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Spin geometry. (English) Zbl 0688.57001
Princeton Mathematical Series. 38. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. xii, 427 p. $ 55.00 (1989).
The spin groups are among the most important groups in geometric and topological research of the last thirty years. The possibility of reducing the structure group of the tangent bundle of a compact smooth manifold to spin comprises the existence of certain elliptic differential operators on the manifold. These can be used to study the geometry and the topology of the manifold. In this book the authors present the subject as it was developed starting from the papers of Atiyah and Singer on index theory in 1963 and Atiyah, Bott, Shapiro on Clifford modules in 1964 up to recent results on the existence of Riemannian metrics with positive scalar curvature.
Chapter I deals with algebraic constructions. It contains the definition of Clifford algebras, spin groups and related groups, a description of their structure and their representations, and applications to vector fields on spheres. K-theory is introduced and some constructions in K- theory related to Clifford algebras are given.
Chapter II deals with differential geometric constructions. Here the authors introduce the concepts that are central in differential geometry, e.g. manifolds, vector bundles, connections, curvature. They examine the fundamental structures of spin geometry: spin structure of vector bundles, Clifford and Spinor bundles and eventually the Dirac operators.
Chapter III deals with the analysis that is used in spin geometry. Here the theory of pseudo differential operators is developed and various forms of the Atiyah-Singer index theorem are formulated and proved. These include the classical theorem and its cohomological formula for the index, the index theorem for G-operators, the index theorem for families of operators, and an index theorem for \(Cl_ k\)-linear operators, which have an index in KO-theory.
Chapter IV contains applications in geometry and topology. Here the applications in differential topology include some integrality and divisibility theorems for characteristic numbers, results on immersions of manifolds into the Euclidean space and on the maximal number of linearly independent vector fields on a manifold, and theorems on the existence of smooth group actions on a manifold. The applications in differential geometry include the study of Riemannian manifolds with positive scalar curvature, the topology of the space of positive scalar curvature metrics, Kähler manifolds, spinor cohomology and other topics.
There are four appendices on principal G-bundles, characteristic classes, Thom isomorphisms in K-theory, and \(Spin^ c\)-manifolds.
Reviewer: K.H.Mayer

57-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to manifolds and cell complexes
57R15 Specialized structures on manifolds (spin manifolds, framed manifolds, etc.)
53C20 Global Riemannian geometry, including pinching
58-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to global analysis
57R20 Characteristic classes and numbers in differential topology
57R42 Immersions in differential topology
57R22 Topology of vector bundles and fiber bundles
58J32 Boundary value problems on manifolds
58J20 Index theory and related fixed-point theorems on manifolds
15A66 Clifford algebras, spinors
58D17 Manifolds of metrics (especially Riemannian)