Variationality of four-dimensional lie group connections

Ryad Ghanam, G. Thompson, E. J. Miller

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13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper gives a comprehensive analysis of the inverse problem of Lagrangian dynamics for the geodesic equations of the canonical linear connection on Lie groups of dimension four. Starting from the Lie algebra, in every case a faithful four-dimensional representation of the algebra is given as well as one in terms of vector fields and a representation of the linear group of which the given algebra is its Lie algebra. In each case the geodesic equations are calculated as a starting point for the inverse problem. Some results about first integrals of the geodesics are obtained. It is found that in three classes of algebra, there are algebraic obstructions to the existence of a Lagrangian, which can be determined directly from the Lie algebra without the need for any representation. In all other cases there are Lagrangians and indeed whole families of them. In many cases a formula for the most general Hessian of a Lagrangian is obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-425
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Lie Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Canonical symmetric connection
  • Euler-Lagrange equations
  • First integral of geodesics
  • Lagrangian
  • Lie algebra
  • Lie group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Algebra and Number Theory

Cite this

Ghanam, R., Thompson, G., & Miller, E. J. (2004). Variationality of four-dimensional lie group connections. Journal of Lie Theory, 14(2), 395-425.