Conformally invariant operators

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On a general compact manifold $M$ with metric $g$, a metrically defined operator $A$ is said to be conformally invariant if under the conformal change in the metric $g_w=e^{2w}g$, the pair of the corresponding operators $A_w$ and $A$ are related by \[ A_w(\varphi)=e^{-bw} A(e^{aw}\varphi)\quad\mbox{for all }\varphi \in C^{\infty}(M), \] where $a, b$ are constant.

Examples of conformally invariant operators include:

  • The conformal Laplacian: $L_g=-\Delta_g + \frac{n-2}{4(n-1)}R_g$, where $n$ is the dimension of the manifold, $-\Delta_g$ is the Laplace–Beltrami operator of $g$, and $R_g$ is the scalar curvature of $g$. This is a second order differential operator. One can check that in this case, $a=\frac{n-2}{2}$ and $b=\frac{n+2}{2}$.
  • The Paneitz operator [1] [2].




References

  1. Paneitz, S (1983), "A quartic conformally covariant differential operator for arbitrary pseudo-Riemannian manifolds", preprint 
  2. Paneitz, S (2008), "A quartic conformally covariant differential operator for arbitrary pseudo-Riemannian manifolds (summary)", SIGMA Symmetry Integrability Geom. Methods Appl. (4), http://dx.doi.org/10.3842/SIGMA.2008.036 
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