Lie-Dragging Sections Vectorially. Thought of the Day 149.0

Generalized vector fields over a bundle are not vector fields on the bundle in the standard sense; nevertheless, one can drag sections along them and thence define their Lie derivative. The formal Lie derivative on a bundle may be seen as a generalized vector field. Furthermore, generalized vector fields are objects suitable to describe generalized symmetries.

Let B = (B, M, π; F) be a bundle, with local fibered coordinates (xμ; yi). Let us consider the pull-back of the tangent bundle  τB: TB → B along the map πk0: JkB → B:


A generalized vector field of order k over B is a section Ξ of the fibre bundle π: πk*TB → JkB, i.e.


for each section σ: M → B, one can define Ξσ = i ○ Ξ ○ jkσ: M → TB, which is a vector field over the section σ. Generalized vector fields of order k = 0 are ordinary vector fields over B. Locally, Ξ(xμ, yi, …, yiμ1,…μk) is given the form:

Ξ = ξμ(xμ, yi, …, yiμ1,…μk)∂μ + ξi(xμ, yi, …, yiμ1,…μk)∂i

which, for k ≠ 0, is not an ordinary vector field on B due to the dependence of the components (ξμ, ξi) on the derivative of fields. Once one computes it on a section σ, then the pulled-back components depend just on the basic coordinates (xμ) so that Ξσ is a vector field over the section σ, in the standard sense. Thus, generalized vector fields over B do not preserve the fiber structure of B.

A generalized projectable vector field of order k over the bundle B is a generalized vector field Ξ over B which projects on to an ordinary vector field ξ = ξμ(x)∂μ on the base. Locally, a generalized projectable vector field over B is in the form:

Ξ = ξμ(xμ)∂μ + ξi(xμ, yi, …, yiμ1,…μk)∂i

As a particular case, one can define generalized vertical vector fields (of order k) over B, which are locally of the form:

Ξ = ξi(xμ, yi, …, yiμ1,…μk)∂i

In particular, for any section σ of B and any generalized vertical vector field Ξ over B, one can define a vertical vector field over σ given by:

Ξσ = ξi(xμ, σi(x),…, ∂μ1,…, μkσi(x))∂i

If Ξ = ξμμ + ξii is a generalized projectable vector field, then Ξ(v) = (ξi – yiμξμ)∂i = ξi(v)i is a generalized vertical vector field, where Ξ(v) is called the vertical part of Ξ.

If σ’: ℜ x M → B is a smooth map such that for any fixed s ∈ ℜ σs(x) = σ'(s, x): M → B is a global section of B. The map σ’ as well as the family {σs}, is then called a 1-parameter family of sections. In other words, a suitable restriction of the family σs, is a homotopic deformation with s ∈ ℜ of the central section σ = σ0. Often one restricts it to a finite (open) interval, conventionally (- 1, 1) (or (-ε, ε) if “small” deformations are considered). Analogous definitions are given for the homotopic families of sections over a fixed open subset U ⊆ M or on some domain D ⊂ M (possibly with values fixed at the boundary ∂D, together with any number of their derivatives).

A 1-parameter family of sections σs is Lie-dragged along a generalized projectable vector field Ξ iff

(v))σs = d/ds σs

thus dragging the section.