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This course is part of the MAGIC core.


Lie groups, Lie algebras, classical matrix groups GL(n,R), SO(n), SO(p,q), U(n), Lorentz group, Poincare group; exponential map, one-parameter subgroups; actions and basic representation theory, orbits and invariants; adjoint and coadjoint representations, Lie-Poisson bracket; solvable, nilpotent and semisimple Lie algebras


Autumn 2016 (Monday, October 3 to Friday, December 9)


  • Mon 09:05 - 09:55
  • Wed 09:05 - 09:55


The main goal of my course is to give an introduction to the theory of Lie groups and Lie algebras as well as to discuss some applications of this theory to mathematical physics and mechanics.
I suppose that my students have certain background in the following topics:
  • Linear Algebra,
  • Abstract Algebra,
  • Calculus,
  • Differential Equations,
  • Differential Geometry and Topology
Since Abstract Algebra, Differential Geometry and Topology are all very essential for this course, let me list some basic notions and results which will be used throughout my course.
  • Abstract Algebra: field, group, subgroup, homomorphism, quotient group, cosets, fundamental homomorphism theorem
  • Topology: topological and metric spaces, continuous map, homeomorphism, open and closed sets, compactness, connectedness
  • Differential Geometry: smooth manifolds, tangent vectors and tangent spaces, smooth maps, differential of a smooth map, vector fields, geodesics, implicit function theorem, submanifolds.
Of course, giving the course (especially in the beginning) I will try to recall all these notions. But unfortunately I am not able to discuss them in detail, so it is strongly recommended to have a look at the corresponding literature to refresh your background. As more or less standard text-books I would recommend:

John B. Fraleigh, Victor J. Katz, A First Course in Abstract Algebra, 7th edition, Addison-Wesley Publishing, 2002.
M.A.Armstrong, Basic Topology Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics, 5th printing, Springer, 1997.
W.A.Sutherland, Introduction to metric and topological spaces, Oxford University Press, 1975.
B. O'Neill, Elementary Differential Geometry, Harcourt 2nd ed., 1997.
M. Do Carmo, Differential Geometry of Curves and Surfaces, Prentice Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1976.

I would be glad to get any comments from you related to the above list: if you think that I should pay particular attention to some of the above notions, I'll try to spend on that more time.
In general, any feedback from you is very important, since at lectures we will not be able to contact in usual way.
The lectures will be followed by Problem Sheets which will appear regularly on the MAGIC website.
Alexey Bolsinov


1. Manifolds, vector fields, tangent bundle, smooth maps and diffeomorphisms
2. Lie groups and Lie algebras, relationship between them
3. Classical Lie groups GL(n,R), SL(n,R), O(n), O(p,q), U(n), SU(n), Sp(n,R) and their Lie algebras
4. Left and right invariant vector fields, one-parameter subgroups and exponential map
5. Fundamental group and universal covering of a Lie group
6. Actions of Lie groups
7. Homogeneous spaces and linear representations
8. Adjoint and co-adjoint representations
9. Solvable and nilpotent Lie groups, Lie and Engel theorems
10. Killing form, Cartan subalgebra, radical
11. Semisimple Lie algebras, classification (without detailed proof)
12. Basic facts on root systems and Dynkin diagrams


Alexey Bolsinov
Phone (01509) 222857
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Lie groups, Lie algebras, and representations: an elementary introductionHall
Introduction to lie algebrasErdmann and Wildon
Lie groups beyond an introductionKnapp
Introduction to Lie algebras and representation theoryHumphreys
Matrix groups: an introduction to Lie group theoryBaker
Lie algebras and Lie groups: 1964 lectures given at Harvard UniversitySerre
Lectures on Lie groupsAdams
Lie groups: an introduction through linear groupsRossmann


Clicking on the link for a book will take you to the relevant Google Book Search page. You may be able to preview the book there. On the right hand side you will see links to places where you can buy the book. There is also link marked 'Find this book in a library'. This sometimes works well, but not always. (You will need to enter your location, but it will be saved after you do that for the first time.)


Assessment for this course will be via a take-home examination which will be put online after the end of the course at the beginning of January (morning, 9th January 2014). The exam paper will require the completion of 3/4 questions and to pass one is required to obtain at least 50 %. The deadline for the work to be completed is midnight, 22th January 2014.

Exam 2016

Files:Exam paper
Released: Monday 9 January 2017 (44.6 days ago)
Deadline: Sunday 22 January 2017 (30.6 days ago)

Dear All,

The MAGIC008 exam consists of 4 questions. You need to answer 3 of them. To pass you need to get 50%, i.e. 30 points out of 60. Please, write you solutions as clear as can, then scan them as a pdf.file and upload to the MAGIC008 web page. The deadline for January 22 at midnight (23:59:59). Good luck, Alexey Bolsinov

Recorded Lectures

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