Principle Bundles: Right or Left Action?

In summary, the conversation is discussing the definition of a principle bundle and whether the structure group elements must act on the fiber elements from the right or if they can also act from the left. While some sources insist on the right action, others suggest that it does not matter as long as consistency is maintained within the context. Additionally, it is noted that there are both left and right G-bundles and they are dual to each other. The choice of notation for the action may simply be a matter of convenience. The conversation ends with a question about what to call a G-bundle with G as the fiber and left action on G. The response explains that left and right actions are essentially the same for groups, and there is an involution that
  • #1
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Hey, I'm a little confused on the definition of a principle bundle. The basic question:

"Do elements of the structure group, G, have to act on elements of the fiber, G, from the right?"

I've read a bunch of papers that seem to imply that the fiber bundle structure group elements could act from the left and it's still called a principle bundle, but the wikipedia definition and a few others insist on the structure group elements acting on the right. What gives?

I guess it's kind of nit picky, but I'd like to know what's going on here.
 
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  • #2
It does not matter as long as you stay consistent within your own work and context.
 
  • #3
To elaborate, there are simply left and right G-bundles. The theories are dual to each other, so it doesn't hurt to study one kind of bundle, and then dualize if you need to know something about the other.

In many contexts, it simply boils down to notation: one choice might be notationally more convenient than another.
 
  • #4
Hmm, so what would one call a G-bundle with G as fiber, with left action on G?

The left action dual of a principle bundle?

Thanks.
 
  • #5
For groups, or any Hopf algebra structure, left and right actions are identical concepts (a right action is the same as a left G^op action, and there is the involution turning G into G^op).
 

Related to Principle Bundles: Right or Left Action?

1. What is a principle bundle?

A principle bundle is a mathematical concept that describes the relationship between a base space and a fiber space. It consists of a base space, which is typically a manifold, and a fiber space, which is a topological space. The base space serves as the domain of a bundle, while the fiber space is the co-domain. A principle bundle is used to study the symmetries and transformations of a space.

2. What is the difference between right and left action in principle bundles?

The difference between right and left action in principle bundles refers to the way in which a group acts on the fiber space. In right action, the group elements act on the right side of the fiber space, while in left action, the group elements act on the left side. This distinction is important in understanding the behavior of principle bundles under different transformations.

3. How are principle bundles related to gauge theory?

Principle bundles are closely related to gauge theory, which is a mathematical framework used to describe the interactions between fields and particles. In gauge theory, the base space represents the space-time manifold, while the fiber space represents the gauge group. The action of the gauge group on the fiber space determines the symmetries and transformations of the fields in the theory.

4. What is the significance of principle bundles in physics?

Principle bundles have significant applications in physics, particularly in the study of gauge theories and their corresponding field theories. They provide a mathematical foundation for understanding the symmetries and transformations of physical systems, and have been used to describe a wide range of phenomena, from electromagnetism to the strong and weak nuclear forces.

5. How are principle bundles used in differential geometry?

In differential geometry, principle bundles are used to study the geometric properties of spaces that have symmetries. They provide a way to understand the relationship between the base space and the fiber space and how they are affected by transformations. Principle bundles are also used in the construction of fiber bundles, which are important tools in studying the topology and geometry of spaces.

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