MA3407 - Introduction to Lie Theory


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2016/2017

Course content

The course gives a basic introduction to Lie groups and Lie algebras, and the connection between the two by way of the exponential map. These structures play an important role in modern mathematics, where the term "symmetry" is often expressed mathematically using Lie groups and transformations. The theory will also be presented from a historical perspective. The main focus will be the classical linear groups and algebras and their matrix representations. Examples of applications will be collected from algebra, differential equations, geometry, cybernetics or theoretical physics. The course will next be held in the spring of 2018.

Learning outcome

1. Knowledge

The student is able to articulate and explain the basic concepts and ideas behind Lie theory, and to elucidate their meaning using examples and application of algebraic or analytic-geometric nature. The groups SO(3), SU(2) and SO(1,2) are of special interest in their application to classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and relativity theory, respectively.

2. Skills

The student has an overall understanding of Lie groups and Lie algebras. They can formulate problems and carry out simple calculations of Lie-theoretical nature, especially by reduction to matrix groups in lower dimensions.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and possibly exercises and/or some smaller projects. An oral exam counts for 100% of the final mark. The lectures may be given in English. If the course is taught in English, the exam may be given only in English. Students are free to choose Norwegian or English for written assessments.

Course materials

Information about course material will be given at the start of the course.


Detailed timetable


  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.