On momentum images of representations and secant varieties

Research paper by Elitza Hristova, Tomasz Maciazek, Valdemar V. Tsanov

Indexed on: 28 Apr '15Published on: 28 Apr '15Published in: Mathematics - Representation Theory


Let $K$ be a connected compact semisimple group and $V_\lambda$ be an irreducible unitary representation with highest weight $\lambda$. We study the momentum map $\mu:\mathbb P(V_\lambda)\to\mathfrak k^*$. The intersection $\mu(\mathbb P(V_\lambda))^+=\mu(\mathbb P(V_\lambda))\cap{\mathfrak t}^+$ of the momentum image with a fixed Weyl chamber is a convex polytope called the momentum polytope of $V_\lambda$. We construct an affine rational polyhedral convex cone $\Upsilon_\lambda$ with vertex $\lambda$, such that $\mu(\mathbb P(V_\lambda))^+\subset\Upsilon_\lambda \cap {\mathfrak t}^+$. We show that equality holds for a class of representations, including those with regular highest weight. For those cases, we obtain a complete combinatorial description of the momentum polytope, in terms of $\lambda$. We also present some results on the critical points of $||\mu||^2$. Namely, we consider the existence problem for critical points in the preimages of Kirwan's candidates for critical values. Also, we consider the secant varieties to the unique complex orbit $\mathbb X\subset\mathbb P(V_\lambda)$, and prove a relation between the momentum images of the secant varieties and the degrees of $K$-invariant polynomials on $V_\lambda$.