$.

June 6, 2011 -

1. [...] a Lie group is a smooth manifold we know that the collection of vector fields form a Lie algebra. But this is [...]

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2. [...] Lie groups are groups, they have representations — homomorphisms to the general linear group of some [...]

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