Appendix: Signs: de Rham and integral forms complexes

P. Deligne

treating p-forms as objects of parity p. Here are troublesome conventions: (a) for a p-form 1^ : : : ^ p, and vector elds X1 ; : : : ; Xp ,
1

1. Some standard conventions for ordinary manifolds don't sit well with the principle of

^ : : : ^ p (X1 ; : : : ; Xp ) = det( i (Xj ));
j

with typical term i(X1 ) : : : p(Xp ), despite the fact that Xi passed over (b) for f a function and X a vector eld,
Xf = df (X ) = iX df = X ?df:

for i < j .

In the middle equality, df and X are permuted without sign consequence. (c) In Rn, the density corresponding to the n-form dx1^ : : : ^dxn, when Rn is oriented by (e1 ; : : : ; en ), is positive. The bigraded points of view, by keeping separate the \cohomological" grading, used above, and the parity, allows to keep those formuli while treating parity consistently. sheaf O:

2. Let M be a supermanifold. The vector elds on M are the derivations of the structural
D(fg ) = Df:g + ( 1)p(D)p(f )fDg

The sheaf of 1-forms is the dual, the duality being de ned by
T
1

! O: D
1

7 ! iD :

One de nes

(D) = ( 1)p(D)p( )iD :

To the extent possible, it is best to consider only vector elds and forms of even parity, considering instead of an odd D (resp. ) the product "D (resp. " ) for " an auxiliary odd constant. If we work over a basis B, as we should, odd constant means odd function on B. The bilinearity of iD and of (D) is as dictated by the sign rule: with (uD)(f ) = u(Df ), we have
ifD = fiD ; iD f = ( 1)p(D)p(f )fiD

(f )(D) = f ( (D)) ;

(fD) = ( 1)p(
p

) ( )

pf

f (D ):

The de Rham complex is ^ 1, with p = ^ 1 in cohomological degree p, and with a di erential d characterized by the following identities (1) d is an even derivation of cohomological degree one; (2) from O to 1, d is de ned by iD df = Df ; (3) d2 = 0. One may prefer to say that is the symmetric algebra in the bigraded sense on 1, put in cohomological degree 1. The de ning formula (2) can be rewritten df (D) = ( 1)p(f )p(D)Df .

3. An even derivation D generate (at least locally) a 1-parameter group of automorphisms
exp(tD), with (3.1)
Df = @t (exp(tD) f ) at t = 0:

By transport of structures, this group acts on all kinds of tensor elds, and the Lie derivative LD is de ned by the right side of (3.1). If D is odd, one de nes LD by (3.2) for " an odd constant.
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"LD = L"D

One should beware that f 7! exp(tD) f is the inverse of the action of exp(tD) on functions by transport of structures. Because of this,if derivations are viewed as forming the Lie algebra of a group of di eomorphisms, with D 7! in nitesimal di eomorphism exp("D), i.e. D generating the one-parameter subgroup exp(tD), the bracket in this Lie algebra is the opposite of the bracket of vector elds. Instead of considering exp(tD) for t 2 R, one can work mod t2 : exp(tD) is then the family of automorphisms parametrized by the scheme with coordinate ring R t]=(t2) de ned by (3.3) exp(tD) f := f + tDf (for t2 = 0)

and the Lie derivative of any tensor g is given by (3.4) exp(tD) g = g + tLD g (for t2 = 0)

For D an odd derivation, the same formuli hold when t is taken to be odd. A vector eld D de nes a derivation iD of , of cohomological degree 1 and parity that of D, characterized as extending the already de ned iD on 1 . Cartan's formula for the Lie derivative acting on is (3.5)

LD = iD d + diD :

As d is of parity 0 and iD and d are of odd cohomological degree, the second member is the bracket iD ; d] in the bigraded sense.
1 generated by V , i.e. by D, has D; D2 = 2 D; D] as basis. The corresponding Lie group has as points over a base B the exp(tD2 + D), t and being, respectively, even and odd functions on B, with the group law given by the Campbell-Hausdor formula:

4. Let V be a vector space of dimension (0; 1), with generator D. The free Lie aglebra

(4.1)

(t1 ; 1) (t2 ; 2) = (t1 + t2
1 2 1 2

1 2

;

1

+ 2 ):
1 2

1 The minus sign comes from 2 1 D; 2 D] =

DD] =

D2 .

3

An odd vector eld on a supermanifold M generates an action of that group. More 1 precisely, if D2 is the vector eld de ned by DDf = D2 f , i.e. D2 = 2 D; D], the automorphisms exp(tD2 + D) (at least locally de ned) form a group, with (4.2) exp(t1 D2 + 1D) exp(t2 D2 + 2 D) = exp((t1 + t2 +
1 2

)D 2 + ( 1 + 2 )D ):

The reason for the change of sign from (4.1) is explained in 3.

5. A coordinate system x ; : : : ; xn ( rst p even, last n
1

@i xj = ij . Our conventions so far force the unusual looking df =
X

p odd) de nes derivations @i , with

(5.1)

dxi @i f:
R

space of functions with compact support. The duality pairing is written the O-module structure is given by (6.1) According to the sign rule, (6.2)
R R Z Z

6. The bundle of densities is de ned by the property that its sections are in duality with the
Z
)

f . Accordingly,

a :f = (

1)p(a)p(

:af

f := (

1)p(f )p(

Z
)

f;

and one also has f (a ) = (fa) . By \density", we mean here C 1-density: if, in a local coordinate system (x1 ; : : : ; xp, R P I fI , we consider only the linear forms f 7! f which are 1 ; : : : ; q ), f is expanded as R linear combinations of the fI (n1 ; : : : ; np)'(x1 ; : : : ; xp )dx1 : : : dxp for C 1 functions '. A local coordinate system x1 ; : : : ; xp; 1 ; : : : ; q de nes a density x1 ; : : : ; xp; 1 ; : : : ; q ] on its domain of de nition: for f 1;q] the (post) coe cient of 1 : : : q , as above, the integral (6.3)
Z

f 1;q] (x1 ; : : : ; xp )dx1 : : : dxp :

It is the integral, for the density dx1 : : : dxp, of the restriction to 1 = : : : = q = 0 of @ q : : : @ 1 f . It is of parity ( 1)q (and cohomological degree 0). It is a basis of densities, which is hence of dimension (1; 0) for q even and (0; 1) for q odd.
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Warning. Densities
Z

1

on M1 and
1 2 1

2

on M2 give a density
f2 = (

1

2

M1 M2

f

1)p(f1)p(

Z

2)

1 1

f

Z

on M1 M2 by
2 2

f:

One has, in local coordinates,
x1 ; : : : ;xp(1); 1 ; : : : ; q(1) ] y1 ; : : : ; yp(2) ; 1 ; : : : ; q(2)] = ( 1)q(2)q(1) x1 ; : : : ; xp(1); y(1); : : : ; yp(2); 1 ; : : : ; q(1) ; 1; : : : ; q(2)]:

The densities given by two coordinate systems are related by the Berezinian of a jacobian matrix, and a sign: + if the orientations given by x1 ; : : : ; xp and y1 ; : : : ; yp on the reduced space agree, otherwise. This is best expressed by telling that the bundle of densities is canonically isomorphic to the tensor product Ber or of the Berezinian of 1 (cohomological degree p, parity q) by the orientation line bundle (cohomological degree p).

7. The generalized functions (distributions) on a supermanifold can be de ned as the dual
of densities with compact support, or as a suitable completion of the space of functions. It makes sense to take the pull back f (g) of a generalized function f by a submersion g.
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with coordinates (t; 1 ; 2 ), we have (7.1)
Y (t +
1 2

Example. Let Y be the function on R with value 1 for x < 0 and 0 for x > 0. On R ; ,
) = Y (t) +
Z
0

d dt Y

(t):
Z

1 2

= Y (t)

(t):

1 2

:

The integration up to 0 of a density with support bounded below is The formula (7.1) shows that it is not invariant by the automorphism : (t; 1 ; 2 ) 7! (t 1 2 ; 1 ; 2 ) of R1;1, despite being the identity on the reduced space: integration on an open set requires the choice of a codimension (1; 0) boundary submanifold. morphisms. It follows that for any vector eld v, one has (8.1)
Z

1

:=

Y (t) :

8. Integration of a density with compact support is de ned, hence invariant by di eoLv ( ) = 0
5

Applying (8.1) to a product f , we get (8.2)
Z

Lv ( ):f = (

1)p(v)p(

Z
)

:vf ;

from which results that for any g (8.3)

Lvg ( ) = Lv (g )

(with vg = ( 1)p(v)p(g)gv). The map v (8.4) with (8.5) if has compact support.
d: (tangent bundle)
Z

7! Lv hence induces a morphism
densities ! densities
d =0

not from the bottom up, de ning p-forms as wedge of 1-forms, but from the top down, de ning a p-form as obtained by contracting a top form with (n p) tangent vectors. This corresponds to two descriptions of as a Cli ord module over the sum of the tangent and cotangent bundle: the usual description is being generated by O, which is killed by the iX , the other is being generated by n, which is killed by the ^. In the second description, d can be de ned (as was done in 8.) by its relation (3.4) with the Lie derivative. Instead of n, one could use its twist by the orientation bundle, i.e. the bundle of densities. In the case of super varieties, one can similarly de ne an integral forms complex I n (n 0) starting from the line bundle of densities. It di ers (more than by a twist) from the de Rham complex, but one can arrange the sign conventions so that it obeys the same formalism. One disposes of contractions iv , exterior products ^ for a 1-form and exterior di erential d, of cohomological degree 1; 1 and 1, as usual. Iterated contractions are linear and induce an isomorphism

9. For an ordinary manifold of dimension n, one could construct

^ T I 0 ! I p:
Exterior products are linear,
iv ; ^ ] = iv ( )
6

p

and iterated products give a module structure over
d; ^ ] = (d ) ^ d; iv ] = Lv

. One has and

for v a vector eld. codimensional cooriented subvarieties. If the orientation of the normal bundle to W is de ned by the basis dual to dt1 ; : : : ; dtp for t1; : : : ; tp a system of equations for W , our convention is that for any function with compact support on V , one has (10.1)
Z

10. The basic property of integral ( p)-forms is that they can be integrated on (p; 0)-

W

jW:f =

Z

V

(t1 )dt1 ^ : : : ^ (tn )dtn ^ :f

The rule (10.1) has the virtue that if t: V ! R is submersive above 0 and 1, one has for a codimension 1-form with compact support (10.2)
Z
0

t

1

d =

Z

Z

t=1

t=0

if is the characteristic function of the interval 0; 1] of R, the left side of (10.2) is R by de nition (t)d (cf. 7.) and an integration by part using (8.5), shows it equals R R R d( (t)) = ( (t 1)dt) (t)dt , as claimed by (10.2).

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