Differential Forms  

In General > s.a. exterior algebra and calculus; integration on manifolds.
* Idea: Antisymmetric tensors, for which Cartan developed a special formalism, terminology and notation.
$ Def: A p-form is a totally antisymmetric covariant tensor field of order p.
* Notation: The space of one-forms on M is usually denoted by T*M, that of p-forms by Λp T*M, ΛpM or ΩpM (or the same symbols with parentheses around M).
* And other structure: Forms are a submodule of the algebra of all tensor fields on M; Together with the exterior product, this forms the exterior algebra or grassmann algebra of M; dim Λpx(M) = n!/p!(np)!
@ General references: Flanders 63; Cartan 67; Von Westenholz 81; Bott & Tu 82; Darling 94; Jancewicz gq/98 [visualization]; Morita 01 [geometry]; Ivancevic & Ivancevic a0807-ln; Lessig a1206 [primer].
@ Related topics: in de Rham 60 [of odd kind]; Hitchin m.DG/00 [3-forms in 6D and 7D]; > s.a. grassmann structures; types of cohomology theories.
@ Chiral p-forms: Bengtsson & Kleppe IJMPA(97)ht/96; Pasti et al PRD(97) [covariant actions]; Bonetti et al PLB(13) [Kaluza-Klein inspired action].
@ In physics: Schleifer AJP(83)dec [electrodynamics]; Petrova mp/01 [conservation laws], mp/05 [equations of mathematical physics]; Rodrigues AFLB(07)-a0712 [detailed]; Perot & Zusi JCP(14) [review]; Alfaro & Riquelme PRD(14)-a1402 [bosonic (p–1)-forms as surces of torsion]; Estabrook a1405/JMP [for field theories]; Dray 14 [and general relativity]; Pommaret a1707 [in mathematical physics]; > s.a. field theories; lattice field theory.

(Hodge) Dual
$ Def: Given a p-form f on an n-manifold M with volume form ε and metric g (with pn), its dual is the (np)-form

*fc.. d := (1/p!) f a.. b εa.. bc.. d .

* Properties: It follows that **f = (–1)s+p(n–p) f.
* For a curvature tensor: The left and right duals are, respectively,

*Rabcd := \(1\over2\)εabmn Rmncd    and    R*abcd:= \(1\over2\)Rabmn εmncd .

* And physics: The duality operation applied to the electromagnetic (Faraday) field tensor (2-form) interchanges the electric and magnetic fields; > s.a. duality.
@ And conformal structure: Dray et al JMP(89); Harnett JMP(91).
@ Related topics: Saa JGP(95) [for affine manifold with torsion]; Klinker JGP(11) [generalized definition].

Volume Form > s.a. types of field theories.
$ Def: For an n-dimensional manifold M, a nowhere-vanishing n-form ω.
* And connections: A volume form is compatible with a connection if for all X ∈ TM, \(\cal L\)X ω = (Da Xa) ω (for the divergence theorem to apply).
* Example: The volume form ε defined by a metric g is ε = |g|1/2 dx1 ∧ ... ∧ dxn; It is compatible with the Christoffel symbols, but not with a Riemann-Cartan connection, \(\cal L\)X ω = (Da Xa – 2 Ta Xa) ω, where Ta:= Tbab.
@ General references: Cartier et al in(01)mp/00 [characterization].
@ As a dynamical variable: Guendelman & Kaganovich a0811-conf; Guendelman et al a1505-conf [in gravity and cosmology].

Lie-Algebra Valued Forms
* Canonical form: Given a Lie group G, the canonical (Maurer-Cartan) form on G is the Lie-algebra-valued 1-form ω: TG → \(\cal G\) = TeG defined by ω(vg) = Lg–1' vg; Theorem: Rg* ω = Ad(g–1) · ω.
* Maurer-Cartan structure equation: If {θI} is a basis for the dual \(\cal G\)* of the Lie algebra of a group G, i.e. for the left-invariant 1-forms on G, then

dθI = –\(1\over2\)CIJK θJ ∧ θK .

Other Special Types and Generalizations > s.a. deformation quantization; Star Product; superspace.
* Closed form: A form ω whose exterior derivative vanishes, dω = 0.
* Exact form: A form ω which can be expressed as the exterior derivative of another form, ω = dθ.
* Poincaré's lemma: On a contractible space, any closed form is exact (e.g., not in \(\mathbb R\)2\{0}, non-contractible).
@ General references: in Flanders 63; in Nash & Sen 83.
@ Closed forms: Torre CQG(95)gq/94 [classification]; Farber 04; Farber & Schütz Top(06) [closed 1-forms with at most one zero].
@ Fractional order: Cottrill-Shepherd & Naber JMP(01)mp/03, mp/03; Tarasov JPA(05).
@ Discrete: Richter et al CQG(07)gq/06 [and spherical symmetry in general relativity]; Dowker JGP(07) [on sphere tessellations]; Dolotin et al TMP(08)-a0704 [based on simplicial complexes]; Richter & Frauendiener JSC(10)-a0805 [Gowdy solutions, numerical].
@ Other generalizations: Nurowski & Robinson CQG(01) [and spacetime geometry]; Robinson IJTP(03) [and gauge theories], JMP(03) [and general relativity], JPA(07) [rev, and applications], CQG(09) [integral calculus, Stokes' theorem, Chern-Simons and Einstein-Yang-Mills theories]; Chatterjee et al IJGMP(08)-a0706 [negative forms, and path-space forms]; Gallego a1207 [higher-order, and applications to electrodynamics]; Robinson a1312 [and gravitation]; > s.a. clifford calculus; formulations of electromagnetism [pair and impair].
@ Related topics: Frauendiener talk(03).

main pageabbreviationsjournalscommentsother sitesacknowledgements
send feedback and suggestions to bombelli at olemiss.edu – modified 1 aug 2017