# nLab super-translation group

Contents

supersymmetry

## Applications

#### Group Theory

group theory

Classical groups

Finite groups

Group schemes

Topological groups

Lie groups

Super-Lie groups

Higher groups

Cohomology and Extensions

Related concepts

# Contents

## Idea

A super-translation group is a supergroup generalization of the translation group, hence of the additive Lie group $\mathbb{R}^n$. Its underlying supermanifold is a super-Euclidean space or super-Minkowski spacetime.

## Definition

Given a super Poincaré Lie algebra extension $\mathfrak{siso}_N(d-1,1)$ of a orthogonal Lie algebra $\mathfrak{so}(d-1,1)$ for some spin representation $N$, then the corresponding super-translation Lie algebra is the quotient

$\mathbb{R}^{d-1,1\vert N} \coloneqq \mathfrak{siso}_N(d-1,1)/\mathfrak{o}(d-1,1)$

See at super Minkowski spacetime.

The underlying super vector space of this is

$\mathbb{R}^d \oplus \Pi S \,,$

where $S$ is the vector space underlying the given spin representation.

The super Lie algebra structure is mildly non-abelian with the only non-trivial bracket being that between two spinors and given by the bilinear pairing (the charge conjugation matrix) between two spinors:

$[\psi, \phi] = \langle \psi, \Gamma^a \phi \rangle t_a \,,$

where $\{t_a\}$ is a basis for the translation generators in $\mathbb{R}^d$.

## Properties

### As a central extension of the superpoint

The super-translation Lie algebra is a super-Lie algebra extension of the abelian super Lie algebra which is just the superpoint $\mathbb{R}^{0;N}$ by the $d$ super Lie algebra cocycles

$(\phi, \psi) \mapsto \langle \phi, \Gamma^a \psi\rangle t_a \,,$

for $a \in \{1, 2, \cdots, d\}$, where $\{t_a\}$ are the basis elements of $\mathbb{R}^d$.

This simple but maybe noteworthy fact has been highlighted in the context of the brane scan in (CAIP 99, section 2.1).

This mechanism plays a role in string theory when realizing $\mathbb{R}^{11;N=1}$ as a central extension of $\mathbb{R}^{10;N=(1,1)}$, for this formalizes aspects of the idea that type IIA string theory with a D0-brane condensate is 11-dimensional supergravity/M-theory (FSS 13).

## Examples

### In dimension 1

The additive group structure on $\mathbb{R}^{1|1}$ is given on generalized elements in (i.e. in the logic internal to) the topos of sheaves on the category SCartSp of cartesian superspaces by

$\mathbb{R}^{1|1} \times \mathbb{R}^{1|1} \to \mathbb{R}^{1|1}$
$(t_1, \theta_1), (t_2, \theta_2) \mapsto (t_1 + t_2 + \theta_1 \theta_2, \theta_1 + \theta_2) \,.$

Recall how the notation works here: by the Yoneda embedding we have a full and faithful functor

SDiff$\hookrightarrow$ $Fun(SDiff^{op}, Set)$

and we also have the theorem, discussed at supermanifolds, that maps from some $S \in SDiff$ into $\mathbb{R}^{p|q}$ is given by a tuple of $p$ even section $t_i$ and $q$ odd sections $\theta_j$. The above notation specifies the map of supermanifolds by displaying what map of sets of maps from some test object $S$ it corresponds to under the Yoneda embedding.

Now, for each $S \in$ SDiff there is a group structure on the hom-set $SDiff(S, \mathbb{R}^{1|1}) \simeq C^\infty(S)^{ev} \times C^\infty(X)^{odd}$ given by precisely the above formula for this given $S$

$\mathbb{R}^{1|1}(S) \times \mathbb{R}^{1|1}(S) \to \mathbb{R}^{1|1}(S)$
$(t_1, \theta_1), (t_2, \theta_2) \mapsto (t_1 + t_2 + \theta_1 \theta_2, \theta_1 + \theta_2) \,.$

where $(t_i, \theta_i) \in C^\infty(S)^{ev} \times C^\infty(S)^{odd}$ etc and where the addition and product on the right takes place in the function super algebra $C^\infty(S)$.

Since the formula looks the same for all $S$, one often just writes it without mentioning $S$ as above.

### Super-Minkowski Lie group

We spell out the super-translation super Lie group-structure on the supermanifold $\mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}}$ underlying super Minkowski spacetime, hence equivalently of the quotient super Lie group of the super Poincaré group (the “supersymmetry” group) by its Lorentzian spin-subgroup:

(1)$\mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}} \;\simeq\; Iso\big( \mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}} \big) \big/ Spin(1,d) \,.$

Here

• $d \in \mathbb{N}$ is the spatial dimension (a natural number),

• $\mathbf{N} \in Rep_{\mathbb{R}}\big(Spin(1,d)\big)$ is a real spin representation equipped with a linear map

First, the super-Minkowski super Lie algebra structure on the super vector space

$\mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}} \;\coloneqq\; \mathbb{R}^{1+d} \times \mathbb{R}^N_{odd}$

is defined, dually, by the Chevalley-Eilenberg dgc-superalgebra with generators of $\mathbb{Z} \times \mathbb{Z}/2$ bidegree

generatorbidegree
$e^a$$(1,evn)$
$\psi^\alpha$$(1,odd)$

for $a \in \{0,1, \cdots, d\}$ indexing a linear basis of $\mathbb{R}^D$ and $\alpha \in \{1,\cdots, N\}$ indexing a linear basis of $\mathbf{N}$ by the differential equations

(2)$\begin{array}{ccl} \mathrm{d}\, e^a &\coloneqq& \big( \overline{\psi} \,\Gamma^a\, \psi \big) \\ \mathrm{d}\, \psi &=& 0 \end{array}$

The first differential is the linear dual of the archetypical super Lie bracket in the supersymmetry super Lie algebra which takes two odd elements to a spatial translation. The second differential is the linear dual of the fact that in the absence of rotational generators, no Lie bracket in the supersymmetry alegbra results in a non-vanishing odd element.

Next we regard $\mathbb{R}^{1,10\vert\mathbf{N}}$ not just as a super vector space but as a Cartesian supermanifold. As such it has canonical coordinate functions

generatorbidegree
$x^a$$(0,evn)$
$\theta^\alpha$$(0,odd)$

On this supermanifold, consider the super coframe field

$(e,\psi) \;\colon\; T\mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}} \xrightarrow{\;} \mathbb{R}^{1,10\vert\mathbf{N}}$

(where on the left we have the tangent bundle and on the right its typical fiber super vector space) given by

(3)$\begin{array}{ccl} e^a &\coloneqq& \mathrm{d}x^a + \big(\overline{\theta} \,\Gamma^a \mathrm{d}\theta\big) \\ \psi &\coloneqq& \mathrm{d}\theta \end{array}$

It is clear that this is a coframe field in that for all $x \in \mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}}$ it restricts to an isomorphism

$T_{x}\mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}} \xrightarrow{\;\sim\;} \mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}}$

and the peculiar second summand in the first line is chosen such that its de Rham differential has the same form as the differential in the Chevalley-Eilenberg algebra (2).

(Incidentally, a frame field linear dual to the coframe field (3) is

$\begin{array}{ccl} D_a &\coloneqq& \partial_{x^a} \\ D_\alpha &\coloneqq& \partial_{\theta^\alpha} + \overline{\theta}\Gamma^a \partial_{v^a} \end{array} \;\;\;\;\;\;\; \text{such that} \;\;\;\; \begin{array}{ll} e^a(D_b) \,=\, \delta^a_b \,, & e^a(D_\alpha) \,=\, 0 \\ \psi^\alpha(D_a) \,=\, 0 \,, & \psi^\alpha(D_\beta) \,=\, \delta^\alpha_\beta \end{array}$

which are the operators often stated right away in introductory texts on supersymmetry.)

This fact, that the Maurer-Cartan equations of a coframe field (3) coincide with the defining equations (2) of the Chevalley-Eilenberg algebra of a Lie algebra of course characterizes the left invariant 1-forms on a Lie group, and hence what remains to be done now is to construct a super Lie group-structure on the supermanifold $\mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}}$ with respect to which the coframe (3) is left invariant 1-form.

Recalling (from here) that a morphism of supermanifolds is dually given by a reverse algebra homomorphism between their function algebras, which in the present case are freely generated by the above coordinate functions, we denote the canonical coordinates on the Cartesian product $\mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}} \times \mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}}$ by $(x^a_{'}, \theta^\alpha_{'})$ for the first factor and $(x^a, \theta^\alpha)$ for the second, and declare a group product operation as follows:

(4)

Here the choice of notation for the coordinates on the left is adapted to thinking of this group operation equivalently as the left multiplication action of the group on itself, which makes the following computation nicely transparent.

Indeed, the induced left action of the super-group on its odd tangent bundle

is dually given by

and left-invariance of the coframe (2) means that it is fixed by this operation (so the differential $\mathrm{d}$ in the following computation is just that of the second factor, hence acting on unprimed coordinates only):

$\begin{array}{ccl} \mathrm{act}^\ast e^a &=& \mathrm{act}^\ast \Big( \mathrm{d}x^a + \big(\overline{\theta} \,\Gamma^a\, \mathrm{d}\theta\big) \Big) \\ &=& \mathrm{d}\,\mathrm{act}^\ast x^a + \big(\overline{\mathrm{act}^\ast\theta} \,\Gamma^a\, \mathrm{d}\,\mathrm{act}^\ast\theta\big) \\ &=& \mathrm{d} \Big( x^a_{'} + x^a - \big( \overline{\theta}_{'} \,\Gamma^a\, \theta \big) \Big) + \big( (\overline{\theta}_{'} + \overline{\theta}) \,\Gamma^a\, \mathrm{d}( \theta_{'} + \theta ) \big) \\ &=& \mathrm{d}x^a - \big( \overline{\theta}_{'} \,\Gamma^a\, \mathrm{d}\theta \big) \,+\, \big( \overline{\theta}_{'} \,\Gamma^a\, \mathrm{d}\theta \big) \,+\, \big( \overline{\theta} \,\Gamma^a\, \mathrm{d}\theta \big) \\ &=& \mathrm{d}x^a \,+\, \big( \overline{\theta} \,\Gamma^a\, \mathrm{d}\theta \big) \\ &=& e^a \mathrlap{\,,} \end{array} \;\;\;\;\; \begin{array}{ccl} \mathrm{prd}^\ast \psi &=& \mathrm{prd}^\ast \mathrm{d}\theta \\ &=& \mathrm{d} \, \mathrm{prd}^\ast \theta \\ &=& \mathrm{d}\big( \theta_{'} + \theta \big) \\ &=& \mathrm{d}\theta \\ &=& \psi \mathrlap{\,.} \\ {} \end{array}$

This shows that if (4) is the group product of a group object in SuperManifolds then the corresponding super Lie algebra is the super-Minkowski super translation Lie algebra and hence that this group object is the desired super-Minkowski super Lie group.

So, defining the remaining group object-operations as follows:

neutral element:

inverse elements:

we conclude by checking the group object-axioms:

For associativity we need to check that the following diagram commutes:

and indeed it does — the term $\big(\overline{\theta} \Gamma^a \theta\big)$ vanishes because the $\theta^\alpha$ anti-commute among themselves, while the pairing (1) is symmetric:

For unitality we need to check that the following diagram commutes:

and indeed it does:

And finally, for invertibility we need to check that the following diagram commutes:

and indeed it does:

$\Box$

## References

On the $1\vert1$-dimensional super translation group $\mathbb{R}^{1\vert 1}$:

The group law for general $\mathbb{R}^{1,d\vert\mathbf{N}}$, stated in algebraic form:

Last revised on August 27, 2024 at 15:48:39. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.