 Circle group

For the jazz group, see Circle (jazz band).
Lie groups General linear group GL(n)
Special linear group SL(n)
Orthogonal group O(n)
Special orthogonal group SO(n)
Unitary group U(n)
Special unitary group SU(n)
Symplectic group Sp(n)Exponential map
Adjoint representation of a Lie group
Adjoint representation of a Lie algebra
Killing form
Lie point symmetryStructure of semisimple Lie groupsDynkin diagrams
Cartan subalgebra
Root system
Real form
Complexification
Split Lie algebra
Compact Lie algebraRepresentation of a Lie group
Representation of a Lie algebrav · mathematics, the circle group, denoted by T, is the multiplicative group of all complex numbers with absolute value 1, i.e., the unit circle in the complex plane. The circle group forms a subgroup of C^{×}, the multiplicative group of all nonzero complex numbers. Since C^{×} is abelian, it follows that T is as well. The circle group is also the group U(1) of 1×1 unitary matrices; these act on the complex plane by rotation about the origin. The circle group can be parametrized by the angle θ of rotation by
This is the exponential map for the circle group.
The circle group plays a central role in Pontryagin duality, and in the theory of Lie groups.
The notation T for the circle group stems from the fact that T^{n} (the direct product of T with itself n times) is geometrically an ntorus. The circle group is then a 1torus.
Contents
Elementary introduction
One way to think about the circle group is that it describes how to add angles, where only angles between 0° and 360° are permitted. For example, the diagram illustrates how to add 150° to 270°. The answer should be 150° + 270° = 420°, but when thinking in terms of the circle group, we need to "forget" the fact that we have wrapped once around the circle. Therefore we adjust our answer by 360° which gives 420° = 60° (mod 360°).
Another description is in terms of ordinary addition, where only numbers between 0 and 1 are allowed (with 1 corresponding to a full rotation). To achieve this, we might need to throw away digits occurring before the decimal point. For example, when we work out 0.784 + 0.925 + 0.446, the answer should be 2.155, but we throw away the leading 2, so the answer (in the circle group) is just 0.155.
Topological and analytic structure
The circle group is more than just an abstract algebraic object. It has a natural topology when regarded as a subspace of the complex plane. Since multiplication and inversion are continuous functions on C^{×}, the circle group has the structure of a topological group. Moreover, since the unit circle is a closed subset of the complex plane, the circle group is a closed subgroup of C^{×} (itself regarded as a topological group).
One can say even more. The circle is a 1dimensional real manifold and multiplication and inversion are realanalytic maps on the circle. This gives the circle group the structure of a oneparameter group, an instance of a Lie group. In fact, up to isomorphism, it is the unique 1dimensional compact, connected Lie group. Moreover, every ndimensional compact, connected, abelian Lie group is isomorphic to T^{n}.
Isomorphisms
The circle group shows up in a variety of forms in mathematics. We list some of the more common forms here. Specifically, we show that
Note that the slash (/) denotes here quotient group.
The set of all 1×1 unitary matrices clearly coincides with the circle group; the unitary condition is equivalent to the condition that its element have absolute value 1. Therefore, the circle group is canonically isomorphic to U(1), the first unitary group.
The exponential function gives rise to a group homomorphism exp : R → T from the additive real numbers R to the circle group T via the map
The last equality is Euler's formula. The real number θ corresponds to the angle on the unit circle as measured from the positive xaxis. That this map is a homomorphism follows from the fact that the multiplication of unit complex numbers corresponds to addition of angles:
This exponential map is clearly a surjective function from R to T. It is not, however, injective. The kernel of this map is the set of all integer multiples of 2π. By the first isomorphism theorem we then have that
After rescaling we can also say that T is isomorphic to R/Z.
If complex numbers are realized as 2×2 real matrices (see complex number), the unit complex numbers correspond to 2×2 orthogonal matrices with unit determinant. Specifically, we have
The circle group is therefore isomorphic to the special orthogonal group SO(2). This has the geometric interpretation that multiplication by a unit complex number is a proper rotation in the complex plane, and every such rotation is of this form.
Properties
Every compact Lie group G of dimension > 0 has a subgroup isomorphic to the circle group. That means that, thinking in terms of symmetry, a compact symmetry group acting continuously can be expected to have oneparameter circle subgroups acting; the consequences in physical systems are seen for example at rotational invariance, and spontaneous symmetry breaking.
The circle group has many subgroups, but its only proper closed subgroups consist of roots of unity: For each integer n > 0, the n^{th} roots of unity form a cyclic group of order n, which is unique up to isomorphism.
Representations
The representations of the circle group are easy to describe. It follows from Schur's lemma that the irreducible complex representations of an abelian group are all 1dimensional. Since the circle group is compact, any representation ρ : T → GL(1, C) ≅ C^{×}, must take values in U(1) ≅ T. Therefore, the irreducible representations of the circle group are just the homomorphisms from the circle group to itself. Every such homomorphism is of the form
These representations are all inequivalent. The representation φ_{−n} is conjugate to φ_{n},
These representations are just the characters of the circle group. The character group of T is clearly an infinite cyclic group generated by φ_{1}:
The irreducible real representations of the circle group are the trivial representation (which is 1dimensional) and the representations
taking values in SO(2). Here we only have positive integers n since the representation ρ _{− n} is equivalent to ρ_{n}.
Group structure
In this section we will forget about the topological structure of the circle group and look only at its structure as an abstract group.
The circle group T is a divisible group. Its torsion subgroup is given by the set of all nth roots of unity for all n, and is isomorphic to Q/Z. The structure theorem for divisible groups tells us that T is isomorphic to the direct sum of Q/Z with a number of copies of Q. The number of copies of Q must be c (the cardinality of the continuum) in order for the cardinality of the direct sum to be correct. But the direct sum of c copies of Q is isomorphic to R, as R is a vector space of dimension c over Q. Thus
The isomorphism
can be proved in the same way, as C^{×} is also a divisible abelian group whose torsion subgroup is the same as the torsion subgroup of T.
See also
 Rotation number
 Torus
 Oneparameter subgroup
 Unitary group
 Orthogonal group
 Group of rational points on the unit circle
References
 Hua Luogeng (1981) Starting with the unit circle Springer Verlag.
Categories: Group theory
 Topological groups
 Lie groups
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Circle group
 Circle group

For the jazz group, see Circle (jazz band).
Lie groups General linear group GL(n)
Special linear group SL(n)
Orthogonal group O(n)
Special orthogonal group SO(n)
Unitary group U(n)
Special unitary group SU(n)
Symplectic group Sp(n)Exponential map
Adjoint representation of a Lie group
Adjoint representation of a Lie algebra
Killing form
Lie point symmetryStructure of semisimple Lie groupsDynkin diagrams
Cartan subalgebra
Root system
Real form
Complexification
Split Lie algebra
Compact Lie algebraRepresentation of a Lie group
Representation of a Lie algebra