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Transactions of the American Mathematical Society

Published by the American Mathematical Society, the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society (TRAN) is devoted to research articles of the highest quality in all areas of pure and applied mathematics.

ISSN 1088-6850 (online) ISSN 0002-9947 (print)

The 2020 MCQ for Transactions of the American Mathematical Society is 1.43.

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Hypoellipticity on the Heisenberg group-representation-theoretic criteria
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by Charles Rockland PDF
Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 240 (1978), 1-52 Request permission


A representation-theoretic characterization is given for hypoellipticity of homogeneous (with respect to dilations) left-invariant differential operators P on the Heisenberg group ${H_n}$; it is the precise analogue for ${H_n}$ of the statement for ${{\mathbf {R}}^n}$ that a homogeneous constant-coefficient differential operator is hypoelliptic if and only if it is elliptic. Under these representation-theoretic conditions a parametrix is constructed for P by means of the Plancherel formula. However, these conditions involve all the irreducible representations of ${H_n}$, whereas only the generic, infinite-dimensional representations occur in the Plancherel formula. A simple class of examples is discussed, namely $P = \Sigma _{i = 1}^nX_i^{2m} + Y_i^{2m}$, where ${X_i},{Y_i},i = 1, \ldots ,n$, and Z generate the Lie algebra of ${H_n}$ via the commutation relations $[{X_i},{Y_j}] = {\delta _{ij}}Z$, and where m is a positive integer. In the course of the proof a connection is made between homogeneous left-invariant operators on ${H_n}$ and a class of degenerate-elliptic operators on ${{\mathbf {R}}^{n + 1}}$ studied by Grušin. This connection is examined in the context of localization in enveloping algebras.
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Additional Information
  • © Copyright 1978 American Mathematical Society
  • Journal: Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 240 (1978), 1-52
  • MSC: Primary 22E30; Secondary 35H05, 58G05
  • DOI:
  • MathSciNet review: 0486314