What is ... SU(2) and why does it double-cover SO(3)?

This page hosts information on Florian Frick's talk "What is ... SU(2) and why does it double-cover SO(3)?" at the "What is ...?" seminar. The talk will take place on Friday, December 140, 1pm at the BMS Loft at Urania. This talk will help you better understand the talk by Jason Cantarella, which will start at 2pm.

The BMS Friday talk will be followed by the BMS Holiday Party so we will not be ordering pizza this week.


We will investigate the relationship between rotations in vector spaces of dimension at most four and multiplication of complex numbers or quaternions. We will see that complex unitary 2-by-2 matrices with determinant one, which is a subgroup of isometries of a complex two-dimensional vector space, and rotations of three-dimensional Euclidean space are closely related.



Topic revision: r1 - 11 Dec 2012, MimiTsuruga
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