Category Archives: Research work

Remarks on Contact and Jacobi Geometry

board The paper `Remarks on Contact and Jacobi Geometry‘ with Katarzyna Grabowska and Janusz Grabowski now been published in SIGMA [1].

In the paper we present a rather general formalism to define and study Jacobi and Kirllov structures using principle \(\mathbb{R}^\times\)-bundles equipped with homogeneous Poisson structures. This approach was first described by Grabowski [2]. This set-up allows for a rather economical description of contact/Jacobi groupoids and related structures. Importantly, by using homogeneous Poisson structures we simplify the overall picture of contact/Jacobi/Kirillov geometry and show that many technical proofs of various statements in the theory are drastically simplified. We think that this approach gives new insight into the existing theory and hopefully the ideas will be useful to others.

Contact Geometry
Contact geometry is motivated by the formalism of classical mechanics, and in particular looking at constant energy surfaces in phase space. Jacobi geometry is the `degenerate brother’ of contact geometry, and Kirillov geometry is the `twisted sister’ of Jacobi geometry – for those that know think of the relation between symplectic and Poisson geometry, and then trivial and non-trivial line bundles. Contact geometry clearly from its conception has broad applications in physics, ranging from classical mechanics, geometric optics and thermodynamics. There are also some mathematical applications such as knot invariants and invariants in low dimensional topology.

Lie groupoids
Another facet of this paper are Lie groupoids, which should be through of as a wider setting to discuss symmetries than groups. Very loosely, a groupoid is a `many object’ group, and a Lie groupoid is a `geometric’ version of a groupoid. Associated with any Lie group is a Lie algebra, which describes infinitesimal (so `very small’) symmetries of geometric entities. Likewise, associated with any Lie groupoid is a Lie algebroid. Without any details, a Lie algebroid should be considered as describing `very small’ symmetries associated with a Lie groupoid. However, unlike Lie groups and algebras, not every Lie algebroid comes from a Lie groupoid!

Why study contact/Jacobi/Kirillov Groupoids?
Bringing contact and groupoids together is, in the standard setting, not so easy. Our formalism makes this much clearer and allows for direct generalisations to Jacobi geometry. But why bring them together in the first place?

Alan Weinstein [3] introduced the notion of a symplectic groupoid with the intention of extending methods from geometric quantisation to Poisson manifolds. Very loosely, the geometry of Lie groupoids is needed in geometric approaches that allow a passage from classical mechanics to quantum mechanics. In a sense, one can think of symplectic and Poisson groupoids as the Lie groupoid versions of the phase spaces found in classical mechanics, i.e., the spaces formed by position and momentum.

Since the initial work of Weinstein the topic of symplectic and Poisson groupoids has exploded, largely motivated by the geometry of classical mechanics – not that all practitioners see this!

Similarly, given the role of contact geometry in physics, it is natural to think about groupoid versions of contact and Jacobi geometry. More than this, it turns out that the integrating objects of Jacobi/Kirillov structures are precisely contact groupoids (as we define them). That is, as soon as one thinks about the `degenerate brother’ and `twisted sister’ of contact geometry one encounters contact groupoids as the `finite versions’.

For me, all this is strongly motivated by the basic questions of the geometry of classical mechanics. It is rather amazing that we are pushed rather quickly into more and more difficult ideas in geometry. And this is before we get into the quantum world!

I personally thank the anonymous referees for their effort in reading the paper and providing many helpful comments and suggestions. For sure the paper would not be what it is today without them.

[1] Andrew James Bruce, Katarzyna Grabowska and Janusz Grabowski, Remarks on Contact and Jacobi Geometry, SIGMA 13 (2017), 059, 22 pages.

[2] Janusz Grabowski, Graded contact manifolds and contact Courant algebroids, J. Geom. Phys. 68 (2013), 27-58.

[3] Alan Weinstein, Symplectic groupoids and Poisson manifolds, Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.) 16 (1987), 101-104.

Modular classes of Q-manifolds

board Q-manifolds are supermanifolds equipped with a Grassmann odd vector field that `squares to zero’, which is known as a homological vector field. Such things can be found behind the AKSZ-BV formalism in mathematical physics and in differential geometry they encode Lie algebroids and Courant algebroids amongst other things. The notion of the modular class of a Q-manifold is known to experts but there is not much in the literature to date.

In the preprint entitled “Modular classes of Q-manifolds: a review and some applications”, I review the notion of the modular class of a Q-manifold – which is understood as the obstruction to the existence of a Berezin volume that is invariant under the action of the homological vector field. The modular class is naturally defined in terms of the divergence of a chosen Berezin volume, but is independent of this choice. The notion directly generalises the notion of the modular class of a Poisson manifold (Koszul [1] and Weinstein [2]) and that of a Lie algebroid (Evans & Weinstein [3]).

I discuss the basic constructs and immediate consequences, all of which are probably known to the handful of experts. Maybe more interesting is that fact that I then apply this to double Lie algebroids ([4,5,6] ) and higher Poisson manifolds [7]. Along the way I make several observations which I believe maybe genuinely new. Either way, having these ideas written clearly in one place is beneficial to the community.

The basic idea
A Q-manifold is a pair \((M,Q)\), where \(M\) is a supermanifold and \(Q \in Vect(M)\) is an odd vector field that ‘self commutes’

\(Q^2 = \frac{1}{2} [Q,Q] =\frac{1}{2} \left( Q \circ Q – (-1)^{1} Q \circ Q \right)\),

note the extra minus sign as compared with the classical case of vector fields on a manifold. This means that `squaring to zero’ is a non-trivial condition. Moreover, as we have an odd vector field that squares to zero we have a differential and so a cohomology theory. In particular, \((C^{\infty}(M), Q )\) is a cochain complex and the related cohomology we refer to as the standard cohomology.

Given any Berezin volume \(\mathbf{\rho} = D[x] \rho(x)\), we can define the divergence of \(Q\) with respect to this volume:

\(L_{Q} \mathbf{\rho} = \mathbf{\rho} {Div}_{\rho}(Q). \)

Note that \({Div}_{\rho}(Q)\) is then a Grassmann odd function on \(M\) and it is \(Q\)-closed. Moreover, it turns out that under change of the Berezin volume the divergence of \(Q\) changes by a \(Q\)-exact term. Thus, we can define the modular class as the standard cohomology class of the divergence of the homological vector field and this does not depend on any chosen Berezin volume

\(Mod(Q) = [Div_{\mathbf{\rho}}(Q)]_{St}. \)

In local coordinates \(Q = Q^{a}(x)\frac{\partial}{\partial x^a}\) and so the modular class has a local characteristic representative

\(\phi_{Q}(x) = \frac{\partial Q^{a}}{\partial{x^a}}(x),\)

which corresponds to picking the standard coordinate volume (we simply drop the \(Q\)-exact term in the definition of the divergence). Moreover, we do not have a Poincare lemma here and so thinking of local representatives of cohomology classes makes sense in general.

In this way we associate to any Q-manifold a characteristic class in its standard cohomology. The modular class is one of the simplest such classes one can imagine on a Q-manifold. There are more complicated things, see [8].

I thank prof. Janauzs Grabowski for giving me the opportunity to present some of the ideas in this preprint at a Geometric Methods in Physics seminar in Warsaw on April 26th 2017. I also thank Florian Schatz for reading an earlier draft of this preprint.

[1] Koszul, J., Crochet de Schouten-Nijenhuis et cohomologie, The mathematical heritage of Elie Cartan (Lyon, 1984), Asterisque 1985, Numero Hors Serie, 257–271.

[2] Weinstein A., The modular automorphism group of a Poisson manifold, J. Geom. Phys. 23 (1997), 379–394.

[3] Evens, S., Lu, J.H., Weinstein, A., Transverse measures, the modular class and a cohomology pairing for Lie algebroids, Quart. J. Math. Ser. 2 50 (1999), 417–436.

[4] Mackenzie, K.C.H., Double Lie algebroids and second-order geometry, I., Adv. Math. 94 (1992), no. 2, 180–239.

[5] Mackenzie, K.C.H., Double Lie algebroids and second-order geometry, II., Adv. Math. 154 (2000), no. 1, 46–75.

[6] Voronov, Th., Q-manifolds and Mackenzie theory, Comm. Math. Phys. 315 (2012), no. 2, 279–310.

[7] Voronov, Th., Higher derived brackets and homotopy algebras, J. Pure Appl. Algebra 202 (2005), no. 1-3, 133–153.

[8] Lyakhovich, S.L., Mosman, E.A., Sharapov, A.A., Characteristic classes of Q-manifolds: classification and applications, J. Geom. Phys. 60 (2010), no. 5, 729–759.

Representations theory of Lie algebroids and weighted Lie algebroids

board Weighted Lie algebroids are Lie algebroids in the category of graded bundles, or vice versa. It is well known that VB- algebroids (vector bundles in the category of Lie algebroids, or vice versa) are related to 2-term representations up to homotopy of Lie algebroids. Thus, it is natural to wonder if a similar relation holds for weighted Lie algebroids as these are a wide generalization fo VB-algebroids.

In a preprint entitled “Graded differential geometry and the representation theory of Lie algebroids” with Janusz Grabowski and Luca Vitagliano, we look at the relation between weighted Lie algebroids [1], Lie algebroid modules [2] and representations up to homotopy of Lie algebroids [3]. We show that associated with any weighted Lie algebroid is a series of canonical Lie algebroid modules over the underlying weight zero Lie algebroid. Moreover, we know, due to Mehta [4], that a Lie algebroid module is (up to isomorphisms classes) equivalent to a representation up to homotopy of the Lie algebroid.

Weighted Lie groupoids were first defined and studied in [5] and offer a wide generalisation of the notion of a VB-groupoid. We show that a refined version of the Van Est theorem [6] holds for weighted Lie groupoids, and in fact follows from minor adjustments to the ideas and proofs presented by Cabrera & Drummond [7].

[1] Bruce A.J., Grabowska K., Grabowski J., Linear duals of graded bundles and higher analogues of (Lie) algebroids, J. Geom. Phys. 101 (2016), 71–99.

[2] Vaintrob A.Yu., Lie algebroids and homological vector fields, Russ. Math. Surv. 52 (1997), 428–429.

[3] Abad C.A., Crainic M., Representations up to homotopy of Lie algebroids, J. Reine Angew.Math, 663 (2012), 91–126.

[4] Mehta R.A., Lie algebroid modules and representations up to homotopy. Indag. Math. (N.S.) 25 (2014), no. 5, 1122–1134.

[5] Bruce A.J., Grabowska K., Grabowski J., Graded Bundles in the Category of Lie Groupoids, SIGMA 11 (2015), 090, 25 pages.

[6] Crainic M., Differentiable and algebroid cohomology, van Est isomorphisms, and characteristic classes, Comment. Math. Helv, 78 (2003), 681–72.

[7] Cabrera A., Drummond T., Van Est isomorphism for homogeneous cochains, Pacific J. Math. 287 (2017), 297–336

Geometry of Jets and Fields in honour of Professor Janusz Grabowski

The conference proceedings for Geometry of Jets and Fields in honour of Professor Janusz Grabowski are now published: you can find an online version here.

I have a contribution with Janusz Grabowski, Katarzyna Grabowska and Paweł Urbański entitled New developments in geometric mechanics.

Gennadi Sardanashvily – passed away on the September 1, 2016 – also has a contribution in the proceedings. I did not know Sardanashvily well, but our few interactions told me he was a nice guy. I am sure the community will miss him.

In better news, my wife Gemma had a portrait of Janusz Grabowski published in the proceedings!

Linearising graded manifolds

Our paper, Polarisation of Graded Bundles, with Janusz Grabowski and Mikołaj Rotkiewicz has now been published in SIGMA [1].

In the paper we show that Graded bundles (cf. [2]), which are a particular kind of graded manifold (cf. [3]), can be `fully linearised’ or `polarised’. That is, given any graded bundle of degree k, we can associate with it in a functorial way a k-fold vector bundle – we call this the full linearisation functor. In the paper [1], we fully characterise this functor. Hopefully, this notion will prove fruitful in applications as k-fold vector bundles are nice objects that that various equivalent ways of describing them.

Graded Bundles
Graded bundles are particular examples of polynomial bundles: that is we have a fibre bundle whose are \(\mathbb{R}^{N}\) and the admissible changes of local coordinates are polynomial. A little more specifically, a graded bundle $F$, is a polynomial bundle for which the base coordinates are assigned a weight of zero, while the fibre coordinates are assigned a weight in \(\mathbb{N} \setminus 0\). Moreover we require that admissible changes of local coordinates respect the weight. The degree of a graded bundle is the highest weight that we assign to the fibre coordinates.

Any graded bundle admits a series of affine fibrations
\(F = F_k \rightarrow F_{k-1} \rightarrow \cdots \rightarrow F_{1} \rightarrow F_{0} =M\),
which is locally given by projecting out the higher weight coordinates.

For example, a graded bundle of degree 2 admits local coordinates \((x, y ,z)\) of weight 0,1, and 2 respectively. Changes of coordinates are then, `symbolically’
\(x’ = x'(x)\),
\(y’ = y T(x)\),
\(z’ = z G(x) + \frac{1}{2} y y H(x)\),
which clearly preserve the weight.

We then have a series of fibrations
\(F_2 \rightarrow F_1 \rightarrow M\),
given (locally) by
\((x,y,z) \mapsto (x,y) \mapsto (x)\).

The basic idea of the full linearisation is quite simple – I won’t go into details here. Recall the notion of polarisation of a homogeneous polynomial. The idea is that one adjoins new variables in order to produce a multi-linear form from a homogeneous polynomial. The original polynomial can be recovered by examining the diagonal.

As graded bundles are polynomial bundles, and the changes of local coordinates respect the weight, we too can apply this idea to fully linearise a graded bundle. That is, we can enlarge the manifold by including more and more coordinates in the correct way as to linearise the changes of coordinates. In this way we obtain a k-fold vector bundle, and the original graded bundle, which we take to be of degree k.

So, how do we decide on these extra coordinates? The method is to differentiate, reduce and project. That is we should apply the tangent functor as many times as is needed and then look for a substructure thereof. So, let us look at the degree 2 case, which is simple enough to see what is going on. In particular we only need to differentiate once, but you can quickly convince yourself that for higher degrees we just repeat the procedure.

The tangent bundle \( T F_2\) – which we consider the tangent bundle as a double graded bundle – admits local coordinates
\((\underbrace{x}_{(0,0)}, \; \underbrace{y}_{(1,0)} ,\; \underbrace{z}_{(2,0)} \; \underbrace{\dot{x}}_{(0,1)}, \; \underbrace{\dot{y}}_{(1,1)} ,\; \underbrace{\dot{z}}_{(2,1)})\)

The changes of coordinates for the ‘dotted’ coordinates are inherited from the changes of coordinates on \(F_2\),
\(\dot{x}’ = \dot{x}\frac{\partial x’}{\partial x}\),
\( \dot{y}’ = \dot{y}T(x) + y \dot{x} \frac{\partial T}{\partial x}\),
\(\dot{z}’ = \dot{z}G(x) + z \dot{x}\frac{\partial G}{\partial x} + y \dot{y}H(x) + \frac{1}{2}y y \dot{x}\frac{\partial H}{\partial x}\).
Thus we have differentiated.

Clearly we can restrict to the vertical bundle while still respecting the assignment of weights – one inherited from \(F_2\) and the other comes from the vector bundle structure of a tangent bundle. In fact, what we need to do is shift the first weight by minus the second weight. Technically, this means that we no longer are dealing with graded bundles, the coordinate \(\dot{x}\) will be of bi-weight (-1,1). However, the amazing thing here is that we can set this coordinate to zero – as we should do when looking at the vertical bundle – and remain in the category of graded bundles. That is, not only is setting \(\dot{x}=0\) well-defined, you see this from the coordinate transformations; but also this keeps us in the right category. We have preformed a reduction of the (shifted) tangent bundle.

Thus we arrive at a double graded bundle \(VF_2\) which admits local coordinates
\((\underbrace{x}_{(0,0)}, \; \underbrace{y}_{(1,0)} ,\; \underbrace{z}_{(2,0)}, \; \underbrace{\dot{y}}_{(0,1)} ,\; \underbrace{\dot{z}}_{(1,1)})\),
and the obvious admissible changes thereof.

Now, observe that we have the degree of \(z\) as (2,0), which is the coordinate with the highest first component of the bi-weight. Thus, as we have the structure of a graded bundle, we can project to a graded bundle of one lower degree \(\pi : VF_2 \rightarrow l(F_2)\). The resulting double vector bundle is what we will call the linearisation of \(F_2\).

So we have constructed a manifold with coordinates
\((\underbrace{x}_{(0,0)}, \; \underbrace{y}_{(1,0)}, \; \underbrace{\dot{y}}_{(0,1)} ,\; \underbrace{\dot{z}}_{(1,1)})\),
with changes of coordinates
\(x’ = x'(x)\),
\(y’ = y T(x)\)
\( \dot{y}’ = \dot{y}T(x)\),
\(\dot{z}’ = \dot{z}G(x) + y \dot{y}H(x)\).

Then, by comparison with the changes of local coordinates on \(F_2\) you see that we have a canonical embedding of the original graded bundle in its linearisation as a ‘diagonal’
\(\iota : F_2 \rightarrow l(F_2)\),
by setting \(\dot{y} = y\) and \(\dot{z} = 2 z\).

[1] Andrew James Bruce, Janusz Grabowski and Mikołaj Rotkiewicz, Polarisation of Graded Bundles, SIGMA 12 (2016), 106, 30 pages.

[2] Janusz Grabowski and Mikołaj Rotkiewicz, Graded bundles and homogeneity structures, J. Geom. Phys. 62 (2012), 21-36.

[3] Th.Th. Voronov, Graded manifolds and Drinfeld doubles for Lie bialgebroids, in Quantization, Poisson Brackets and Beyond (Manchester, 2001), Contemp. Math., Vol. 315, Amer. Math. Soc., Providence, RI, 2002, 131-168.

HISTRUCT — Workshop on higher structures

There will be a workshop on Leibniz algebras and other higher structures at the University of Luxembourg December 13–16, 2016. For details check the announcement below.


HISTRUCT — Workshop on higher structures

When: 13–16 December 2016

Where: University of Luxembourg-campus Kirchberg, Luxembourg, LUXEMBOURG


Aim and scope
The purpose of this workshop is to bring together mathematicians working on Leibniz algebras and other higher structures.

Confirmed speakers include:
Olivier ELCHINGER (University of Luxembourg)
Yaël FRÉGIER (Université d’Artois)
Xevi GUITART (Universitat de Barcelona)
Honglei LANG (Max Planck Institute for Mathematics)
Camille LAURENT-GENGOUX (University of Lorraine)
Zhangju LIU (Peking University)
Mykola MATVIICHUK (University of Toronto)
Sergei MERKULOV (University of Luxembourg)
Norbert PONCIN (University of Luxembourg)
Florian SCHÄTZ (University of Luxembourg)
Martin SCHLICHENMAIER (University of Luxembourg)
Boris SHOIKET (Antwerp University)
Mathieu STIENON (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Ping XU (Pennsylvania State University, USA)

Registration :
The deadline for registration is the 2nd of December 2016.

Research Project
– This conference is funded in the frame of the OPEN Scheme of the Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg (FNR) with the project QUANTMOD O13/5707106 and
– Partial funding by the Mathematics Research Unit is acknowledged.

Please feel free to circulate this announcement around you!

The organizers:
Martin Schlichenmaier (Luxembourg)
Ping Xu (Penn State, USA)
Olivier Elchinger (Luxembourg)

On pre-Courant algebroids

Janusz Grabowski and I have placed a prepint on the arXiv with the title Pre-Courant Algebroids.

In the `classical language’, a Courant algebroid is a vector bundle, whose sections come equipped with a bracket – bilinear map – together with an anchor map and a nondegenerate symmetric bilinear form that satisfy some compatibility conditions. The bracket on the space of sections is not a Lie bracket, but rather a non-skewsymmetric bracket that satisfies the Jacobi identity in Loday-Leibniz form. This bracket is usually called the Courant–Dorfman bracket.

A pre-Courant algebroid can be thought of as a Courant algebroid but without the Jacobi identity on the Courant–Dorfman pre-bracket.

It has long be known, due to Roytenberg [1], that Courant algebroids are `really’ symplectic Lie 2-algebroids. That is, we have an N-manifold of degree 2 (a supermanifold with a particular additional grading), equipped with a nondegenerate Poisson bracket of degree -2 and a homological vector field of degree 1 that is Hamiltonian. The brackets of Courant algebroid can then be recovered using the derived bracket formalism and the bilinear form is encoded in the symplectic structure.

Pre-Courant algebroids in the superlanguage
So, do we have a similar understanding of pre-Courant algebroids? The answer is yes…

First back to Courant algebroids. As stated above, they can be encoded in a Hamiltonian vector field – and so they can be encoded in a Grassmann odd Hamiltonian of degree/weight 3, which we denote as \( \Theta\). The fact that the Hamiltonian vector field is homological (Grassmann odd and squares to zero) is equivalent to

\( \{ \Theta, \Theta \} =0 \).

This condition encodes all the compatibility conditions between the bracket and the anchor map (a particular vector bundle map to the tangent bundle). More than that, this condition also encodes the Jacobi identity for the bracket. Thus, we need a weaker condition that is not too weak – we only want to lose the Jacobi identity and keep the other conditions. It turns out that we require

\( \{\{ \Theta, \Theta \}, f\} =0 \),

for all weight zero functions f, if we want to encode a pre-Courant algebroid in exactly the same way as we do a Courant algebroid. In the preprint we define what we call symplectic almost Lie 2-algebroids in this way and show how they correspond to pre-Courant algebroids.

Does this help any?
This change in starting position simplifies many basic facts about pre-Courant algebroids – just as it does with Courant algebroids. In particular, the notion a Dirac structures as a particular Lagrangian submanifolds is quite clear.

In the preprint was also show that including a compatible N-grading is quite simple when one uses the language of homogeneity structures [2]. One should also consult [3,4] where the notion of weighted Lie groupoids and weighted Lie algebroids are explored. As an example VB-Courant algebroids – Courant algebroids with a compatible vector bundle structure – are natural examples of weighted (pre-)Courant algebroids. This change of postion to `graded super bundles’ with some additional structures allows for a very neat understanding of weighted Dirac structure and in particular VB-Dirac structures. This framework simplifes the understanding of many thing.

The bottom line seems to be that Courant algebroids are `really’ sympelectic Lie 2-algebroids and pre-Courant algebroids are really symplectic almost Lie 2-algebroids.

[1] D. Roytenberg, On the structure of graded symplectic supermanifolds and Courant algebroids, in: Quantization, Poisson brackets and beyond (Manchester, 2001), 169–185, Contemp. Math. 315, Amer. Math. Soc., Providence, RI, 2002.

[2] J. Grabowski & M. Rotkiewicz, Graded bundles and homogeneity structures, J. Geom. Phys. 62 (2012), 21–36.

[3] A.J. Bruce, K. Grabowska & J. Grabowski, Graded bundles in the category of Lie groupoids, SIGMA 11 (2015), 090.

[4] A.J. Bruce, K. Grabowska & J. Grabowski, Linear duals of graded bundles and higher analogues of (Lie) algebroids, J. Geom. Phys. 101
(2016), 71–99.

Kirillov structures up to homotopy

My paper with Alfonso Tortorell on higher versions of Kirillov’s local Lie algebras has now been published in Diffrential Geometry and Applications [1]. If you have access to this journal you can follow this link.

In this paper we take the point of view that Jacobi geometry is best understood as homogeneous Poisson geometry – that is Poisson geometry on principle \(\mathbb{R}^{\times}\)-bundles. Every line bundle over a manifold can be understood in terms of such a principle bundle.

The same holds try when we pass to supermanifolds. With this in mind Alfonso and I more-or-less just replace Poisson with higher or homotopy Poisson. This allows us to neatly define an \(L_{\infty}\)-algebra on the space of sections of an even line bundle in the categeory of supermanifolds. This algebra is the higher/homotopy generalisation of Kirillov’s local Lie algebra on the space of sections of a line bundle.

We show that the basic theorems from Kirillov’s local Lie algebras or Jacobi bundles all passes to this higher case.

[1] Andrew James Bruce & Alfonso Giuseppe Tortorella, Kirillov structures up to homotopy, Differential Geometry and its Applications Volume 48, October 2016, Pages 72–86.

A geometric framework for supermechanics

K. Grabowska, Moreno and myself have placed a preprint on the arXiv called ‘On a geometric framework for Lagrangian supermechanics‘.

In this work we take the notion of a curve on a supermanifold to be an S-curve, which is an ‘element’ of the mapping supermanifold Hom(R,M) [1]. This mapping supermanifold is a generalised supermanifold and so it is a functor from the (opposite) category of supermanifolds to sets. Each ‘element’ needs to be ‘probed’ by a supermanifold, and so S-curves are ‘curves’ that are parameterised by all supermanifolds. Or maybe better to say that an S-curve is a family of functors paramaterised by time. At any given time and a given supermanifold S, we have a morphism of supermanifolds S → M. That is, an S-curve tracks out the S-points of M.

With this robust notion of a curve, we go on to define what we mean by an autonomous ordinary differential equation on a supermaifold, and more importantly what we mean by a solution. This seems to have been a notion not at all clearly defined in the existing literature. For us, a differential equation is a sub-structure of the tangent bundle of the said supermanifold, and solutions are S-curves on the supermanifold for which their tangent prolongation sit inside the differential equation. This is very close to the classical notions, but now we use S-points and not just the topological points.

We then take these notion and apply them to supermechanical systems given in terms of a Lagrangian. We use Tulczyjew’s geometric approach to Lagrangian mechanics, and really we only modify the notion of a curve and not the underlying geometry of Tulczyjew’s approach [2]. In doing so, we have a well defined notion of the phase dynamics, the Euler-Lagrange equations and solutions thereof for mechanical systems on supermanifolds. We present a few nice example, includinh Witten’s N=2 supersymmetric model [3] and geodesics on a super-sphere.

The importance of this work is not so much in the equations we present, these can be derived using formal variations. The point is we give some proper mathematical understanding of solutions to the equations.

[1] Andrew James Bruce, On curves and jets of curves on supermanifolds, Archivum Mathematicum, vol. 50 (2014), issue 2, pp. 115-130.
[2] W. M. Tulczyjew, The Legendre transformation, Ann. Inst. H. Poincare Sect. A (N.S.), 27(1):101–114, 1977.
[3] Edward Witten, Dynamical Breaking of Supersymmetry, Nucl. Phys. , B188:513, 1981.

What I have mostly been doing…

J. Grabowski, K. Grabowska and I have placed a preprint on the arXiv called ‘Introduction to Graded Bundles‘ [1], which is based on a talk given by Prof Grabowski at the First International Conference of Differential Geometry, Fez (Morocco), April 11-15, 2016.

The preprint outlines much of our recent work on graded bundles (a nice kind of graded manifold) and their linearisation (as a functor to k-fold vector bundles), as well as the notions of weighted Lie groupoids and algebroids, including the Lie theory.

One key observation that must be made is that there are many examples of graded bundles that appear in the existing literature, it is just that they are not recognised as such and their graded structure is not really exploited. The canonical example here are the higher order tangent bundles which are well studied from the perspective of higher order mechanics.

Anyway, if anyone want to get a quick overview of some of the ideas behind my work, then I direct them to this preprint. If you are interested in the applications to mechanics, then I suggest [2] as well as references therein.

[1] Introduction to graded bundles, Andrew J. Bruce, K. Grabowska, J. Grabowski, arXiv:1605.03296 [math.DG]

[2] New developments in geometric mechanics, A. J. Bruce, K. Grabowska, J. Grabowski, P. Urbanski, arXiv:1510.00296 [math-ph].