Skip to content →

Tag: Quillen

From Galois to NOG

Evariste Galois (1811-1832) must rank pretty high on the all-time
list of moving last words. Galois was mortally wounded in a duel he
fought with Perscheux d\’Herbinville on May 30th 1832, the reason for
the duel not being clear but certainly linked to a girl called
Stephanie, whose name appears several times as a marginal note in
Galois\’ manuscripts (see illustration). When he died in the arms of his
younger brother Alfred he reportedly said “Ne pleure pas, j\’ai besoin
de tout mon courage pour mourir ‚àö‚Ć 20 ans”. In this series I\’ll
start with a pretty concrete problem in Galois theory and explain its
elegant solution by Aidan Schofield and Michel Van den Bergh.
Next, I\’ll rephrase the problem in non-commutative geometry lingo,
generalise it to absurd levels and finally I\’ll introduce a coalgebra
(yes, a co-algebra…) that explains it all. But, it will take some time
to get there. Start with your favourite basefield $k$ of
characteristic zero (take $k = \mathbb{Q}$ if you have no strong
preference of your own). Take three elements $a,b,c$ none of which
squares, then what conditions (if any) must be imposed on $a,b,c$ and $n
\in \mathbb{N}$ to construct a central simple algebra $\Sigma$ of
dimension $n^2$ over the function field of an algebraic $k$-variety such
that the three quadratic fieldextensions $k\sqrt{a}, k\sqrt{b}$ and
$k\sqrt{c}$ embed into $\Sigma$? Aidan and Michel show in \’Division
algebra coproducts of index $n$\’ (Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 341 (1994),
505-517) that the only condition needed is that $n$ is an even number.
In fact, they work a lot harder to prove that one can even take $\Sigma$
to be a division algebra. They start with the algebra free
$A = k\sqrt{a} \ast k\sqrt{b} \ast k\sqrt{c}$ which is a pretty
monstrous algebra. Take three letters $x,y,z$ and consider all
non-commutative words in $x,y$ and $z$ without repetition (that is, no
two consecutive $x,y$ or $z$\’s). These words form a $k$-basis for $A$
and the multiplication is induced by concatenation of words subject to
the simplifying relations $x.x=a,y.y=b$ and $z.z=c$.

Next, they look
at the affine $k$-varieties $\mathbf{rep}(n) A$ of $n$-dimensional
$k$-representations of $A$ and their irreducible components. In the
parlance of $\mathbf{geometry@n}$, these irreducible components correspond
to the minimal primes of the level $n$-approximation algebra $\int(n) A$.
Aidan and Michel worry a bit about reducedness of these components but
nowadays we know that $A$ is an example of a non-commutative manifold (a
la Cuntz-Quillen or Kontsevich-Rosenberg) and hence all representation
varieties $\mathbf{rep}n A$ are smooth varieties (whence reduced) though
they may have several connected components. To determine the number of
irreducible (which in this case, is the same as connected) components
they use _Galois descent
, that is, they consider the algebra $A
\otimes_k \overline{k}$ where $\overline{k}$ is the algebraic closure of
$k$. The algebra $A \otimes_k \overline{k}$ is the group-algebra of the
group free product $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z} \ast \mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}
\ast \mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$. (to be continued…) A digression : I
cannot resist the temptation to mention the tetrahedral snake problem
in relation to such groups. If one would have started with $4$ quadratic
fieldextensions one would get the free product $G =
\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z} \ast \mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z} \ast
\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z} \ast \mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$. Take a supply of
tetrahedra and glue them together along common faces so that any
tertrahedron is glued to maximum two others. In this way one forms a
tetrahedral-snake and the problem asks whether it is possible to make
such a snake having the property that the orientation of the
\’tail-tetrahedron\’ in $\mathbb{R}^3$ is exactly the same as the
orientation of the \’head-tetrahedron\’. This is not possible and the
proof of it uses the fact that there are no non-trivial relations
between the four generators $x,y,z,u$ of $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z} \ast
\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z} \ast \mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z} \ast
\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$ which correspond to reflections wrt. a face of
the tetrahedron (in fact, there are no relations between these
reflections other than each has order two, so the subgroup generated by
these four reflections is the group $G$). More details can be found in
Stan Wagon\’s excellent book The Banach-tarski paradox, p.68-71.

Leave a Comment


time][1] we saw that the algebra $(\Omega_V~C Q,Circ)$ of relative
differential forms and equipped with the Fedosov product is again the
path algebra of a quiver $\tilde{Q}$ obtained by doubling up the arrows
of $Q$. In our basic example the algebra map $C \tilde{Q} \rightarrow
\Omega_V~C Q$ is clarified by the following picture of $\tilde{Q}$
$\xymatrix{\vtx{} \ar@/^/[rr]^{a=u+du} \ar@/_/[rr]_{b=u-du} & &
\vtx{} \ar@(u,ur)^{x=v+dv} \ar@(d,dr)_{y=v-dv}} $ (which
generalizes in the obvious way to arbitrary quivers). But what about the
other direction $\Omega_V~C Q \rightarrow C \tilde{Q}$ ? There are two
embeddings $i,j : C Q \rightarrow C \tilde{Q}$ defined by $i : (u,v)
\rightarrow (a,x)$ and $j : (u,v) \rightarrow (b,y)$ giving maps
$\forall a \in C Q~:~p(a) = \frac{1}{2}(i(a)+j(a))~\quad~q(a) =
\frac{1}{2}(i(a)-j(a))$ Using these maps, the isomorphism $\Omega_V~C
Q \rightarrow C \tilde{Q}$ is determined by $ a_0 da_1 \ldots da_n
\rightarrow p(a_0)q(a_1) \ldots q(a_n)$ In particular, $p$ gives the
natural embedding (with the ordinary multiplication on differential
forms) $C Q \rightarrow \Omega_V~C Q$ of functions as degree zero
differential forms. However, $p$ is no longer an algebra map for the
Fedosov product on $\Omega_V~C Q$ as $p(ab) = p(a)Circ p(b) + q(a) Circ
q(b)$. In Cuntz-Quillen terminology, $\omega(a,b) = q(a) Circ q(b)$ is
the _curvature_ of the based linear map $p$. I\’d better define
this a bit more formal for any algebra $A$ and then say what is special
for formally smooth algebras (non-commutative manifolds). If $A,B$ are
$V = C \times \ldots \times C$-algebras, then a $V$-linear map $A
\rightarrow^l B$ is said to be a _based linear map_ if $ l | V = id_V$.
The _curvature_ of $l$ measures the obstruction to $l$ being an algebra
map, that is $\forall a,b \in A~:~\omega(a,b) = l(ab)-l(a)l(b)$ and
the curvature is said to be _nilpotent_ if there is an integer $n$ such
that all possible products $\omega(a_1,b_1)\omega(a_2,b_2) \ldots
\omega(a_n,b_n) = 0$ For any algebra $A$ there is a universal algebra
$R(A)$ turning based linear maps into algebra maps. That is, there is a
fixed based linear map $A \rightarrow^p R(A)$ such that for every based
linear map $A \rightarrow^l B$ there is an algebra map $R(A) \rightarrow
B$ making the diagram commute $\xymatrix{A \ar[r]^l \ar[d]^p & B
\\\ R(A) \ar[ru] &} $ In fact, Cuntz and Quillen show that $R(A)
\simeq (\Omega_V^{ev}~A,Circ)$ the algebra of even differential forms
equipped with the Fedosov product and that $p$ is the natural inclusion
of $A$ as degree zero forms (as above). Recall that $A$ is said to be
_formally smooth_ if every $V$-algebra map $A \rightarrow^f B/I$ where
$I$ is a nilpotent ideal, can be lifted to an algebra morphism $A
\rightarrow B$. We can always lift $f$ as a based linear map, say
$\tilde{f}$ and because $I$ is nilpotent, the curvature of $\tilde{f}$
is also nilpotent. To get a _uniform_ way to construct algebra lifts
modulo nilpotent ideals it would therefore suffice for a formally smooth
algebra to have an _algebra map_ $A \rightarrow \hat{R}(A)$ where
$\hat{R}(A)$ is the $\mathfrak{m}$-adic completion of $R(A)$ for the
ideal $\mathfrak{m}$ which is the kernel of the algebra map $R(A)
\rightarrow A$ corresponding to the based linear map $id_A : A
\rightarrow A$. Indeed, there is an algebra map $R(A) \rightarrow B$
determined by $\tilde{f}$ and hence also an algebra map $\hat{R}(A)
\rightarrow B$ and composing this with the (yet to be constructed)
algebra map $A \rightarrow \hat{R}(A)$ this would give the required lift
$A \rightarrow B$. In order to construct the algebra map $A
\rightarrow \hat{R}(A)$ (say in the case of path algebras of quivers) we
will need the Yang-Mills derivation and its associated flow.


Leave a Comment

differential forms

previous post in this sequence was [(co)tangent bundles][1]. Let $A$ be
a $V$-algebra where $V = C \times \ldots \times C$ is the subalgebra
generated by a complete set of orthogonal idempotents in $A$ (in case $A
= C Q$ is a path algebra, $V$ will be the subalgebra generated by the
vertex-idempotents, see the post on [path algebras][2] for more
details). With $\overline{A}$ we denote the bimodule quotient
$\overline{A} = A/V$ Then, we can define the _non-commutative
(relative) differential n-forms_ to be $\Omega^n_V~A = A \otimes_V
\overline{A} \otimes_V \ldots \otimes_V \overline{A}$ with $n$ factors
$\overline{A}$. To get the connection with usual differential forms let
us denote the tensor $a_0 \otimes a_1 \otimes \ldots \otimes a_n =
(a_0,a_1,\ldots,a_n) = a_0 da_1 \ldots da_n$ On $\Omega_V~A =
\oplus_n~\Omega^n_V~A$ one defines an algebra structure via the
multiplication $(a_0da_1 \ldots da_n)(a_{n+1}da_{n+2} \ldots da_k)$$=
\sum_{i=1}^n (-1)^{n-i} a_0da_1 \ldots d(a_ia_{i+1}) \ldots da_k$
$\Omega_V~A$ is a _differential graded algebra_ with differential $d :
\Omega^n_V~A \rightarrow \Omega^{n+1}_V~A$ defined by $d(a_0 da_1 \ldots
da_n) = da_0 da_1 \ldots da_n$ This may seem fairly abstract but in
case $A = C Q$ is a path algebra, then the bimodule $\Omega^n_V~A$ has a
$V$-generating set consisting of precisely the elements $p_0 dp_1
\ldots dp_n$ with all $p_i$ non-zero paths in $A$ and such that
$p_0p_1 \ldots p_n$ is also a non-zero path. One can put another
algebra multiplication on $\Omega_V~A$ which Cuntz and Quillen call the
_Fedosov product_ defined for an $n$-form $\omega$ and a form $\mu$ by
$\omega Circ \mu = \omega \mu -(-1)^n d\omega d\mu$ There is an
important relation between the two structures, the degree of a
differential form puts a filtration on $\Omega_V~A$ (with Fedosov
product) such that the _associated graded algebra_ is $\Omega_V~A$ with
the usual product. One can visualize the Fedosov product easily in the
case of path algebras because $\Omega_V~C Q$ with the Fedosov product is
again the path algebra of the quiver obtained by doubling up all the
arrows of $Q$. In our basic example when $Q$ is the quiver
$\xymatrix{\vtx{} \ar[rr]^u & & \vtx{} \ar@(ur,dr)^v} $ the
algebra of non-commutative differential forms equipped with the Fedosov
product is isomorphic to the path algebra of the quiver
$\xymatrix{\vtx{} \ar@/^/[rr]^{a=u+du} \ar@/_/[rr]_{b=u-du} & &
\vtx{} \ar@(u,ur)^{x=v+dv} \ar@(d,dr)_{y=v-dv}} $ with the
indicated identification of arrows with elements from $\Omega_V~C Q$.
Note however that we usually embed the algebra $C Q$ as the degree zero
differential forms in $\Omega_V~C Q$ with the usual multiplication and
that this embedding is no longer an algebra map (but a based linear map)
for the Fedosov product. For this reason, Cuntz and Quillen invent a
Yang-Mills type argument to “flow” this linear map to an algebra
embedding, but to motivate this we will have to say some things about


Leave a Comment

cotangent bundles

previous post in this sequence was [moduli spaces][1]. Why did we spend
time explaining the connection of the quiver
$Q~:~\xymatrix{\vtx{} \ar[rr]^a & & \vtx{} \ar@(ur,dr)^x} $
to moduli spaces of vectorbundles on curves and moduli spaces of linear
control systems? At the start I said we would concentrate on its _double
quiver_ $\tilde{Q}~:~\xymatrix{\vtx{} \ar@/^/[rr]^a && \vtx{}
\ar@(u,ur)^x \ar@(d,dr)_{x^*} \ar@/^/[ll]^{a^*}} $ Clearly,
this already gives away the answer : if the path algebra $C Q$
determines a (non-commutative) manifold $M$, then the path algebra $C
\tilde{Q}$ determines the cotangent bundle of $M$. Recall that for a
commutative manifold $M$, the cotangent bundle is the vectorbundle
having at the point $p \in M$ as fiber the linear dual $(T_p M)^*$ of
the tangent space. So, why do we claim that $C \tilde{Q}$
corresponds to the cotangent bundle of $C Q$? Fix a dimension vector
$\alpha = (m,n)$ then the representation space
$\mathbf{rep}_{\alpha}~Q = M_{n \times m}(C) \oplus M_n(C)$ is just
an affine space so in its point the tangent space is the representation
space itself. To define its linear dual use the non-degeneracy of the
_trace pairings_ $M_{n \times m}(C) \times M_{m \times n}(C)
\rightarrow C~:~(A,B) \mapsto tr(AB)$ $M_n(C) \times M_n(C)
\rightarrow C~:~(C,D) \mapsto tr(CD)$ and therefore the linear dual
$\mathbf{rep}_{\alpha}~Q^* = M_{m \times n}(C) \oplus M_n(C)$ which is
the representation space $\mathbf{rep}_{\alpha}~Q^s$ of the quiver
$Q^s~:~\xymatrix{\vtx{} & & \vtx{} \ar[ll] \ar@(ur,dr)} $
and therefore we have that the cotangent bundle to the representation
space $\mathbf{rep}_{\alpha}~Q$ $T^* \mathbf{rep}_{\alpha}~Q =
\mathbf{rep}_{\alpha}~\tilde{Q}$ Important for us will be that any
cotangent bundle has a natural _symplectic structure_. For a good
introduction to this see the [course notes][2] “Symplectic geometry and
quivers” by [Geert Van de Weyer][3]. As a consequence $C \tilde{Q}$
can be viewed as a non-commutative symplectic manifold with the
symplectic structure determined by the non-commutative 2-form
$\omega = da^* da + dx^* dx$ but before we can define all this we
will have to recall some facts on non-commutative differential forms.
Maybe [next time][4]. For the impatient : have a look at the paper by
Victor Ginzburg [Non-commutative Symplectic Geometry, Quiver varieties,
and Operads][5] or my paper with Raf Bocklandt [Necklace Lie algebras
and noncommutative symplectic geometry][6]. Now that we have a
cotangent bundle of $C Q$ is there also a _tangent bundle_ and does it
again correspond to a new quiver? Well yes, here it is
$\xymatrix{\vtx{} \ar@/^/[rr]^{a+da} \ar@/_/[rr]_{a-da} & & \vtx{}
\ar@(u,ur)^{x+dx} \ar@(d,dr)_{x-dx}} $ and the labeling of the
arrows may help you to work through some sections of the Cuntz-Quillen



algebraic vs. differential nog

OK! I asked to get side-tracked by comments so now that there is one I’d better deal with it at once. So, is there any relation between the non-commutative (algebraic) geometry based on formally smooth algebras and the non-commutative _differential_ geometry advocated by Alain Connes?
Short answers to this question might be (a) None whatsoever! (b) Morally they are the same! and (c) Their objectives are quite different!

As this only adds to the confusion, let me try to explain each point separately after issuing a _disclaimer_ that I am by no means an expert in Connes’ NOG neither in $C^* $-algebras. All I know is based on sitting in some lectures by Alain Connes, trying at several times to make sense of his terribly written book and indeed by reading the Landi notes in utter desperation.
(a) _None whatsoever!_ : Connes’ approach via spectral triples is modelled such that one gets (suitable) ordinary (that is, commutative) manifolds into this framework. The obvious algebraic counterpart for this would be a statement to the effect that the affine coordinate ring $\mathbb{C}[X] $ of a (suitable) smooth affine variety X would be formally smooth. Now you’re in for a first shock : the only affine smooth varieties for which this holds are either _points_ or _curves_! Not much of a geometry huh? In fact, that is the reason why I prefer to call formally smooth algebras just _qurves_ …
(b) _Morally they are the same_ : If you ever want to get some differential geometry done, you’d better have a connection on the tangent bundle! Now, Alain Connes extended the notion of a connection to the non-commutative world (see for example _the_ book) and if you take the algebraic equivalent of it and ask for which algebras possess such a connection, you get _precisely_ the formally smooth algebras (see section 8 of the Cuntz-Quillen paper “Algebra extensions and nonsingularity” Journal AMS Vol 8 (1991). Besides there is a class of $C^* $-algebras which are formally smooth algebras : the AF-algebras which also feature prominently in the Landi notes (although they are virtually never affine, that is, finitely generated as an algebra).
(c) _Their objectives are quite different!_ : Connes’ formalism aims to define a length function on a non-commutative manifold associated to a $C^* $-algebra. Non-commutative geometry based on formally smooth algebras has no interest in defining some sort of space associated to the algebra. The major importance of formally smooth algebras (as advocated by Maxim Kontsevich is that such an algebra A can be seen as a _machine_ producing an infinite family of ordinary commutative manifolds via its _representation varieties_ $\mathbf{rep}_n~A $ which are manifolds equipped with a $GL_n $-action. Non-commutative functions and diifferential forms defined at the level of the formally smooth algebra A do determine similar $GL_n $-invariant features on _all_ of these representation varieties at once.

Leave a Comment

path algebras

The previous post can be found [here][1].
Pierre Gabriel invented a lot of new notation (see his book [Representations of finite dimensional algebras][2] for a rather extreme case) and is responsible for calling a directed graph a quiver. For example,

$\xymatrix{\vtx{} \ar@/^/[rr] & & \vtx{} \ar@(u,ur) \ar@(d,dr) \ar@/^/[ll]} $

is a quiver. Note than it is allowed to have multiple arrows between vertices, as well as loops in vertices. For us it will be important that a quiver $Q $ depicts how to compute in a certain non-commutative algebra : the path algebra $\mathbb{C} Q $. If the quiver has $k $ vertices and $l $ arrows (including loops) then the path algebra $\mathbb{C} Q $ is a subalgebra of the full $k \times k $ matrix-algebra over the free algebra in $l $ non-commuting variables

$\mathbb{C} Q \subset M_k(\mathbb{C} \langle x_1,\ldots,x_l \rangle) $

Under this map, a vertex $v_i $ is mapped to the basis $i $-th diagonal matrix-idempotent and an arrow

$\xymatrix{\vtx{v_i} \ar[rr]^{x_a} & & \vtx{v_j}} $

is mapped to the matrix having all its entries zero except the $(j,i) $-entry which is equal to $x_a $. That is, in our main example

$\xymatrix{\vtx{e} \ar@/^/[rr]^a & & \vtx{f} \ar@(u,ur)^x \ar@(d,dr)_y \ar@/^/[ll]^b} $

the corresponding path algebra is the subalgebra of $M_2(\mathbb{C} \langle a,b,x,y \rangle) $ generated by the matrices

$e \mapsto \begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 \end{bmatrix} $ $ f \mapsto \begin{bmatrix} 0 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 \end{bmatrix} $

$a \mapsto \begin{bmatrix} 0 & 0 \\ a & 0 \end{bmatrix} $ $b \mapsto \begin{bmatrix} 0 & b \\ 0 & 0 \end{bmatrix} $

$x \mapsto \begin{bmatrix} 0 & 0 \\ 0 & x \end{bmatrix} $ $y \mapsto \begin{bmatrix} 0 & 0 \\ 0 & y \end{bmatrix} $

The name \’path algebra\’ comes from the fact that the subspace of $\mathbb{C} Q $ at the $(j,i) $-place is the vectorspace spanned by all paths in the quiver starting at vertex $v_i $ and ending in vertex $v_j $. For an easier and concrete example of a path algebra. consider the quiver

$\xymatrix{\vtx{e} \ar[rr]^a & & \vtx{f} \ar@(ur,dr)^x} $

and verify that in this case, the path algebra is just

$\mathbb{C} Q = \begin{bmatrix} \mathbb{C} & 0 \\ \mathbb{C}[x]a & \mathbb{C}[x] \end{bmatrix} $

Observe that we write and read paths in the quiver from right to left. The reason for this strange convention is that later we will be interested in left-modules rather than right-modules. Right-minder people can go for the more natural left to right convention for writing paths.
Why are path algebras of quivers of interest in non-commutative geometry? Well, to begin they are examples of _formally smooth algebras_ (some say _quasi-free algebras_, I just call them _qurves_). These algebras were introduced and studied by Joachim Cuntz and Daniel Quillen and they are precisely the algebras allowing a good theory of non-commutative differential forms.
So you should think of formally smooth algebras as being non-commutative manifolds and under this analogy path algebras of quivers correspond to _affine spaces_. That is, one expects path algebras of quivers to turn up in two instances : (1) given a non-commutative manifold (aka formally smooth algebra) it must be \’embedded\’ in some non-commutative affine space (aka path algebra of a quiver) and (2) given a non-commutative manifold, the \’tangent spaces\’ should be determined by path algebras of quivers.
The first fact is easy enough to prove, every affine $\mathbb{C} $-algebra is an epimorphic image of a free algebra in say $l $ generators, which is just the path algebra of the _bouquet quiver_ having $l $ loops

$\xymatrix{\vtx{} \ar@(dl,l)^{x_1} \ar@(l,ul)^{x_2} \ar@(ur,r)^{x_i} \ar@(r,dr)^{x_l}} $

The second statement requires more work. For a first attempt to clarify this you can consult my preprint [Qurves and quivers][3] but I\’ll come back to this in another post. For now, just take my word for it : if formally smooth algebras are the non-commutative analogon of manifolds then path algebras of quivers are the non-commutative version of affine spaces!


Leave a Comment

nog course outline

Now that the preparation for my undergraduate courses in the first semester is more or less finished, I can begin to think about the courses I’ll give this year in the master class
non-commutative geometry. For a change I’d like to introduce the main ideas and concepts by a very concrete example : Ginzburg’s coadjoint-orbit result for the Calogero-Moser space and its
relation to the classification of one-sided ideals in the first Weyl algebra. Not only will this example give me the opportunity to say things about formally smooth algebras, non-commutative
differential forms and even non-commutative symplectic geometry, but it also involves what some people prefer to call _non-commutative algebraic geometry_ (that is the study of graded Noetherian
rings having excellent homological properties) via the projective space associated to the homogenized Weyl algebra. Besides, I have some affinity with this example.

A long time ago I introduced
the moduli spaces for one-sided ideals in the Weyl algebra in Moduli spaces for right ideals of the Weyl algebra and when I was printing a _very_ preliminary version of Ginzburg’s paper
Non-commutative Symplectic Geometry, Quiver varieties, and Operads (probably because he send a preview to Yuri Berest and I was in contact with him at the time about the moduli spaces) the
idea hit me at the printer that the right way to look at the propblem was to consider the quiver

$\xymatrix{\vtx{} \ar@/^/[rr]^a & & \vtx{} \ar@(u,ur)^x \ar@(d,dr)_y \ar@/^/[ll]^b} $

which eventually led to my paper together with Raf Bocklandt Necklace Lie algebras and noncommutative symplectic geometry.

Apart from this papers I would like to explain the following
papers by illustrating them on the above example : Michail Kapranov Noncommutative geometry based on commutator expansions Maxim Kontsevich and Alex Rosenberg Noncommutative smooth
Yuri Berest and George Wilson Automorphisms and Ideals of the Weyl Algebra Yuri Berest and George Wilson Ideal Classes of the Weyl Algebra and Noncommutative Projective
Travis Schedler A Hopf algebra quantizing a necklace Lie algebra canonically associated to a quiver and of course the seminal paper by Joachim Cuntz and Daniel Quillen on
quasi-free algebras and their non-commutative differential forms which, unfortunately, in not available online.

I plan to write a series of posts here on all this material but I will be very
happy to get side-tracked by any comments you might have. So please, if you are interested in any of this and want to have more information or explanation do not hesitate to post a comment (only
your name and email is required to do so, you do not have to register and you can even put some latex-code in your post but such a posting will first have to viewed by me to avoid cluttering of
nonsense GIFs in my directories).

One Comment

the one quiver for GL(2,Z)

Before the vacation I finished a rewrite of the One quiver to rule them
note. The main point of that note was to associate to any qurve
$A$ (formerly known as a quasi-free algebra in the terminology of
Cuntz-Quillen or a formally smooth algebra in the terminology of
Kontsevich-Rosenberg) a quiver $Q(A)$ and a dimension vector $\alpha_A$
such that $A$ is etale isomorphic (in a yet to be defined
non-commutative etale toplogy) to a ring Morita equivalent to the path
algebra $lQ(A)$ where the Morita setting is determined by the dimension
vector $\alpha_A$. These “one-quiver settings” are easy to
work out for a group algebra $lG$ if $G$ is the amalgamated free product
of finite groups $G = H_1 \bigstar_H H_2$.

Here is how to do
this : construct a bipartite quiver with the left vertices corresponding
to the irreducible representations of $H_1$, say ${ S_1, .. ,S_k }$ of
dimensions $(d_1, .. ,d_k)$ and the right vertices corresponding to the
irreducible representations of $H_2$, ${ T_1, .. ,T_l }$ of dimensions
$(e_1, .. ,e_l)$. The number of arrows from the $i$-th left vertex to
the $j$-th right vertex is given by the dimension of $Hom_H(S_i,T_j)$
This is the quiver I call the Zariski quiver for $G$ as the finite
dimensional $G$-representations correspond to $\theta$-semistable
representations of this quiver for the stability structure $\theta=(d_1,
.. ,d_k ; -e_1, .. ,-e_l)$. The one-quiver $Q(G)$ has vertices
corresponding to the minimal $\theta$-stable dimension vectors (say
$\alpha,\beta, .. $of the Zariski quiver and with the number of arrows
between two such vertices determined by $\delta_{\alpha
\beta}-\chi(\alpha,\beta)$ where $\chi$ is the Euler form of the Zariski
quiver. In the old note I've included the example of the projective
modular group $PSL_2(Z) = Z_2 \bigstar Z_3$ (which can easily be
generalized to the modular group $SL_2(Z) = Z_4 \bigstar_{Z_2} Z_6$)
which turns out to be the double of the extended Dynkin quiver
$\tilde{A_5}$. In the rewrite I've also included an example of a
congruence subgroup $\Gamma_0(2) = Z_4 \bigstar_{Z_2}^{HNN}$ which is an
HNN-extension. These are somehow the classical examples of interesting
amalgamated (HNN) groups and one would like to have plenty of other
interesting examples. Yesterday I read a paper by Karen Vogtmann called

Automorphisms of free groups and outer space
in which I encountered
an amalgamated product decomposition for $GL_2(Z) = D_8 \bigstar_{Z_2
\times Z_2} (S_3 \times Z_2)$where $D_8$ is the diheder group of 8
elements. When I got back from vacation I found a reference to this
result in my mail-box from Warren Dicks. Theorem 23.1, p. 82, in Heiner
Zieschang, Finite Groups of Mapping Classes of Surfaces, LNM 875,
Springer, Berlin, 1981.

I worked out the one-quiver and it has
the somewhat strange form depicted above. It is perfectly possible that
I made mistakes so if you find another result, please let me know.

added material (febr 2007) : mistakes were made and
the correct one quiver can be found elsewhere on this blog.

Leave a Comment

more noncommutative manifolds

it be that one forgets an entire proof because the result doesn’t seem
important or relevant at the time? It seems the only logical explanation
for what happened last week. Raf Bocklandt asked me whether a
classification was known of all group algebras l G which are
noncommutative manifolds (that is, which are formally smooth a la Kontsevich-Rosenberg or, equivalently, quasi-free
a la Cuntz-Quillen). I said I didn’t know the answer and that it looked
like a difficult problem but at the same time it was entirely clear to
me how to attack this problem, even which book I needed to have a look
at to get started. And, indeed, after a visit to the library borrowing
Warren Dicks
lecture notes in mathematics 790 “Groups, trees and projective
modules” and browsing through it for a few minutes I had the rough
outline of the classification. As the proof is basicly a two-liner I
might as well sketch it here.
If l G is quasi-free it
must be hereditary so the augmentation ideal must be a projective
module. But Martin Dunwoody proved that this is equivalent to
G being a group acting on a (usually infinite) tree with finite
group vertex-stabilizers all of its orders being invertible in the
basefield l. Hence, by Bass-Serre theory G is the
fundamental group of a graph of finite groups (all orders being units in
l) and using this structural result it is then not difficult to
show that the group algebra l G does indeed have the lifting
property for morphisms modulo nilpotent ideals and hence is
If l has characteristic zero (hence the
extra order conditions are void) one can invoke a result of Karrass
saying that quasi-freeness of l G is equivalent to G being
virtually free (that is, G has a free subgroup of finite
index). There are many interesting examples of virtually free groups.
One source are the discrete subgroups commensurable with SL(2,Z)
(among which all groups appearing in monstrous moonshine), another
source comes from the classification of rank two vectorbundles over
projective smooth curves over finite fields (see the later chapters of
Serre’s Trees). So
one can use non-commutative geometry to study the finite dimensional
representations of virtually free groups generalizing the approach with
Jan Adriaenssens in Non-commutative covers and the modular group (btw.
Jan claims that a revision of this paper will be available soon).
In order to avoid that I forget all of this once again, I’ve
written over the last couple of days a short note explaining what I know
of representations of virtually free groups (or more generally of
fundamental algebras of finite graphs of separable
l-algebras). I may (or may not) post this note on the arXiv in
the coming weeks. But, if you have a reason to be interested in this,
send me an email and I’ll send you a sneak preview.

Leave a Comment

Bill Schelter’s Maxima

Schelter was a remarkable man. First, he was a top-class mathematician.
If you allow yourself to be impressed, read his proof of the
Artin-Procesi theorem. Bill was also among the first to take
non-commutative geometry seriously. Together with Mike Artin he
investigated a notion of non-commutative integral extensions and he was
the first to focuss attention to formally smooth algebras (a
suggestion later taken up by a.o. Cuntz-Quillen and Kontsevich) and a
relative version with respect to algebras satisfying all identities of
n x n matrices which (via work of Procesi) led to smooth@n
algebras. To youngsters, he is probably best know as the co-inventor of
Artin-Schelter regular algebras. I still vividly remember an
overly enthusiastic talk by him on the subject in Oberwolfach, sometime
in the late eighties. Secondly, Bill was a genuine Lisp-guru and
a strong proponent of open source software, see for example his
petition against software patents. He maintanind
his own version of Kyoto Common Lisp which developed into Gnu
Common Lisp
. A quote on its history :

GCL is
the product of many hands over many years. The original effort was known
as the Kyoto Common Lisp system, written by Taiichi Yuasa and Masami
Hagiya in 1984. In 1987 new work was begun by William Schelter, and that
version of the system was called AKCL (Austin Kyoto Common Lisp). In
1994 AKCL was released as GCL (GNU Common Lisp) under the GNU public
library license. The primary purpose of GCL during that phase of it’s
existence was to support the Maxima computer algebra system, also
maintained by Dr. Schelter. It existed largely as a subproject of

Maxima started as Bill’s version of
Macsyma an MIT-based symbolic computation program to which he
added many routines, one of which was Affine a package that
allowed to do Groebner-like computations in non-commutative
algebras (implementing Bergman’s diamond lemma) and which he
needed to get a grip on 3-dimensional Artin-Schelter regular
. Michel and me convinced Fred to acquire funds to
buy us a work-station (costing at the time 20 to 30 iMacs) and have Bill
flown in from the States with his tape of maxima and let him
port it to our Dec-station. Antwerp was probably for years
the only place in the world (apart from MIT) where one could do
calculations in affine (probably highly illegal at the time).
Still, lots of people benefitted from this, among others Michaela
and Kristel Van Rompay in their investigation
of 4-dimensional Artin-Schelter regular algebras associated to an
automorphism of a quadric in three-dimensional projective space.
Yesterday I ran into Bill (alas virtually) by browsing the
crypto-category of Fink. There it was, maxima, Bill’s package! I tried to install it
with the Fink Commander and failed but succeeded from the command line.
So, if you want to have your own version of it type

sudo fink
install maxima

from the Terminal and it will install without
problems (giving you also a working copy of common lisp). Unfortunately
I do not remember too much of Macsyma or Affine but there is plenty of
documentation on the net. Manuals and user guides can be obtained from
the maxima homepage and the University of Texas
(Bill’s university) maintains an online manual, including a cryptic description of
some Affine-commands. But probably I’ll have to send Michaela an
email asking for some guidance on this… Here, as a tribute to Bill who
died in july 2001 the opening banner

 iMacLieven:~ lieven$
/sw/bin/maxima Maxima 5.9.0 
Distributed under the GNU Public License. 
See the file COPYING. 
Dedicated to the memory of William Schelter. 
This is a development version of Maxima. 
The function bug_report() provides bug reporting information. 
Leave a Comment