n-Lie algebra


\infty-Lie theory

∞-Lie theory (higher geometry)


Smooth structure

Higher groupoids

Lie theory

∞-Lie groupoids

∞-Lie algebroids

Formal Lie groupoids




\infty-Lie groupoids

\infty-Lie groups

\infty-Lie algebroids

\infty-Lie algebras

nn-Lie algebras


An nn-Lie algebra is defined to be an algebraic structure which

  • looks formally like the special case of an L L_\infty-algebra for which only the nn-ary bracket D nD_n is non-vanishing (see there);

  • but without necessarily the grading underlying an L L_\infty-algebra, and in particular without the requirement that D nD_n be of homogeneous degree 1-1 in any grading.

Therefore, any “nn-Lie algebras” that appear in the literature are not examples of Lie n-algebras, hence of L-∞ algebras. (So in particular nn-Lie algebras in this sense in general don’t integrate to Lie infinity-groupoids via the usual Lie theory. )

Instead, at least certain “3-Lie algebras” can be understood as encoding structure in Lie 2-algebras equipped with a binary invariant polynomial (Saemann-Ritter 13, section 2.5).



A discussion of nn-Lie algebras (without the L L_\infty-grading) is in

  • v. T. Filippov, nn-Lie algebras, Sib. Math. Zh. No 6 126–140 (195)

  • v. T. Filippov, On the nn-Lie algebra of Jacobians, Sibirsk. Mat. Zh., 1998, Volume 39, Number 3, Pages 660–669 (English translation)

  • A. S. Dzhumadil’daev, Wronskians as nn-Lie multiplications (arXiv:math/0202043)

Similar (but different) discussion is in

  • P. Hanlon, M. Wachs, On Lie k-Algebras, Advances in Mathematics Volume 113, Issue 2, July 1995, Pages 206–236

  • José de Azcárraga, J. C. Perez Bueno, Higher-order simple Lie algebras, (arXiv:hep-th/9605213)


The notion of nn-Lie algebras, for n=3n=3, was re-invented by string physicists in the BLG model

which sparked a tremendous amount of activity.

See the blog entry

for further details and links. And see this blog discussion

for discussion about the relation to proper L L_\infty-algebraic formalism.

Further re-inventions of the concept of nn-Lie algebras in this context are appearing. For instance in

  • Tamar Friedman, Orbifold singularities, the LATKe, and Yang-Mills with Matter (arXiv)

As metric Lie nn-algebras

An interpretation of 33-Lie algebras as Lie 2-algebras equipped with a binary invariant polynomial (“metric Lie 2-algebras”) is due to

based on a result in

and reviewed in

See also

  • José Figueroa-O'Farrill, section Triple systems and Lie superalgebras in M2-branes, ADE and Lie superalgebras, talk at IPMU 2009 (pdf)

Revised on January 5, 2017 13:12:22 by Urs Schreiber (