derived smooth geometry
The Erlangen program (in German, Erlanger Programm ) is a project, begun by Felix Klein at Erlangen in the 19th century (Klein 1872), to study geometry via symmetry groups of “geometric shapes”, hence from the perspective of group theory. The idea is to take the elementary building blocks of geometry to be not just Euclidean spaces but more generally homogeneous spaces . These have then also been called Klein geometries .
In (Klein 1872) the theme of the program is described as follows:
Given a manifold and a transformation group acting on it, to investigate those properties of figures [Gebilde] on that manifold which are invariant under [all] transformations of that group.
In modern language this means to consider a group of homeomorphisms (diffeomorphisms) acting on a (smooth) manifold together with its stabilizer subgroup of any prescribed submanifold. (The concept of Lie group only emerged at that time, in fact Klein and Sophus Lie were in close contact, see Birkhoff-Bennett.)
A few lines below in (Klein 1872) is the converse statement
Given a manifold, and a transformation group acting on it, to study its invariants.
Hence to find the figures which are left invariant by a given group action.
When it was proposed, the Erlangen program served to unify various different kinds of geometry, discovered and studied at that time, into a common framwork. On the other hand, many kinds of geometries without global symmetries are not Klein geometries, notably Riemannian geometry is (in general) not. But a (pseudo) Riemannian manifold is locally (tangentially) modeled on Euclidean space (Minkowski spacetime) and this local model space is a Klein geometry. The generalization of Klein geometry to such local situations is Cartan geometry, see below.
While many types of geometries (such as Riemannian geometry) are not in general Klein geometries, they are locally like Klein geometries. This generalization of Klein geometry is known as Cartan geometry.
|local model||global geometry|
|Klein geometry||Cartan geometry|
|Klein 2-geometry||Cartan 2-geometry|
|higher Klein geometry||higher Cartan geometry|
In physics terminology this corresponds to “locally gauging” the symmetry group. For instance for the inclusion of the Lorentz group into the Poincare group, then the corresponding Klein geometry is just Minkowski spacetime, but a corresponding Cartan geometry is any pseudo-Riemannian manifold, i.e. a spacetime characterized in the first-order formulation of gravity.
|gauge group||stabilizer subgroup||local model space||local geometry||global geometry||differential cohomology||first order formulation of gravity|
|general||Lie group/algebraic group||subgroup (monomorphism)||quotient (“coset space”)||Klein geometry||Cartan geometry||Cartan connection|
|examples||Euclidean group||rotation group||Cartesian space||Euclidean geometry||Riemannian geometry||affine connection||Euclidean gravity|
|Poincaré group||Lorentz group||Minkowski space||Lorentzian geometry||pseudo-Riemannian geometry||spin connection||Einstein gravity|
|super Poincaré group||spin group||super Minkowski spacetime||Lorentzian supergeometry||supergeometry||superconnection||supergravity|
|linear algebraic group||parabolic subgroup/Borel subgroup||flag variety||parabolic geometry|
|orthochronous Lorentz group||conformal geometry||conformal connection||conformal gravity|
|general||smooth 2-group||2-monomorphism||homotopy quotient||Klein 2-geometry||Cartan 2-geometry|
|cohesive ∞-group||∞-monomorphism (i.e. any homomorphism)||homotopy quotient of ∞-action||higher Klein geometry||higher Cartan geometry||higher Cartan connection|
|examples||extended super Minkowski spacetime||extended supergeometry||higher supergravity: type II, heterotic, 11d|
Felix Klein, Vergleichende Betrachtungen über neuere geometrische Forschungen (1872)
translation by M. W. Haskell, A comparative review of recent researches in geometry , trans. M. W. Haskell, Bull. New York Math. Soc. 2, (1892-1893), 215-249. (retyped pdf, retyped pdf, scan of original)
Garrett Birkhoff, M. K. Bennett, Felix Klein and His “Erlanger Program” (pdf)
Vladimir Kisil, Erlangen Programme at Large: An Overview (arXiv:1106.1686)
Jeremy Gray, Felix Klein’s Erlangen programme, in Landmark Writings in Western Mathematics, ed. I. Grattan-Guinness, Elsevier, p. 544-552, 2005