Date of Award

Spring 2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Mathematics

First Advisor

Alexandre Kirillov

Abstract

Our goal is to describe factorizations of the characters of irreducible representations of compact semisimple Lie groups. It is well-known that for a given Lie group G of rank n, the Virtual Representation Ring R(G) with the operations of tensor product, direct sum, and direct difference is isomorphic to a polynomial ring with integer coefficients and number of generators equal to n. As such, R(G) is a Unique Factorization Domain and thus, viewing a given representation of G as an element of this ring, it makes sense to ask questions about how a representation factors. Using various approaches we show that the types of factorizations which appear in the irreducible characters of G depend on the geometry of the root system and also have connections to the classifying space BG.

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