Poisson geometry in constrained systems

Martin Bojowald, Thomas Strobl

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20 Scopus citations


Associated to a constrained system with closed constraint algebra there are two Poisson manifolds P and Q forming a symplectic dual pair with respect to the original, unconstrained phase space: P is the image of the constraint map (equipped with the algebra of constraints) and Q the Poisson quotient with respect to the orbits generated by the constraints (the orbit space is assumed to be a manifold). We provide sufficient conditions so that the reduced phase space of the constrained system may be identified with a symplectic leaf of Q. By these methods, a second class constrained system with closed algebra is reformulated as an abelian first class system in an extended phase space. While any Poisson manifold (P, Π) has a symplectic realization (Karasev, Weinstein 87), it does not always permit a leafwise symplectic embedding into a symplectic manifold (M, ω). For regular P, it is seen that such an embedding exists, iff the characteristic form-class of Π, a certain element of the third relative cohomology of P, vanishes. A tubular neighborhood of the constraint surface of a general second class constrained system equipped with the Dirac bracket provides a physical example for such an embedding into the original symplectic manifold. In contrast, a leafwise symplectic embedding of e.g. (the maximal regular part of) a Poisson Lie manifold associated to a compact, semisimple Lie algebra does not exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-703
Number of pages41
JournalReviews in Mathematical Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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