nLab lattice (discrete subgroup)


This entry is about the notion of lattice in group theory/quadratic form-theory. For other notions see at lattice (disambiguation).



Classically, a lattice in the Cartesian space n\mathbb{R}^n is a discrete subgroup (of the underlying topological abelian group) that spans n\mathbb{R}^n as a vector space over \mathbb{R}. This may be generalized, from n\mathbb{R}^n to a general locally compact abelian group.


A lattice in a locally compact Hausdorff abelian group AA is a subgroup LAL \hookrightarrow A that is discrete and cocompact, meaning that the quotient group A/LA/L with the quotient topology is compact.

Applying Pontryagin duality, the dual of the quotient map q:AA/Lq: A \to A/L is in that case a discrete subgroup A/L^A^\widehat{A/L} \hookrightarrow \widehat{A} that is also cocompact (its cokernel being the compact group L^\widehat{L}). This is called the dual lattice of LL.


Notable examples of classical lattices (in n\mathbb{R}^n) include

The standard diagonal inclusion of a global field (such as a number field) kk into its ring of adeles A kA_k is a lattice in the more general sense. Recalling that A kA_k is Pontryagin dual to itself, the lattice kk is identified with its dual lattice.


Applications in heterotic string theory and F-theory:

  • Dmitry Manning-Coe, Lattices: From Roots to String Compactifications [arXiv:2304.05394]

Last revised on June 11, 2024 at 14:34:47. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.