Minimal representations, spherical vectors and exceptional theta series. (English) Zbl 1143.11316

Summary: Theta series for exceptional groups have been suggested as a possible description of the eleven-dimensional quantum supermembrane. We present explicit formulae for these automorphic forms whenever the underlying Lie group \(G\) is split (or complex) and simply laced. Specifically, we review and construct explicitly the minimal representation of \(G\), generalizing the Schrödinger representation of symplectic groups. We compute the spherical vector in this representation, i.e. the wave function invariant under the maximal compact subgroup, which plays the role of the summand in the automorphic theta series. We also determine the spherical vector over the complex field. We outline how the spherical vector over the \(p\)-adic number fields provides the summation measure in the theta series, postponing its determination to a sequel of this work. The simplicity of our result is suggestive of a new Born-Infeld-like description of the membrane where \(U\)-duality is realized non-linearly. Our results may also be used in constructing quantum mechanical systems with spectrum generating symmetries.


11F22 Relationship to Lie algebras and finite simple groups
11Z05 Miscellaneous applications of number theory
81R10 Infinite-dimensional groups and algebras motivated by physics, including Virasoro, Kac-Moody, \(W\)-algebras and other current algebras and their representations


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