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An interface for common operations on k-forms, also known as alternating algebraic forms or alternating k-linear maps. The name of the interface comes from the notation "Alt V" for the algebra of all k-forms acting vectors in the space V, also known as the exterior algebra of V*. A recommended reference for this material is Section 2 "Exterior algebra and exterior calculus" in "Finite element exterior calculus, homological techniques, and applications", by Arnold, Falk, & Winther (2006, doi:10.1017/S0962492906210018).

A k-form w (k is called the "form degree" of w) is an alternating k-linear map acting on tuples (v_1, ..., v_k) of

vectors from a vector space V and producing a real number

- alternating: swapping any two vectors in a tuple reverses the sign of the result, e.g. w(v_1, v_2, ..., v_k) = -w(v_2, v_1, ..., v_k) - k-linear: w acts linear in each vector separately, e.g. w(a*v + b*y, v_2, ..., v_k) = a*w(v,v_2,...,v_k) + b*w(y,v_2,...,v_k) This action is implemented as PetscDTAltVApply.

The k-forms on a vector space form a vector space themselves, Alt^k V. The dimension of Alt^k V, if V is N dimensional, is N choose k. (This shows that for an N dimensional space, only 0 <= k <= N are valid form degrees.)

The standard basis for Alt^k V, used in PetscDTAltV, has one basis k-form for each ordered subset of k coordinates of the N dimensional space

For example, if the coordinate directions of a four dimensional space are (t, x, y, z), then there are 4 choose 2 = 6 ordered subsets of two coordinates. They are, in lexicographic order, (t, x), (t, y), (t, z), (x, y), (x, z) and (y, z). PetscDTAltV also orders the basis of Alt^k V lexicographically by the associated subsets.

The unit basis k-form associated with coordinates (c_1, ..., c_k) acts on a set of k vectors (v_1, ..., v_k) by creating a square matrix V where V[i,j] = v_i[c_j] and taking the determinant of V.

If j + k <= N, then a j-form f and a k-form g can be multiplied to create a (j+k)-form using the wedge or exterior product, (f wedge g). This is an anticommutative product, (f wedge g) = -(g wedge f). It is sufficient to describe the wedge product of two basis forms.

Let f be the basis j-form associated with coordinates (f_1,...,f_j) and g be the basis k-form associated with coordinates (g_1,...,g_k)

- If there is any coordinate in both sets, then (f wedge g) = 0. - Otherwise, (f wedge g) is a multiple of the basis (j+k)-form h associated with (f_1,...,f_j,g_1,...,g_k). - In fact it is equal to either h or -h depending on how (f_1,...,f_j,g_1,...,g_k) compares to the same list of coordinates given in ascending order: if it is an even permutation of that list, then (f wedge g) = h, otherwise (f wedge g) = -h. The wedge product is implemented for either two inputs (f and g) in PetscDTAltVWedge, or for one (just f, giving a matrix to multiply against multiple choices of g) in PetscDTAltVWedgeMatrix.

If k > 0, a k-form w and a vector v can combine to make a (k-1)-formm through the interior product, (w int v), defined by (w int v)(v_1,...,v_{k-1}) = w(v,v_1,...,v_{k-1}).

The interior product is implemented for either two inputs (w and v) in PetscDTAltVInterior, for one (just v, giving a matrix to multiply against multiple choices of w) in PetscDTAltVInteriorMatrix, or for no inputs (giving the sparsity pattern of PetscDTAltVInteriorMatrix) in PetscDTAltVInteriorPattern.

When there is a linear map L: V -> W from an N dimensional vector space to an M dimensional vector space, it induces the linear pullback map L^* : Alt^k W -> Alt^k V, defined by L^* w(v_1,...,v_k) = w(L v_1, ..., L v_k). The pullback is implemented as PetscDTAltVPullback (acting on a known w) and PetscDTAltVPullbackMatrix (creating a matrix that computes the actin of L^*).

Alt^k V and Alt^(N-k) V have the same dimension, and the Hodge star operator maps between them. We note that Alt^N V is a one dimensional space, and its basis vector is sometime called vol. The Hodge star operator has the property that (f wedge (star g)) = (f,g) vol, where (f,g) is the simple inner product of the basis coefficients of f and g. Powers of the Hodge star operator can be applied with PetscDTAltVStar

See Also

PetscDTAltVApply(), PetscDTAltVWedge(), PetscDTAltVInterior(), PetscDTAltVPullback(), PetscDTAltVStar()




Index of all DT routines
Table of Contents for all manual pages
Index of all manual pages