Connection (affine bundle)

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Let YX be an affine bundle modelled over a vector bundle YX. A connection Γ on YX is called the affine connection if it as a section Γ : Y → J1Y of the jet bundle J1YY of Y is an affine bundle morphism over X. In particular, this is the case of an affine connection on the tangent bundle TX of a smooth manifold X.

With respect to affine bundle coordinates (xλ, yi) on Y, an affine connection Γ on YX is given by the tangent-valued connection form

An affine bundle is a fiber bundle with a general affine structure group GA(m, ℝ) of affine transformations of its typical fiber V of dimension m. Therefore, an affine connection is associated to a principal connection. It always exists.

For any affine connection Γ : Y → J1Y, the corresponding linear derivative Γ : Y → J1Y of an affine morphism Γ defines a unique linear connection on a vector bundle YX. With respect to linear bundle coordinates (xλ, yi) on Y, this connection reads

Since every vector bundle is an affine bundle, any linear connection on a vector bundle also is an affine connection.

If YX is a vector bundle, both an affine connection Γ and an associated linear connection Γ are connections on the same vector bundle YX, and their difference is a basic soldering form on

Thus, every affine connection on a vector bundle YX is a sum of a linear connection and a basic soldering form on YX.

It should be noted that, due to the canonical vertical splitting VY = Y × Y, this soldering form is brought into a vector-valued form

where ei is a fiber basis for Y.

Given an affine connection Γ on a vector bundle YX, let R and R be the curvatures of a connection Γ and the associated linear connection Γ, respectively. It is readily observed that R = R + T, where

is the torsion of Γ with respect to the basic soldering form σ.

In particular, let us consider the tangent bundle TX of a manifold X coordinated by (xμ, μ). There is the canonical soldering form

on TX which coincides with the tautological one-form

on X due to the canonical vertical splitting VTX = TX × TX. Given an arbitrary linear connection Γ on TX, the corresponding affine connection

on TX is the Cartan connection. The torsion of the Cartan connection A with respect to the soldering form θ coincides with the torsion of a linear connection Γ, and its curvature is a sum R + T of the curvature and the torsion of Γ.

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