In abstract algebra, Ado's theorem states that every finite-dimensional Lie algebra L over a field K of characteristic zero can be viewed as a Lie algebra of square matrices under the commutator bracket. More precisely, the theorem states that L has a linear representation ρ over K, on a finite-dimensional vector space V, that is a faithful representation, making L isomorphic to a subalgebra of the endomorphisms of V.
While for the Lie algebras associated to classical groups there is nothing new in this, the general case is a deeper result. Applied to the real Lie algebra of a Lie group G, it does not imply that G has a faithful linear representation (which is not true in general), but rather that G always has a linear representation that is a local isomorphism with a linear group. It was proved in 1935 by Igor Dmitrievich Ado of Kazan State University, a student of Nikolai Chebotaryov.
- I. D. Ado, Note on the representation of finite continuous groups by means of linear substitutions, Izv. Fiz.-Mat. Obsch. (Kazan'), 7 (1935) pp. 1–43 (Russian language)
- Ado, I. D. (1947), "The representation of Lie algebras by matrices", Akademiya Nauk SSSR i Moskovskoe Matematicheskoe Obshchestvo. Uspekhi Matematicheskikh Nauk (in Russian) 2 (6): 159–173, ISSN 0042-1316, MR 0027753 translation in Ado, I. D. (1949), "The representation of Lie algebras by matrices", American Mathematical Society Translations 1949 (2): 21, ISSN 0065-9290, MR 0030946
- Iwasawa, Kenkichi (1948), "On the representation of Lie algebras", Japanese Journal of Mathematics 19: 405–426, MR 0032613
- Harish-Chandra (1949), "Faithful representations of Lie algebras", Annals of Mathematics. Second Series 50: 68–76, ISSN 0003-486X, JSTOR 1969352, MR 0028829
- Hochschild, Gerhard (1966), "An addition to Ado's theorem", Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 17: 531–533, doi:10.1090/s0002-9939-1966-0194482-0
- Nathan Jacobson, Lie Algebras, pp. 202–203