[GAP Forum] Complex numbers (again) and Lie closure

Knut Kasimir oova1980 at yahoo.de
Tue Mar 25 09:49:49 GMT 2008


so I've read (hopefully) all forum threads concerning the absence of complex numbers in GAP. I know that there are alternatives, eg. cyclotomic fields and algebraic extensions of the Rationals. But since I am rather unexperienced in using GAP, I would like to know to what extent these "workarounds" can replace complex numbers, especially when I want to work with Lie algebras over a complex field.

What I want to do with GAP is the following: Given a set of complex square matrices, find out if they form a vectorspace under repeated commutation, i.e. a Lie algebra. In other words, do these given matrices generate a Lie algebra under repeated commutation?

Since these matrices can be large, I am looking for an efficient way to deal with this problem and I was hoping that GAP would be well suited. But then I discovered that there were no complex numbers in GAP, and "the workarounds" might prevent an efficient computation (or a computation at all)...

Comments welcome! :-)

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