MIT Lie Groups Seminar

Wednesday, September 08, 2021 at 4:00pm

Building 2, Room: 2-142
182 MEMORIAL DR, Cambridge, MA 02139

Speaker: David Vogan (MIT)

Title: Constructing unipotent representations

Abstract: In the 1950s, Mackey began a systematic analysis of unitary representations of groups in terms of "induction" from normal subgroups. Ultimately this led to a fairly good reduction of unitary representation theory to the case of simple groups, which lack interesting normal subgroups. At about the same time, Gelfand and Harish-Chandra understood that many representations of simple groups could be constructed using induction from parabolic subgroups. After many refinements and extensions of this work, there still remain a number of interesting representations of simple groups that are often not obtained by parabolic induction.

For the case of real reductive groups, I will discuss a certain (finite) family of representations, called unipotent, whose existence was conjectured by Arthur in the 1980s. Some unipotent representations can in fact be obtained by parabolic induction; I will talk about when this ought to happen, and about the (rather rare) cases in which Arthur's unipotent representations are not induced. (A lot of what I will say is meaningful and interesting over local or finite fields, but I know almost nothing about those cases.)

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