# nLab tensor contraction

Contraction

### Context

#### Differential geometry

synthetic differential geometry

Introductions

from point-set topology to differentiable manifolds

Differentials

V-manifolds

smooth space

Tangency

The magic algebraic facts

Theorems

Axiomatics

cohesion

• (shape modality $\dashv$ flat modality $\dashv$ sharp modality)

$(\esh \dashv \flat \dashv \sharp )$

• dR-shape modality$\dashv$ dR-flat modality

$\esh_{dR} \dashv \flat_{dR}$

infinitesimal cohesion

tangent cohesion

differential cohesion

singular cohesion

$\array{ && id &\dashv& id \\ && \vee && \vee \\ &\stackrel{fermionic}{}& \rightrightarrows &\dashv& \rightsquigarrow & \stackrel{bosonic}{} \\ && \bot && \bot \\ &\stackrel{bosonic}{} & \rightsquigarrow &\dashv& \mathrm{R}\!\!\mathrm{h} & \stackrel{rheonomic}{} \\ && \vee && \vee \\ &\stackrel{reduced}{} & \Re &\dashv& \Im & \stackrel{infinitesimal}{} \\ && \bot && \bot \\ &\stackrel{infinitesimal}{}& \Im &\dashv& \& & \stackrel{\text{étale}}{} \\ && \vee && \vee \\ &\stackrel{cohesive}{}& \esh &\dashv& \flat & \stackrel{discrete}{} \\ && \bot && \bot \\ &\stackrel{discrete}{}& \flat &\dashv& \sharp & \stackrel{continuous}{} \\ && \vee && \vee \\ && \emptyset &\dashv& \ast }$

Models

Lie theory, ∞-Lie theory

differential equations, variational calculus

Chern-Weil theory, ∞-Chern-Weil theory

Cartan geometry (super, higher)

(…)

# Contraction

## Contraction of tensors

By tensor we mean a vector in some tensor power $V^{\otimes n}$ of a vector $k$-space $V$ (or a projective $k$-module if $k$ is only a commutative ring). Let $V^* = Hom_k(V,k)$ be the dual vector space and $(V^*)^{\otimes m}$ be some tensor of $V^*$. Then one may define $(l,s)$-contraction

$(V^*)^{\otimes m}\otimes V^{\otimes n}\to (V^*)^{\otimes (m-1)}\otimes V^{\otimes (n-1)}$

by pairing by the evaluation map the $l$-th tensor factor of $(V^*)^{\otimes r}$ and $s$-th tensor factor of $V^{\otimes n}$. In fact as a map written, one can contract also elements of $(V^*)^{\otimes m}\otimes V^{\otimes n}$ which did not come from a product of a pair of element (i.e. which are not decomposable tensors).

Let the rank $r$ of $V$ be finite. If $S\in V^{\otimes n}$ is given in some basis by components $S^{i_1,\ldots, i_n}$ and $T\in (V^*)^{\otimes r}$ is given in the dual basis by components $T_{j_1,\ldots,j_r}$, then the components of the contraction will be

$contr_{l,s}(T,S)^{i_1,\ldots, i_{s-1},i_{s+1},\ldots,i_n}_{j_1,\ldots, j_{l-1},j_{l+1},\ldots,j_m} = \sum_{u = 1}^r T_{j_1,\ldots, j_{l-1},u,j_{l+1},\ldots,j_m} S^{i_1,\ldots, i_{s-1},u,i_{s+1},\ldots,i_n}$

More generally one can contract mixed tensors and do several contractions simultaneously. In fact it is better to think of a contraction as a tensor multiplication of two tensors and then doing the genuine contraction of one upper and one lower index of the same tensor:

$contr_{l,s}(A)^{i_1,\ldots, i_{s-1},i_{s+1},\ldots,i_n}_{j_1,\ldots,j_{l-1},j_{l+1},\ldots, j_m}) := \sum_{u = 1}^r A^{i_1,\ldots, i_{s-1},u,i_{s+1},\ldots,i_n}_{j_1,\ldots,j_{l-1},u,j_{l+1},\ldots, j_m}$

The simplest case is the trace of a $(1,1)$-tensor: $tr A = \sum_{i=1}^r A^i_i$.

These operations can be symmetrized or antisymmetrised appropriately to make sense on symmetric or antisymmetric powers.

For example, there is a contraction of a vector $X\in V$ and a $n$-form $\omega\in \Lambda V^*$:

$(X,\omega)\mapsto \iota_X(\omega)$

and $\iota_X: \omega\mapsto \iota_X(\omega)$ is a graded derivation of the exterior algebra of degree $-1$. This is also done for the tangent bundle which is a $C^\infty(M)$-module $V = T M$, then one gets the contraction of vector fields and differential forms. It can also be done in vector spaces, fibrewise.

## References

Last revised on April 27, 2023 at 15:12:15. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.