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Lectures on the Geometry of Quantization

Lectures on the Geometry of Quantization

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The aim of deformation quantization is to describe the family of quantum products on a

Poisson algebra A as an asymptotic series (in ) of products on A. In accordance with the

introductory remarks above, the zeroth and first order terms of this series are determined

by the Poisson algebra structure ofA; the role of the higher-order terms is roughly speaking

to give a more precise -dependent path from classical to quantum mechanics.

Definition 8.3 Let A be a complex vector space equipped with a commutative associative

algebra structure, and let be a family of associative multiplications onAgiven by a formal

power series

f g =

j=0

Bj(f,g) j

where each Bj:A×A→A is a bilinear map. Then is called a-deformation of A if

112

1. B0(f,g) equals the product in A.

2. Bj(g,f) = (1)j

B(f,g)

3. Bj(1,f) = 0 for j1

4. Bj is a differential operator in each argument.

5. (f g) h = f (g h)

For condition (5) to make sense, we must extend the product in the obvious way from A

to the space A[[ ]] of formal power series. We emphasize that the power series above is not

in general assumed to converge for = 0. Instead it should be viewed as an “asymptotic

expansion” for the product, and manipulations of this series will be purely formal.

In any case, conditions (1-5) imply that

{f,g}def

= 1

2iB1(f,g)

defines a Poisson algebra structure onA. This observation suggests the question of whether

every Poisson structure on a function algebra C∞(P) can be realized as the first order term

in a-deformation of A.

Example 8.4 If V is a finite-dimensional real vector space and π : V∗ × V∗ R is a

skew-symmetric bilinear form on V∗, then the Hessian of π at 0 V∗×V∗ is a linear map

A = Hπ : V∗ ×V∗ V ×V. We define the Poisson operator associated to π as the

second-order differential operator on C∞(V ×V)

Dπ = A(∂/∂y∗,∂/∂z∗),(∂/∂y,∂/∂z) ,

where (y,z) are linear coordinates on V ×V arising from a single set of linear coordinates on

V, and (y∗,z∗) are dual to (y,z). The Moyal-Weyl operator is then the pseudodifferential

operator given by exponentiation:

Mπ, = e−i Dπ/2
.

Pointwise multiplication of functions in f,gC∞(R2n

) can be defined as the pull-back

f ·g = ∆∗f g,

where ∆ : R2n

R2n

×R2n

is the diagonal embedding, and (f g)(y,z) = f(y)g(z) for

f,g C∞(R2n

). Similarly, a straightforward computation shows that the Poisson operator

is related to the Poisson bracket induced by π via the equation

{f,g}= ∆D(f g).

The diagonal pull-back

f g = ∆M (f g)

113

of the Moyal operator defines a-deformation of the Poisson algebra C∞(V) called the

Moyal-Weyl product. In terms of the linear coordinates (y,z) on V ×V, the operator Bj

in the expansion of the Moyal-Weyl product is

Bj(f,g) = 1
j!

i

2

r,s

πr,s

∂yr

∂zs

j

f(y)g(z)

y=z=x

.

If π is nondegenerate, then an application of the principle of stationary phase shows that

an integral expression for f g is given by

(f g)(x) =

ei Q(yx,zx)

f(y)g(z)dydz,

where Q is the skew-symmetric bilinear form on V induced by π.

A Poisson manifold P is called regular if its Poisson tensor π has constant rank, in

which case a theorem of Lie [39] asserts that P is locally isomorphic to a vector space with a

constant Poisson structure. In view of Example 8.4, any regular Poisson manifold is locally

deformation quantizable. To construct a-product on all of C∞(P), one may therefore

attempt to “patch together” the local deformations to arrive at a global-product.

This technique has succeeded. A theorem of DeWilde and Lecomte [19] asserts that the

Poisson algebra of any finite-dimensional symplectic manifold admits a-deformation. Using

similar techniques, M´elotte [44] extended their result to arbitrary regular Poisson manifolds.

A simplified proof of these results has recently been given by Fedosov [23] (see [68] for a

survey of deformation quantization, emphasizing Fedosov’s construction).

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