Fachbereich Mathematik 
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Lie Algebras, winter semester 2021/2022

This is the website for the lecture course on Lie algebras and its associated exercise classes.


This course will give an introduction to Lie algebras and their representation theory, with a focus on the complex semisimple case. A Lie algebra is a vector space equipped with a (typically) non-associative multiplication called Lie bracket. Lie algebras arise naturally in many contexts in mathematics and physics, for example as tangent spaces at the identity of Lie groups, and they can be thought of as spaces of ``infinitesimal'' or ``linearised symmetries''.

The content of the course includes:

  • the definition and basic properties of Lie algebras;
  • the classical Lie algebras, including a thorough discussion of sl(2,\C) early in the semester;
  • the classification problem, nilpotent and solvable Lie algebras;
  • semisimple Lie algebras, root systems;
  • representation theory of semisimple Lie algebras;
  • universal enveloping algebra and PBW theorem;
  • an outlook on applications.

This course is mainly aimed at Masters and advanced Bachelor students in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics.

Prerequisites: basic notions from algebra (groups, fields, linear algebra).


Lectures will be in person (please get in contact if you cannot participate in person):

  • Monday, 12:15-13:45, Geomatikum H6, 11th Oct 21 - 24th Jan 22
  • Thursday, 12:15-13:45, Geomatikum H5, 14th Oct 21 - 27th Jan 22

Exercise classes in two groups. The preparatory meeting was on 11th October.

  • Monday, 16:15-17:45, online , 18th Oct 21 - 24th Jan 22. (Access code via STiNE)
  • Thursday, 14:15-15:45, Geomatikum 435, 21st Oct 21 - 27th Jan 22
Initially everyone was signed up for the online group. Between Monday 11th Oct 21 and Thursday 21st Oct 21 it was possible to change registrations in STiNE.


The lecture notes will be continually expanded and updated throughout the semester. Additional notes (not all checked):

Additional references:

  • James E. Humphreys: Introduction to Lie Algebras and Representation Theory, Vol. 9. Graduate Texts in Mathematics. Third printing, revised. Springer-Verlag, New York-Berlin, 1980.
  • Jean-Pierre Serre: Lie Algebras and Lie Groups: 1964 Lectures Given at Harvard University, Vol. 1500 Lecture Notes in Mathematics. Firth printing, 2nd edition Springer-Verlag, New York-Berlin, 2006.


There will be an oral exam. To qualify for the exam, you should solve at least 40% of the homework problems and participate actively in the exercise classes.


Paul Wedrich, e.g. via email

  Seitenanfang  Impress 2021-11-08, Paul Wedrich