Complex representation

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In mathematics, a complex representation is a representation of a group (or that of Lie algebra) on a complex vector space. Sometimes (for example in physics), the term complex representation is reserved for a representation on a complex vector space that is neither real nor pseudoreal (quaternionic). In other words, the group elements are expressed as complex matrices, and the complex conjugate of a complex representation is a different, non-equivalent representation. For compact groups, the Frobenius-Schur indicator can be used to tell whether a representation is real, complex, or pseudo-real.

For example, the N-dimensional fundamental representation of SU(N) for N greater than two is a complex representation whose complex conjugate is often called the antifundamental representation.


  • Fulton, William; Harris, Joe (1991). Representation theory. A first course. Graduate Texts in Mathematics, Readings in Mathematics. 129. New York: Springer-Verlag. doi:10.1007/978-1-4612-0979-9. ISBN 978-0-387-97495-8. MR 1153249. OCLC 246650103.