nLab symplectic geometry




Symplectic geometry is a branch of differential geometry studying symplectic manifolds and some generalizations; it originated as a formalization of the mathematical apparatus of classical mechanics and geometric optics (and the related WKB-method in quantum mechanics and, more generally, the method of stationary phase in harmonic analysis). A wider branch including symplectic geometry is Poisson geometry and a sister branch in odd dimensions is contact geometry. A special and central role in the subject belongs to certain real-like half-dimensional submanifolds, called lagrangian (or Lagrangean) submanifolds, which are in some sense classical points. Symplectic geometry radically changed after the 1985 article of Mikhail Gromov on pseudoholomorphic curves and the subsequent work of Andreas Floer giving birth to symplectic topology or “hard methods” of symplectic geometry.


Zoran Skoda: it is true that large influence of Weinstein’s program can not be overestimated, but it is not the origin of these considerations; it rather builds up on earlier fundamental works of Kirillov, Kostant, Souriau who invented geometric quantization, all of them originally in symplectic context; and the florishing of the subject from mid 1960s till mid 1980-s is related to their work; and other related tracks of Guillemin, Sternberg, Kashiwara, Karasev, Arnold and so on; and vast developments in harmonic analysis and representation theory (Kostant, Auslander, Vogan, Wallach, Stein…), microlocal analysis (Kashiwara, Saito, Hormander, Maslov, Karasev, Duistermaat…), integrable systems/quantum groups (this is more into more general Poisson geometry: Lie-Poisson groups, classical r-matrices, bihamiltonian systems…), and related approaches to quantization (Berezin method, coherent states…).

∞-Chern-Simons theory from binary and non-degenerate invariant polynomial

nn \in \mathbb{N}symplectic Lie n-algebroidLie integrated smooth ∞-groupoid = moduli ∞-stack of fields of (n+1)(n+1)-d sigma-modelhigher symplectic geometry(n+1)(n+1)d sigma-modeldg-Lagrangian submanifold/ real polarization leaf= brane(n+1)-module of quantum states in codimension (n+1)(n+1)discussed in:
0symplectic manifoldsymplectic manifoldsymplectic geometryLagrangian submanifoldordinary space of states (in geometric quantization)geometric quantization
1Poisson Lie algebroidsymplectic groupoid2-plectic geometryPoisson sigma-modelcoisotropic submanifold (of underlying Poisson manifold)brane of Poisson sigma-model2-module = category of modules over strict deformation quantiized algebra of observablesextended geometric quantization of 2d Chern-Simons theory
2Courant Lie 2-algebroidsymplectic 2-groupoid3-plectic geometryCourant sigma-modelDirac structureD-brane in type II geometry
nnsymplectic Lie n-algebroidsymplectic n-groupoid(n+1)-plectic geometryd=n+1d = n+1 AKSZ sigma-model

(adapted from Ševera 00)


Textbook accounts:

Lecture notes:

  • Konstantin Athanassopoulos, Notes on Symplectic Geometry, lecture notes (2015) [pdf, pdf]

Discussion from the point of view of homological algebra of abelian sheaves is in

  • C. Viterbo, An introduction to symplectic topology through sheaf theory (2010) (pdf)

The notion of symplectic geometry may be understood as the mathematical structure that underlies the physics of Hamiltonian mechanics. A classical monograph that emphasizes this point of view:

For more on this see Hamiltonian mechanics.

Symplectic geometry is also involved in geometric optics, geometric quantization and the study of oscillatory integrals and microlocal analysis. Books concentrating on these topics include

A proof of the Arnold conjecture in symplectic geometry is in

Last revised on November 16, 2023 at 09:41:03. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.