Atiyah Lie algebroid


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The Atiyah Lie algebroid associated to a GG-principal bundle PP over XX is a Lie algebroid structure on the vector bundle TP/GT P/ G, the quotient of the tangent bundle of the total space PP by the canonical induced GG-action.

The Lie groupoid that the Atiyah Lie algebroid integrates to is the Atiyah Lie groupoid. See there for more background and discussion.


Let GG be a Lie group with Lie algebra 𝔤\mathfrak{g} and let PXP \to X be a GG-principal bundle:

the Atiyah Lie algebroid sequence of PP is a sequence of Lie algebroids

ad(P)at(P)TX, ad(P) \to at(P) \to T X \,,


The Lie bracket on the sections of at(P)at(P) is that inherited from the tangent Lie algebroid of PP.

Relation to connections

A splitting flat:TXat(P)\nabla_{flat} : T X \to at(P) of the Atiyah Lie algebroid sequence in the category of Lie algebroids is precisely a flat connection on PP.

To get non-flat connections in the literature one often sees discussed splittings of the Atiyah Lie algebroid sequence in the category just of vector bundles. In that case one finds the curvature of the connection precisely as the obstruction to having a splitting even in Lie algebroids.

One can describe non-flat connections without leaving the context of Lie algebroids by passing to higher Lie algebroids, namely L L_\infty-algebroids, in terms of an horizontal categorification of nonabelian Lie algebra cohomology:

Atiyah class

The Ext 1Ext^1-cohomology class corresponding to the Atiyah exact sequence (usually in a version for vector bundles/coherent sheaves) is the Atiyah class.


A discussion with an emphasis on the relation to connections and Lie 2-algebras is on the first pages of

For Atiyah classes see