Lie algebra, semisimple
A Lie algebra that has no nonzero solvable ideals (see Lie algebra, solvable). Henceforth finitedimensional semisimple Lie algebras over a field of characteristic 0 are considered (for semisimple Lie algebras over a field of nonzero characteristic see Lie algebra).
The fact that a finitedimensional Lie algebra is semisimple is equivalent to any of the following conditions:
1) does not contain nonzero Abelian ideals;
2) the Killing form of is nonsingular (Cartan's criterion);
3) splits into the direct sum of nonAbelian simple ideals;
4) every finitedimensional linear representation of is completely reducible (in other words: every finitedimensional module is semisimple);
5) the onedimensional cohomology of with values in an arbitrary finitedimensional module is trivial.
Any ideal and any quotient algebra of a semisimple Lie algebra is also semisimple. The decomposition of a semisimple Lie algebra mentioned in condition 3) is unique. A special case of condition 5) is the following assertion: All derivations of a semisimple Lie algebra are inner. The property of a Lie algebra of being semisimple is preserved by both extensions and restrictions of the ground field.
Let be a semisimple Lie algebra over an algebraically closed field . The adjoint representation maps isomorphically onto the linear Lie algebra , which is the Lie algebra of the algebraic group of all automorphisms of and is therefore an algebraic Lie algebra (cf. Lie algebra, algebraic). An element is said to be semisimple (nilpotent) if is semisimple (respectively, nilpotent). This property of an element is preserved by any homomorphism of into another semisimple Lie algebra. The identity component coincides with the group of inner automorphisms of , that is, it is generated by the automorphisms of the form , .
In the study of semisimple Lie algebras over an algebraically closed field an important role is played by the roots of a semisimple Lie algebra, which are defined as follows. Let be a Cartan subalgebra of . For a nonzero linear function , let denote the linear subspace of given by the condition
If , then is called a root of with respect to . The set of all nonzero roots is called the root system, or system of roots, of . One has the root decomposition
The root system and the root decomposition of a semisimple Lie algebra have the following properties:
a) generates and is a reduced root system in the abstract sense (in the linear hull of over the field of the real numbers). The system is irreducible if and only if is simple.
b) For any ,
There is a unique element such that .
c) For every nonzero there is a unique such that , and
Moreover,
where is the scalar product induced by the Killing form.
d) If and , then and are orthogonal with respect to the Killing form and .
A basis of the root system is also called a system of simple roots of the algebra . Let be the system of positive roots with respect to the given basis and let . Then the elements
form a basis of , called a Cartan basis. On the other hand, the elements
form a system of generators of , and the defining relations have the following form:
Here and
Property d) implies that
where . The elements can be chosen in such a way that
where is the largest integer such that . The corresponding Cartan basis is called a Chevalley basis. The structure constants of in this basis are integers, which makes it possible to associate with Lie algebras and algebraic groups (see Chevalley group) over fields of arbitrary characteristic. If , then the linear hull over of the vectors
is a compact real form of .
A semisimple Lie algebra is defined up to an isomorphism by its Cartan subalgebra and the corresponding root system. More precisely, if and are semisimple Lie algebras over , and are their Cartan subalgebras and and are the corresponding root systems, then every isomorphism that induces an isomorphism of the root systems and can be extended to an isomorphism . On the other hand, any reduced root system can be realized as the root system of some semisimple Lie algebra. Thus, the classification of semisimple Lie algebras (respectively, simple nonAbelian Lie algebras) over an algebraically closed field essentially coincides with the classification of reduced root systems (respectively, irreducible reduced root systems).
Simple Lie algebras that correspond to root systems of types – are said to be classical and have the following form.
Type , . , the algebra of linear transformations of the space with trace 0; .
Type , . , the algebra of linear transformations of the space that are skewsymmetric with respect to a given nonsingular symmetric bilinear form; .
Type , . , the algebra of linear transformations of the space that are skewsymmetric with respect to a given nonsingular skewsymmetric bilinear form; .
Type , . , the algebra of linear transformations of the space that are skewsymmetric with respect to a given nonsingular symmetric bilinear form; .
The simple Lie algebras corresponding to the root systems of types , , , , are called special, or exceptional (see Lie algebra, exceptional).
The Cartan matrix of a semisimple Lie algebra over an algebraically closed field also determines this algebra uniquely up to an isomorphism. The Cartan matrices of the simple Lie algebras have the following form:
The classification of split semisimple Lie algebras over an arbitrary field of characteristic zero (a semisimple Lie algebra is said to be split if it has a Cartan subalgebra such that all characteristic roots of the operators , , lie in ) goes in the same way as in the case of an algebraically closed field. Namely, to every irreducible reduced root system corresponds a unique split semisimple Lie algebra. In particular, split semisimple Lie algebras of types – have the form stated above, except that in the cases and one must consider nonsingular symmetric bilinear forms with Witt index .
The problem of classifying arbitrary semisimple Lie algebras over reduces to the following problem: To list, up to an isomorphism, all forms , that is, all subalgebras such that . Here is an algebraically closed extension of and is a given semisimple Lie algebra over . The solution of this problem can also be obtained in terms of root systems (see Form of an algebraic group; Form of an (algebraic) structure). When is a classical simple Lie algebra over (other than ), there is another method of classifying forms in , based on an examination of simple associative algebras (see [3]).
When the classification of semisimple Lie algebras goes as follows (see [6], [7]). Every simple nonAbelian Lie algebra over is either a simple Lie algebra over (regarded as an algebra over ), or the real form of a simple Lie algebra over . The classification of real forms in a simple classical Lie algebra over is as follows:
I) Type : , . : . : is even, , the subalgebra of elements of that preserve a certain quaternion structure. : , the subalgebra of elements of that are skewsymmetric with respect to a nonsingular Hermitian form of positive index ,
II) Type : , . : , the algebra of a linear transformations of the space that are skewsymmetric with respect to a nonsingular symmetric bilinear form of positive index , .
III) Type : , . : , the algebra of linear transformations of the space that are skewsymmetric with respect to a nonsingular skewsymmetric bilinear form. : , , the subalgebra of consisting of transformations that preserve a certain quaternion structure.
IV) Type : , . : , the algebra of linear transformations of the space that are skewsymmetric with respect to a nonsingular bilinear symmetric form of positive index , . : , the subalgebra of consisting of transformations that preserve a certain quaternion structure.
Semisimple Lie algebras over the field were first considered in papers by W. Killing , who gave a classification of them, although in his proofs there were gaps, which were filled by E. Cartan [2]. In the papers of Killing and Cartan the roots of a Lie algebra appeared as the characteristic roots of the operator . Cartan also gave a classification of real semisimple Lie algebras by establishing a deep connection between these algebras and globally symmetric Riemannian spaces (cf. Globally symmetric Riemannian space).
References
[1a]  W. Killing, "Die Zusammensetzung der stetigen endlichen Transformationsgruppen I" Math. Ann. , 31 (1888) pp. 252–290 
[1b]  W. Killing, "Die Zusammensetzung der stetigen endlichen Transformationsgruppen II" Math. Ann. , 33 (1889) pp. 1–48 
[1c]  W. Killing, "Die Zusammensetzung der stetigen endlichen Transformationsgruppen III" Math. Ann. , 34 (1889) pp. 57–122 
[1d]  W. Killing, "Die Zusammensetzung der stetigen endlichen Transformationsgruppen IV" Math. Ann. , 36 (1890) pp. 161–189 
[2]  E. Cartan, "Sur la structure des groupes de transformations finis et continues" , Oeuvres complètes , 1 , GauthierVillars (1952) pp. 137–287 
[3]  N. Jacobson, "Lie algebras" , Interscience (1962) ((also: Dover, reprint, 1979)) 
[4]  J.P. Serre, "Lie algebras and Lie groups" , Benjamin (1965) (Translated from French) 
[5]  R.G. Steinberg, "Lectures on Chevalley groups" , Yale Univ. Press (1967) 
[6]  S. Helgason, "Differential geometry, Lie groups, and symmetric spaces" , Acad. Press (1978) 
[7]  S. Araki, "On root systems and an infinitesimal classification of irreducible symmetric spaces" Osaka J. Math. , 13 (1962) pp. 1–34 
Comments
The defining relations, mentioned above, , are known as the Serre relations.
It is customary to encode the information contained in the Cartan matrices – by means of the socalled Dynkin diagrams.'
<tbody> </tbody>

The rules for recovering the Cartan matrix from the corresponding Dynkin diagram (also called Dynkin graph occasionally) are as follows. Number the vertices, e.g.,
Figure: l058510a
On the diagonal of the Cartan matrix all elements are equal to 2. If nodes and are not directly linked, then the matrix entries . If two nodes , are directly linked by a single edge, then . If two nodes , are directly linked by a double, respectively triple, edge and the arrow points from to , then , , respectively , .
References
[a1]  I.B. Frenkel, V.G. Kac, "Basic representations of affine Lie algebras and dual resonance models" Invent. Math. , 62 (1980) pp. 23–66 
[a2]  N. Bourbaki, "Elements of mathematics. Lie groups and Lie algebras" , AddisonWesley (1975) (Translated from French) 
[a3]  J.P. Serre, "Algèbres de Lie semisimples complexes" , Benjamin (1966) 
[a4]  J.E. Humphreys, "Introduction to Lie algebras and representation theory" , Springer (1972) pp. §5.4 
Lie algebra, semisimple. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL: http://encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php?title=Lie_algebra,_semisimple&oldid=16829