There is some variation in the literature on what one calls a “quaternionic manifold‘’. The most general definition, however, encompassing all the others, is:
(Quaternionic manifold)
For $n \geq 2$, a quaternionic manifold is a real 4n-dimensional manifold M with a $\text{GL} (n,\mathbf{H})\cdot \mathbf{H} ^{\times }$-structure which admits a torsion-free connection $\nabla$ (i.e. is integrable as a G-structure).
When $\nabla$ does not exist $M$ is called almost quaternionic, and this is just a reduction of the structure group of $M$ along a Lie group inclusion $\text{GL}(n, \mathbf{H}) \hookrightarrow \text{GL}(4n, \mathbf{R})$. Note that the multiplicative group of the quaternions $\mathbf{H}^{\times}$ can be normalized, so that the second factor of $\text{GL} (n,\mathbf{H})\cdot \mathbf{H} ^{\times }$ is isomorphic to SU(2), or isomorphically again the first quaternionic unitary group Sp(1). Hence one occasionally finds the structure group reduction written $\text{GL} (n,\mathbf{H})\cdot \text{Sp}(1)$.
Other definitions have been given, based on the following useful but more naïve reasoning: consider two almost complex structures on a smooth $4n$-manifold $M$, say $\langle M, I \rangle$ and $\langle M, J \rangle$, given the relation $\{ I, J \} =0$. Then call the structure $\langle M, I, J \rangle$ “almost quaternionic”, and a map $\varphi: \langle M, I, J \rangle \rightarrow \langle N, K, F \rangle$ of almost quaternionic structures “quaternionic” if it is separately complex analytic as a map $\langle M, I \rangle \rightarrow \langle N, K \rangle$ and also as a map $\langle M, J \rangle \rightarrow \langle N, F \rangle$.
When $\mathbf{R}^4$ is given a quaternionic multiplication with anti-commuting imaginary units $i$ and $j$, this is actually equivalent to $\varphi : \mathbf{R}^4 \rightarrow \mathbf{R}^4$ satisfying the Cauchy-Feuter? complex:
known as a starting point for defining a notion of “quaternionic holomorphy?”, since the Cauchy-Feuter complex consists of two separate Cauchy-Riemann systems in the imaginary units $i, j$. Such a complex exists on $\mathbf{R}^{4n}$ for any $n$ as an extended Cauchy-Fueter complex consisting of the systems above, repeated for each set of four coordinates. Hence, $\mathbf{R}^{4n}$ as a smooth manifold can always be endowed with an almost quaternionic structure. On this account of quaternionic structure, a quaternionic $n$-manifold is then an almost quaternionic structure on a smooth manifold $M$ such that $M$ has an atlas of quaternionic maps, considered with respect to the standard quaternionic structure on $\mathbf{R}^{4n}$ just described. However, such a definition has serious drawbacks, such as the fact that quaternionic projective $n$-space $\mathbf{H}P^n := \text{Sp}(n + 1)/\text{Sp}(n)\text{Sp}(1)$ is not a “quaternionic manifold” in this sense for any $n$. It is, however, a quaternionic manifold under the official definition above.
(quaternion-Kähler manifolds are quaternionic manifolds)
By definition, a quaternion-Kähler manifold $M$ has holonomy group contained in the direct product group Sp(n)$\times$Sp(1), admitting an extension of the Levi-Civita connection $\nabla$ on the holonomy bundle as torsion-free. Thus a quaternion-Kähler manifold is automatically quaternionic.
Such extension $\nabla_\text{quat}$ of $\nabla$ however is not unique, since $\nabla_\text{quat} + \mathcal{S}$ is another Sp(n)Sp(1)-preserving connection, where $\mathcal{S}$ is a (1, 2)-tensor such that for every $p \in M$, $\mathcal{S}(p)$ takes values in the first prolongation of the Lie algebra for the G-structure.
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biquaternionic manifold?, hypercomplex manifold,
Book references include:
Arthur Besse, Einstein Manifolds, Springer-Verlag 1987.
Dominic Joyce, Compact Manifolds with Special Holonomy, Oxford University Press, 2000.
Classical references:
See also
In terms of G-structure:
Dmitri V. Alekseevsky, Stefano Marchiafava, Quaternionic-like structures on a manifold: Note I. 1-integrability and integrability conditions, Atti della Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Classe di Scienze Fisiche, Matematiche e Naturali. Rendiconti Lincei. Matematica e Applicazioni (1993) Volume: 4, Issue: 1, page 43-52 (dml:244082)
Dmitri V. Alekseevsky, Stefano Marchiafava, Quaternionic-like structures on a manifold: Note II. Automorphism groups and their interrelations, Atti della Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Classe di Scienze Fisiche, Matematiche e Naturali. Rendiconti Lincei. Matematica e Applicazioni (1993) Volume: 4, Issue: 1, page 53-61 (dml:244299)
Dmitry V. Alekseevsky, Quaternionic structures on a manifold and subordinated structures, Annali di Matematica pura ed applicata 171, 205–273 (1996) (doi:10.1007/BF01759388)
Holonomy, connections, and twistor spaces:
Stefan Ivanov, Ivan Minchev, Simeon Zamkovoy, Twistors of Almost Quaternionic Manifolds
Gueo Grantcharov and Yat Sun Poon, Geometry of Hyper-Kahler Connections with Torsion
Last revised on July 15, 2020 at 14:55:19. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.