Advanced Studies in Pure Mathematics

Whitehead Products in Stiefel Manifolds and Samelson Products in Classical Groups

Hideaki Ōshima

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Abstract

The first non zero homotopy group of the Stiefel manifold $O_{n+k,k}$ of orthonormal $k$-frames in $F^{n+k}$ is generated by the standard embedding $i_{n+k,k}=i^{F}_{n+k,k}:S^{d(n+1)-1}=O_{n+1,1}\to O_{n+k,k}$ where $F$ is the field of the real numbers $R$, complex numbers $C$, or quaternions $H$ and $d$ is the dimension of $F$ over $R$. We study the Whitehead products $[i_{n+k,k}, i_{n+k,k}]$ and $[i^{C}_{n+k,k} \circ \eta_{2n+1}, i^{C}_{n+k,k}]$ where $\eta_m \in \pi_{m+1}(S^m)$ is a generator. As consequences we determine the orders of a few Samelson products in the classical groups and obtain a relation between the stable and unstable James numbers of the complex Stiefel manifolds.

Article information

Source
Homotopy Theory and Related Topics, H. Toda, ed. (Tokyo: Mathematical Society of Japan, 1987), 237-258

Dates
Received: 12 December 1984
First available in Project Euclid: 3 May 2018

Permanent link to this document
https://projecteuclid.org/ euclid.aspm/1525310162

Digital Object Identifier
doi:10.2969/aspm/00910237

Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)
MR896957

Zentralblatt MATH identifier
0648.55014

Citation

Ōshima, Hideaki. Whitehead Products in Stiefel Manifolds and Samelson Products in Classical Groups. Homotopy Theory and Related Topics, 237--258, Mathematical Society of Japan, Tokyo, Japan, 1987. doi:10.2969/aspm/00910237. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.aspm/1525310162


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