Bol loop

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In mathematics and abstract algebra, a Bol loop is an algebraic structure generalizing the notion of group. Bol loops are named for the Dutch mathematician Gerrit Bol who introduced them in (Bol 1937).

A loop, L, is said to be a left Bol loop if it satisfies the identity

, for every a,b,c in L,

while L is said to be a right Bol loop if it satisfies

, for every a,b,c in L.

These identities can be seen as weakened forms of associativity.

A loop is both left Bol and right Bol if and only if it is a Moufang loop. Different authors use the term "Bol loop" to refer to either a left Bol or a right Bol loop.

Bruck loops[edit]

A Bol loop satisfying the automorphic inverse property, (ab)−1 = a−1 b−1 for all a,b in L, is known as a (left or right) Bruck loop or K-loop (named for the American mathematician Richard Bruck). The example in the following section is a Bruck loop.

Bruck loops have applications in special relativity; see Ungar (2002). Left Bruck loops are equivalent to Ungar's (2002) gyrocommutative gyrogroups, even though the two structures are defined differently.


Let L denote the set of n x n positive definite, Hermitian matrices over the complex numbers. It is generally not true that the matrix product AB of matrices A, B in L is Hermitian, let alone positive definite. However, there exists a unique P in L and a unique unitary matrix U such that AB = PU; this is the polar decomposition of AB. Define a binary operation * on L by A * B = P. Then (L, *) is a left Bruck loop. An explicit formula for * is given by A * B = (A B2 A)1/2, where the superscript 1/2 indicates the unique positive definite Hermitian square root.

Bol algebra[edit]

A (left) Bol algebra is a vector space equipped with a binary operation and a ternary operation that satisfies the following identities:[1]




If A is a left or right alternative algebra then it has an associated Bol algebra Ab, where is the commutator and is the Jordan associator.


  1. ^ Irvin R. Hentzel, Luiz A. Peresi, "Special identities for Bol algebras",  Linear Algebra and its Applications 436(7) · April 2012