This paper deals with the problem of finding a continuous extension of the hypercomplex (quaternionic or octonionic) logarithm along (quaternionic or octonionic) paths which avoid the origin. The main difficulty depends upon this fact: while a branch of the complex logarithm can be defined in a small open neighbourhood of a strictly negative real point, no continuous branch of the hypercomplex logarithm can be defined in any open set which contains a strictly negative real point. To overcome this difficulty, we use the logarithmic manifold introduced in [4]: in general, the existence of a lift of a path to this manifold is not guaranteed and, indeed, the problem of lifting a path to the logarithmic manifold is completely equivalent to the problem of finding a continuation of the hypercomplex logarithm along this path. The second part of the paper scrutinizes the existence of a notion of winding number (with respect to the origin) for hypercomplex loops that avoid the origin, even though it is known that the definition of winding number for such loops is not natural in Rn when n is greater than 2. The surprise is that, in the hypercomplex setting, the new definition of winding number introduced in this paper can be given and has full meaning for a large class of hypercomplex loops (untwisted loops with companion that avoid the origin). Finally an original but rather natural notion of homotopy for these hypercomplex loops (the c-homotopy) is presented and it is proved to be suitable to comply with the intrinsic geometrical meaning of the winding number for this class of loops, namely, two such hypercomplex loops are c-homotopic if, and only if, they have the same winding number.

ON A CONTINUATION OF QUATERNIONIC AND OCTONIONIC LOGARITHM ALONG CURVES AND THE WINDING NUMBER

Graziano Gentili;Fabio Vlacci
2024-01-01

Abstract

This paper deals with the problem of finding a continuous extension of the hypercomplex (quaternionic or octonionic) logarithm along (quaternionic or octonionic) paths which avoid the origin. The main difficulty depends upon this fact: while a branch of the complex logarithm can be defined in a small open neighbourhood of a strictly negative real point, no continuous branch of the hypercomplex logarithm can be defined in any open set which contains a strictly negative real point. To overcome this difficulty, we use the logarithmic manifold introduced in [4]: in general, the existence of a lift of a path to this manifold is not guaranteed and, indeed, the problem of lifting a path to the logarithmic manifold is completely equivalent to the problem of finding a continuation of the hypercomplex logarithm along this path. The second part of the paper scrutinizes the existence of a notion of winding number (with respect to the origin) for hypercomplex loops that avoid the origin, even though it is known that the definition of winding number for such loops is not natural in Rn when n is greater than 2. The surprise is that, in the hypercomplex setting, the new definition of winding number introduced in this paper can be given and has full meaning for a large class of hypercomplex loops (untwisted loops with companion that avoid the origin). Finally an original but rather natural notion of homotopy for these hypercomplex loops (the c-homotopy) is presented and it is proved to be suitable to comply with the intrinsic geometrical meaning of the winding number for this class of loops, namely, two such hypercomplex loops are c-homotopic if, and only if, they have the same winding number.
2024
2024
Pubblicato
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022247X24001410
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3067209
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