G2 manifold



A G 2G_2-structure on a manifold of dimension 7 is a choice of reduction of the structure group of the tangent bundle along the inclusion of G2 into GL(7)GL(7).

Given that G 2G_2 is the subgroup of the general linear group on the Cartesian space 7\mathbb{R}^7 which preserves the associative 3-form on 7\mathbb{R}^7, a G 2G_2 structre is a higher analog of an almost symplectic structure under lifting from symplectic geometry to 2-plectic geometry (Ibort).

A G 2G_2-manifold is a manifold equipped with an “integrable” or “parallel” G 2G_2-structure. This is equivalently a Riemannian manifold of dimension 7 with special holonomy group being the exceptional Lie group G2.

G 2G_2-manifolds may be understood as 7-dimensional analogs of real 6-dimensional Calabi-Yau manifolds.


G 2G_2-structure


For XX a smooth manifold of dimension 77 a G 2G_2-structure on XX is a choice of differential 3-form ωΩ 3(X)\omega \in \Omega^3(X) such that there is an atlas over which this 3-form locally identifies with the associative 3-form on the Cartesian space 7\mathbb{R}^7.

Equivalently, this is a choice of reduction of the structure group of the tangent bundle along the inclusion

G 2GL(7). G_2 \hookrightarrow GL(7) \,.

A G 2G_2-structure in particular implies an orthogonal structure, hence a Riemannian metric.

G 2G_2-holonomy


A manifold equipped with a G 2G_2-structure ω\omega, def. 1, is called a G 2G_2-manifold if ω\omega is “parallel” or “integrable” in that

  1. dω=0d \omega = 0

  2. dω=0d \star \omega = 0

(where dd is the de Rham differential and \star is the Hodge star operator of the canonical Riemannian metric of remark 1).

For instance (Joyce, p. 4).

The holonomy of the Levi-Civita connection on a G 2G_2-manifold is contained in G 2G_2.

Weak G 2G_2-holonomy

There is a useful weakened notion of G 2G_2-holonomy.


A 7-dimensional manifold is said to be of weak G 2G_2-holonomy if it carries a 3-form ω\omega with the relation of def. 2 generalized to

dω=λω d \omega = \lambda \star \omega

and hence

dω=0 d \star \omega = 0

for λ\lambda \in \mathbb{R}. For λ=0\lambda = 0 this reduces to strict G 2G_2-holonomy, by 2.

(See for instance (Bilal-Derendinger-Sfetsos).)




A 7-manifold admits a G 2G_2-structure, def. 1, precisely if it admits a spin structure.

Metric structure

The canonical Riemannian metric G 2G_2 manifold is Ricci flat. More generally a manifold of weak G 2G_2-holonomy, def. 3, with weakness parameter λ\lambda is an Einstein manifold with cosmological constant λ\lambda.


In supergravity

In string phenomenology models obtained from compactification of 11-dimensional supergravity/M-theory on G 2G_2-manifolds (see for instance Duff) can have attractive phenomenological properties, see for instance the G2-MSSM.

classification of special holonomy manifolds by Berger's theorem:

G-structurespecial holonomydimensionpreserved differential form
Kähler manifoldU(k)2k2kKähler forms
Calabi-Yau manifoldSU(k)2k2k
hyper-Kähler manifoldSp(k)4k4k
G2 manifoldG277associative 3-form
Spin(7) manifoldSpin(7)8Cayley form



Compact G 2G_2-manifolds were first found in

  • Dominic Joyce, Compact Riemannian 7-manifolds with holonomy G 2G_2, Journal of Differential Geometry vol 43, no 2 (Euclid)

  • Dominic Joyce, Compact Manifolds with Special Holonomy, Oxford Mathematical Monographs, Oxford University Press (2000)

Surveys include

  • Spiro Karigiannis, What is… a G 2G_2-manifold (pdf)

  • Spiro Karigiannis, G 2G_2-manifolds – Exceptional structures in geometry arising from exceptional algebra (pdf)

The relation to multisymplectic geometry/2-plectic geometry is mentioned explicitly in

(but beware of some mistakes in that article…)

For more see the references at exceptional geometry.

Application in supergravity

The following references discuss the role of G 2G_2-manifolds in M-theory on G2-manifolds:

A survey of the corresponding string phenomenology for M-theory on G2-manifolds (see there for more) is in

  • Bobby Acharya, G 2G_2-manifolds at the CERN Large Hadron collider and in the Galaxy, talk at G 2G_2-days (2012) (pdf)

Weak G 2G_2-holonomy is discussed in

  • Adel Bilal, J.-P. Derendinger, K. Sfetsos, (Weak) G 2G_2 Holonomy from Self-duality, Flux and Supersymmetry, Nucl.Phys. B628 (2002) 112-132 (arXiv:hep-th/0111274)
  • Adel Bilal, Steffen Metzger?, Compact weak G 2G_2-manifolds with conical singularities (pdf)

Revised on December 20, 2014 00:49:28 by Urs Schreiber (