Connectivity properties of moment maps on based loop groups Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • For a compact, connected, simply-connected Lie group G, the loop group LG is the infinite-dimensional Hilbert Lie group consisting of H^1-Sobolev maps S^1-->G. The geometry of LG and its homogeneous spaces is related to representation theory and has been extensively studied. The space of based loops Omega(G) is an example of a homogeneous space of $LG$ and has a natural Hamiltonian T x S^1 action, where T is the maximal torus of G. We study the moment map mu for this action, and in particular prove that its regular level sets are connected. This result is as an infinite-dimensional analogue of a theorem of Atiyah that states that the preimage of a moment map for a Hamiltonian torus action on a compact symplectic manifold is connected. In the finite-dimensional case, this connectivity result is used to prove that the image of the moment map for a compact Hamiltonian T-space is convex. Thus our theorem can also be viewed as a companion result to a theorem of Atiyah and Pressley, which states that the image mu(Omega(G)) is convex. We also show that for the energy functional E, which is the moment map for the S^1 rotation action, each non-empty preimage is connected.

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publication date

  • October 28, 2006