How to derive Quantum Mechanics in curved physical space?

In summary, the conversation is about finding the connection one-form on the total space of a principal bundle, specifically in the context of quantum mechanics in curved space. The speaker suggests using a section map to find the connection one-form on the base manifold and then "lifting" it to the total space. They also mention the concept of a line bundle and suggest looking into textbooks for more detailed explanations. The conversation also discusses the Kostant-Souriau formulation of QM and references some classic texts for further reading. Finally, the conversation ends with a summary of how to define the connection one-form on the total space using the frame bundle and the Maurer-Cartan form.
  • #1
victorvmotti
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TL;DR Summary
We want to "lift" the pulled-back connection one-form on the base manifold to the total space, but how?!
I am following [this YouTube lecture by Schuller][1] where he finds the appropriate formalism for the quantum mechanics in the physical curved space.

Everything makes sense to me but at the very end I see that we find the pull backed connection one-form on the base manifold.

He says to the end of the lecture that later on we will see how we can find the connection one-form on the total space, the principal bundle, i.e., the frame bundle, level.

This is not shown, however, in the next video.

I wonder how can we calculate the connection one-form on the total space when we only have information about the pulled back of this form on the base manifold through a section map?

If we have a tangent vector on the base manifold clearly we can push it forward via the section map. But how about when we have defined a form, as we cannot push it forward from the base manifold to the total space via the section map.Is the following a good way to illustrate in the case of a flat base space how to derive the connection one-form on the total space from the given pulled-back connection one-form on the base manifold?

Consider the trivial bundle ##\mathbb{R}^2 \times G \to \mathbb{R}^2##, where ##G## is a Lie group, and let ##E## denote the principal G-bundle with fiber ##G##. We can think of ##E## as the bundle whose fiber over each point in ##\mathbb{R}^2## is just ##G##.

Suppose we have a connection one-form ##\widetilde \omega## on the base manifold ##\mathbb{R}^2## that takes values in the Lie algebra of ##G##. This connection one-form is given by a one-form on ##\mathbb{R}^2## whose values are elements of the Lie algebra of ##G## at each point.

Now suppose we have a section ##s:\mathbb{R}^2 \to E## of the principal G-bundle ##E##. We can think of ##s## as a map that assigns to each point in ##\mathbb{R}^2## an element of ##G##. We can also think of ##s## as a map that takes a point in ##\mathbb{R}^2## and "lifts" it to a point in ##E## by taking the point in ##\mathbb{R}^2## and mapping it to the point in the fiber over that point determined by ##s##.

To derive the connection one-form on the total space, we want to "lift" the pulled-back connection one-form on the base manifold to ##E##. We can do this as follows:

1/ Given a point ##p \in E##, we can use the section map ##s## to identify the point ##q=s^{-1}(p)## in ##\mathbb{R}^2##.

2/ We can then evaluate the pulled-back connection one-form ##\widetilde{\omega} = s^* \omega## on ##\mathbb{R}^2## at the point ##q##. Since ##\widetilde{\omega}## takes values in the Lie algebra of ##G##, this evaluation gives us an element of the Lie algebra of ##G##.

3/ We can then "lift" this element to a Lie algebra-valued one-form on ##E## by extending it trivially in the direction transverse to the fiber. Specifically, for any vector ##v## tangent to ##E## at ##p##, we can define the value of the lifted connection one-form at ##p## in the direction of ##v## to be the element of the Lie algebra of ##G## we obtained in step 2.

By repeating this process for all points in ##E##, we obtain a connection one-form on ##E## that reduces to ##\omega## when restricted to any fiber of ##E##. This connection one-form satisfies all the conditions required of a connection and can be used to define parallel transport and curvature on ##E##.

[1]:
 
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  • #2
Well, this is not really "QM in curved space", but rather how to do QM covariantly in general curvilinear coordinates.

In any case, you're seriously over-thinking it.

That lecture is a rather excruciatingly tedious way of discovering that the ordinary QM wave functions are not scalar-valued functions, but scalar-density-valued functions. (These lectures also show why one should lecture from notes, rather than trying to reproduce everything off the cuff - which leads to frequent mistakes on the board.)

Schuller's ##\omega_\alpha## is just ##\Gamma^\lambda_{~\alpha\lambda}##, where ##\Gamma## is the usual Levi-Civita affine connection. Although the usual covariant derivative acts on a function ##f## as ##\,\nabla_\alpha f = \partial_\alpha f##, it acts on a scalar-density ##\psi## as##\,\nabla_\alpha \psi = \partial_\alpha \psi + \Gamma^\lambda_{~\alpha\lambda} \psi\,##. (You can google for "covariant derivative of scalar density" for more detail on this.)

All the gumph about passing between a "section in the frame bundle" and a field on the base manifold is essentially just a high-falutin' way of obscuring the usual non-tensorial transformation rule for connection components.
 
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  • #3
OP another word to look for is "line bundle". It's essentially the same thing as a scalar density bundle under a different name. Many abstract treatments of QM will talk about how the wavefunction is a section of a line bundle.
 
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  • #4
The question is so general, that it would take someone 15 pages to try to answer it. I urge the OP to get a textbook on this topic. Sniatycki, J. - Geometric Quantization And Quantum Mechanics (Springer, 1980).
 
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  • #5
Another standard reference is:
Woodhouse N.M.J. "Geometric Quantization" 2nd edition, OUP
 
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  • #6
It's the so-called Kostant-Souriau formulation of QM. Schuller's presentation is nice, but did he put them in a book? I want to compare his text with the classics.
 
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  • #7
Answer provided by Ted Shifrin:


You don't push forward forms, of course. Here's the idea: Cover ##M## by open sets ##U_\alpha## over which the frame bundle ##P## is trivial, and let ##s_\alpha\colon U_\alpha\to P## be sections for all ##\alpha##. Define the projection ##\psi_\alpha\colon P|_{U_\alpha}\to G## for all ##\alpha##. *Provided* that we have

##\omega_\beta = g_{\alpha\beta}^{-1}\omega_\alpha g_{\alpha\beta} + g_{\alpha\beta}^{-1}dg_{\alpha\beta} \quad\text{with } s_\beta=g_{\alpha\beta}\cdot s_\alpha \text{ on } U_\alpha\cap U_\beta,##

then we define the ##\mathfrak g##-valued ##1##-form ##\omega## on ##P## by

##\omega = (\text{Ad}\,\psi_\alpha^{-1})\pi^*\omega_\alpha + \psi_\alpha^*\phi,##

where ##\phi## is the left-invariant Maurer-Cartan form on ##G##.

I leave you to check well-definedness. You can find this all done carefully in Kobayashi-Nomizu (section 1 of Chapter II).
 
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