In

^{3} and can be understood as the group of ^{3} onto SO(3) that identifies antipodal points of ''S''^{3} is a

_{B} and R_{A} also yields directly the Axis of rotation, rotation axis and angle of the composite rotation R_{C} = R_{B}R_{A}.
Let the quaternion associated with a spatial rotation R is constructed from its Axis of rotation, rotation axis S and the rotation angle ''φ'' this axis. The associated quaternion is given by,
:$S\; =\; \backslash cos\backslash frac\; +\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\; \backslash mathbf.$
Then the composition of the rotation R_{R} with R_{A} is the rotation R_{C} = R_{B}R_{A} with rotation axis and angle defined by the product of the quaternions
:$A\; =\; \backslash cos\backslash frac\; +\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\backslash mathbf\backslash quad\backslash text\backslash quad\; B\; =\; \backslash cos\backslash frac\; +\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\backslash mathbf,$
that is
:$C\; =\; \backslash cos\backslash frac\; +\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\backslash mathbf\; =\; \backslash left(\backslash cos\backslash frac\; +\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\backslash mathbf\backslash right)\backslash left(\backslash cos\backslash frac\; +\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\backslash mathbf\backslash right).$
Expand this product to obtain
:$\backslash cos\backslash frac\; +\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\; \backslash mathbf\; =\; \backslash left(\; \backslash cos\backslash frac\backslash cos\backslash frac\; -\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\backslash sin\backslash frac\; \backslash mathbf\backslash cdot\; \backslash mathbf\; \backslash right)\; +\; \backslash left(\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\backslash cos\backslash frac\; \backslash mathbf\; +\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\backslash cos\backslash frac\; \backslash mathbf\; +\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\backslash sin\backslash frac\; \backslash mathbf\; \backslash times\; \backslash mathbf\; \backslash right).$
Divide both sides of this equation by the identity, which is the spherical law of cosines, law of cosines on a sphere,
:$\backslash cos\backslash frac\; =\; \backslash cos\backslash frac\backslash cos\backslash frac\; -\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\backslash sin\backslash frac\; \backslash mathbf\backslash cdot\; \backslash mathbf,$
and compute
:$\backslash tan\backslash frac\; \backslash mathbf\; =\; \backslash frac.$
This is Rodrigues' formula for the axis of a composite rotation defined in terms of the axes of the two rotations. He derived this formula in 1840 (see page 408).
The three rotation axes A, B, and C form a spherical triangle and the dihedral angles between the planes formed by the sides of this triangle are defined by the rotation angles.

quaternion
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

algebra with ^{3} → SO(3) (see

^{+}(3), the Euclidean group of Euclidean group#Direct and indirect isometries, direct isometries of Euclidean $\backslash R^3.$ This larger group is the group of all motions of a rigid body: each of these is a combination of a rotation about an arbitrary axis and a translation along the axis, or put differently, a combination of an element of SO(3) and an arbitrary translation.
In general, the rotation group of an object is the symmetry group within the group of direct isometries; in other words, the intersection of the full symmetry group and the group of direct isometries. For chirality (mathematics), chiral objects it is the same as the full symmetry group.

Lie group
In mathematics, a Lie group (pronounced "Lee") is a group (mathematics), group that is also a differentiable manifold. A manifold is a space that locally resembles Euclidean space, whereas groups define the abstract concept of a binary operati ...

*Pauli matrix
*Plate trick
*Three-dimensional rotation operator

* * * * * * (translation of the original 1932 edition, ''Die Gruppentheoretische Methode in Der Quantenmechanik''). *. {{DEFAULTSORT:Rotation Group Lie groups Rotational symmetry Rotation in three dimensions Euclidean solid geometry

mechanics
Mechanics (Greek
Greek may refer to:
Greece
Anything of, from, or related to Greece
Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million ...

and geometry
Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures. A mat ...

, the 3D rotation group, often denoted SO(3), is the group
A group is a number
A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...

of all rotation
A rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center (or point) of rotation. The plane (geometry), geometric plane along which the rotation occurs is called the ''rotation plane'', and the imaginary line extending from the center an ...

s about the origin
Origin(s) or The Origin may refer to:
Arts, entertainment, and media
Comics and manga
* , a Wolverine comic book mini-series published by Marvel Comics in 2002
* , a 1999 ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer'' comic book series
* , a major ''Judge Dred ...

of three-dimensional
Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called parameter
A parameter (from the Ancient Greek language, Ancient Greek wikt:παρά#Ancient Greek, παρά, ''par ...

Euclidean space
Euclidean space is the fundamental space of . Originally, it was the of , but in modern there are Euclidean spaces of any nonnegative integer , including the three-dimensional space and the ''Euclidean plane'' (dimension two). It was introduce ...

$\backslash R^3$ under the operation of composition
Composition or Compositions may refer to:
Arts
* Composition (dance), practice and teaching of choreography
* Composition (music), an original piece of music and its creation
*Composition (visual arts)
The term composition means "putting togethe ...

. By definition, a rotation about the origin is a transformation that preserves the origin, Euclidean distance
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

(so it is an isometry
In mathematics, an isometry (or congruence (geometry), congruence, or congruent transformation) is a distance-preserving transformation between metric spaces, usually assumed to be Bijection, bijective. "We shall find it convenient to use the wor ...

), and orientation
Orientation may refer to:
Positioning in physical space
* Map orientation, the relationship between directions on a map and compass directions
* Orientation (housing), the position of a building with respect to the sun, a concept in building design ...

(i.e. ''handedness'' of space). Every non-trivial rotation is determined by its axis of rotation (a line through the origin) and its angle of rotation. Composing two rotations results in another rotation; every rotation has a unique inverse
Inverse or invert may refer to:
Science and mathematics
* Inverse (logic), a type of conditional sentence which is an immediate inference made from another conditional sentence
* Additive inverse (negation), the inverse of a number that, when add ...

rotation; and the satisfies the definition of a rotation. Owing to the above properties (along composite rotations' associative property
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

), the set of all rotations is a group
A group is a number
A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...

under composition. Rotations are not commutative (for example, rotating ''R'' 90° in the x-y plane followed by ''S'' 90° in the y-z plane is not the same as ''S'' followed by ''R''), making it a nonabelian group. Moreover, the rotation group has a natural structure as a manifold
The real projective plane is a two-dimensional manifold that cannot be realized in three dimensions without self-intersection, shown here as Boy's surface.
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of su ...

for which the group operations are ; so it is in fact a Lie group
In mathematics, a Lie group (pronounced "Lee") is a group (mathematics), group that is also a differentiable manifold. A manifold is a space that locally resembles Euclidean space, whereas groups define the abstract concept of a binary operati ...

. It is compact
Compact as used in politics may refer broadly to a pact or treaty; in more specific cases it may refer to:
* Interstate compact
* Blood compact, an ancient ritual of the Philippines
* Compact government, a type of colonial rule utilized in British N ...

and has dimension 3.
Rotations are linear transformation
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ...

s of $\backslash R^3$ and can therefore be represented by matrices
Matrix or MATRIX may refer to:
Science and mathematics
* Matrix (mathematics)
In mathematics, a matrix (plural matrices) is a rectangle, rectangular ''wikt:array, array'' or ''table'' of numbers, symbol (formal), symbols, or expression (mathema ...

once a basis
Basis may refer to:
Finance and accounting
*Adjusted basisIn tax accounting, adjusted basis is the net cost of an asset after adjusting for various tax-related items.
Adjusted Basis or Adjusted Tax Basis refers to the original cost or other ba ...

of $\backslash R^3$ has been chosen. Specifically, if we choose an orthonormal basisIn linear algebra, two vectors in an inner product space are orthonormal if they are orthogonal (or perpendicular along a line) unit vectors. A set of vectors form an orthonormal set if all vectors in the set are mutually orthogonal and all of u ...

of $\backslash R^3$, every rotation is described by an orthogonal 3 × 3 matrix (i.e. a 3 × 3 matrix with real entries which, when multiplied by its transpose
In linear algebra
Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning linear equations such as:
:a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n=b,
linear maps such as:
:(x_1, \ldots, x_n) \mapsto a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n,
and their representations in vector spaces an ...

, results in the identity matrix
In linear algebra, the identity matrix of size ''n'' is the ''n'' × ''n'' square matrix
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structu ...

) with determinant
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...

1. The group SO(3) can therefore be identified with the group of these matrices under matrix multiplication
In mathematics, particularly in linear algebra, matrix multiplication is a binary operation that produces a matrix (mathematics), matrix from two matrices. For matrix multiplication, the number of columns in the first matrix must be equal to the nu ...

. These matrices are known as "special orthogonal matrices", explaining the notation SO(3).
The group SO(3) is used to describe the possible rotational symmetries of an object, as well as the possible orientations of an object in space. Its representation
Representation may refer to:
Law and politics
*Representation (politics)
Political representation is the activity of making citizens "present" in public policy making processes when political actors act in the best interest of citizens. This defin ...

s are important in physics, where they give rise to the elementary particle
In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a subatomic particle that is not composed of other particles. Particles currently thought to be elementary include the fundamental fermions (quarks, leptons, antiquarks, and a ...

s of integer spin
Spin or spinning may refer to:
Businesses
* or South Pacific Island Network
* , an American scooter-sharing system
* , a chain of table tennis lounges
Computing
* , 's tool for formal verification of distributed software systems
* , a Mach-like ...

.
Length and angle

Besides just preserving length, rotations also preserve theangle
In Euclidean geometry
Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system attributed to Alexandrian Greek mathematics , Greek mathematician Euclid, which he described in his textbook on geometry: the ''Euclid's Elements, Elements''. Euclid's method ...

s between vectors. This follows from the fact that the standard dot product
In mathematics, the dot product or scalar productThe term ''scalar product'' is often also used more generally to mean a symmetric bilinear form, for example for a pseudo-Euclidean space. is an algebraic operation that takes two equal-length seque ...

between two vectors u and v can be written purely in terms of length:
:$\backslash mathbf\backslash cdot\backslash mathbf\; =\; \backslash frac\backslash left(\backslash ,\; \backslash mathbf+\backslash mathbf\backslash ,\; ^2\; -\; \backslash ,\; \backslash mathbf\backslash ,\; ^2\; -\; \backslash ,\; \backslash mathbf\backslash ,\; ^2\backslash right).$
It follows that every length-preserving transformation in $\backslash R^3$ preserves the dot product, and thus the angle between vectors. Rotations are often defined as linear transformations that preserve the inner product on $\backslash R^3$, which is equivalent to requiring them to preserve length. See classical group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gen ...

for a treatment of this more general approach, where appears as a special case.
Orthogonal and rotation matrices

Every rotation maps anorthonormal basisIn linear algebra, two vectors in an inner product space are orthonormal if they are orthogonal (or perpendicular along a line) unit vectors. A set of vectors form an orthonormal set if all vectors in the set are mutually orthogonal and all of u ...

of $\backslash R^3$ to another orthonormal basis. Like any linear transformation of finite-dimensional
In mathematics, the dimension of a vector space ''V'' is the cardinality (i.e. the number of vectors) of a Basis (linear algebra), basis of ''V'' over its base Field (mathematics), field. p. 44, §2.36 It is sometimes called Hamel dimension (after ...

vector spaces, a rotation can always be represented by a matrix
Matrix or MATRIX may refer to:
Science and mathematics
* Matrix (mathematics), a rectangular array of numbers, symbols, or expressions
* Matrix (logic), part of a formula in prenex normal form
* Matrix (biology), the material in between a eukaryoti ...

. Let be a given rotation. With respect to the standard basis
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

of $\backslash R^3$ the columns of are given by . Since the standard basis is orthonormal, and since preserves angles and length, the columns of form another orthonormal basis. This orthonormality condition can be expressed in the form
:$R^\backslash mathsfR\; =\; RR^\backslash mathsf\; =\; I,$
where denotes the transpose
In linear algebra
Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning linear equations such as:
:a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n=b,
linear maps such as:
:(x_1, \ldots, x_n) \mapsto a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n,
and their representations in vector spaces an ...

of and is the identity matrix
In linear algebra, the identity matrix of size ''n'' is the ''n'' × ''n'' square matrix
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structu ...

. Matrices for which this property holds are called orthogonal matrices
In linear algebra, an orthogonal matrix, or orthonormal matrix, is a real square matrix whose columns and rows are orthonormal vectors.
One way to express this is
:Q^\mathrm Q = Q Q^\mathrm = I,
where is the transpose
In linear algebra, t ...

. The group of all orthogonal matrices is denoted , and consists of all proper and improper rotations.
In addition to preserving length, proper rotations must also preserve orientation. A matrix will preserve or reverse orientation according to whether the determinant
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...

of the matrix is positive or negative. For an orthogonal matrix , note that implies , so that . The subgroup
In group theory
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ...

of orthogonal matrices with determinant is called the ''special orthogonal group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gen ...

'', denoted .
Thus every rotation can be represented uniquely by an orthogonal matrix with unit determinant. Moreover, since composition of rotations corresponds to matrix multiplication
In mathematics, particularly in linear algebra, matrix multiplication is a binary operation that produces a matrix (mathematics), matrix from two matrices. For matrix multiplication, the number of columns in the first matrix must be equal to the nu ...

, the rotation group is isomorphic
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

to the special orthogonal group .
Improper rotation
In geometry
Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position of ...

s correspond to orthogonal matrices with determinant , and they do not form a group because the product of two improper rotations is a proper rotation.
Group structure

The rotation group is agroup
A group is a number
A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...

under function composition
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...

(or equivalently the product of linear transformations). It is a subgroup
In group theory
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ...

of the general linear group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ge ...

consisting of all invertible linear transformations of the real 3-space $\backslash R^3$.
Furthermore, the rotation group is nonabelian. That is, the order in which rotations are composed makes a difference. For example, a quarter turn around the positive ''x''-axis followed by a quarter turn around the positive ''y''-axis is a different rotation than the one obtained by first rotating around ''y'' and then ''x''.
The orthogonal group, consisting of all proper and improper rotations, is generated by reflections. Every proper rotation is the composition of two reflections, a special case of the Cartan–Dieudonné theorem.
Axis of rotation

Every nontrivial proper rotation in 3 dimensions fixes a unique 1-dimensionallinear subspace
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...

of $\backslash R^3$ which is called the ''axis of rotation'' (this is Euler's rotation theorem
In geometry, Euler's rotation theorem states that, in three-dimensional space, any displacement of a rigid body such that a point on the rigid body remains fixed, is equivalent to a single rotation about some axis that runs through the fixed poi ...

). Each such rotation acts as an ordinary 2-dimensional rotation in the plane orthogonal
In mathematics, orthogonality is the generalization of the notion of perpendicularity to the linear algebra of bilinear forms. Two elements ''u'' and ''v'' of a vector space with bilinear form ''B'' are orthogonal when . Depending on the bili ...

to this axis. Since every 2-dimensional rotation can be represented by an angle ''φ'', an arbitrary 3-dimensional rotation can be specified by an axis of rotation together with an angle of rotation
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

about this axis. (Technically, one needs to specify an orientation for the axis and whether the rotation is taken to be clockwise
Two-dimensional rotation
A rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center (or point) of rotation. The plane (geometry), geometric plane along which the rotation occurs is called the ''rotation plane'', and the imaginary line ...

or counterclockwise
Two-dimensional rotation can occur in two possible directions. Clockwise motion (abbreviated CW) proceeds in the same direction as a clock's hands: from the top to the right, then down and then to the left, and back up to the top. The opposite sen ...

with respect to this orientation).
For example, counterclockwise rotation about the positive ''z''-axis by angle ''φ'' is given by
:$R\_z(\backslash phi)\; =\; \backslash begin\backslash cos\backslash phi\; \&\; -\backslash sin\backslash phi\; \&\; 0\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash sin\backslash phi\; \&\; \backslash cos\backslash phi\; \&\; 0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; 0\; \&\; 1\backslash end.$
Given a unit vector
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...

n in $\backslash R^3$ and an angle ''φ'', let ''R''(''φ'', n) represent a counterclockwise rotation about the axis through n (with orientation determined by n). Then
* ''R''(0, n) is the identity transformation for any n
* ''R''(''φ'', n) = ''R''(−''φ'', −n)
* ''R''( + ''φ'', n) = ''R''( − ''φ'', −n).
Using these properties one can show that any rotation can be represented by a unique angle ''φ'' in the range 0 ≤ φ ≤ and a unit vector n such that
* n is arbitrary if ''φ'' = 0
* n is unique if 0 < ''φ'' <
* n is unique up to a sign
A sign is an object
Object may refer to:
General meanings
* Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept
** Entity, something that is tangible and within the grasp of the senses
** Object (abstract), an object which does not exist at ...

if ''φ'' = (that is, the rotations ''R''(, ±n) are identical).
In the next section, this representation of rotations is used to identify SO(3) topologically with three-dimensional real projective space.
Topology

The Lie group SO(3) isdiffeomorphic
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

to the real projective spaceIn mathematics, real projective space, or RP''n'' or \mathbb_n(\mathbb), is the topological space of lines passing through the origin 0 in R''n''+1. It is a compact space, compact, smooth manifold of dimension ''n'', and is a special case Gr(1, R''n' ...

$\backslash mathbb^3(\backslash R).$
Consider the solid ball in $\backslash R^3$ of radius (that is, all points of $\backslash R^3$ of distance or less from the origin). Given the above, for every point in this ball there is a rotation, with axis through the point and the origin, and rotation angle equal to the distance of the point from the origin. The identity rotation corresponds to the point at the center of the ball. Rotation through angles between 0 and − correspond to the point on the same axis and distance from the origin but on the opposite side of the origin. The one remaining issue is that the two rotations through and through − are the same. So we identify (or "glue together") antipodal point
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

s on the surface of the ball. After this identification, we arrive at a topological space
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ...

homeomorphic
In the mathematical
Mathematics (from Greek
Greek may refer to:
Greece
Anything of, from, or related to Greece
Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populat ...

to the rotation group.
Indeed, the ball with antipodal surface points identified is a smooth manifold
In mathematics, a differentiable manifold (also differential manifold) is a type of manifold
The real projective plane is a two-dimensional manifold that cannot be realized in three dimensions without self-intersection, shown here as Boy's s ...

, and this manifold is diffeomorphic
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

to the rotation group. It is also diffeomorphic to the real 3-dimensional projective space $\backslash mathbb^3(\backslash R),$ so the latter can also serve as a topological model for the rotation group.
These identifications illustrate that SO(3) is connected but not simply connected
In topology
s, which have only one surface and one edge, are a kind of object studied in topology.
In mathematics, topology (from the Greek language, Greek words , and ) is concerned with the properties of a mathematical object, geometric objec ...

. As to the latter, in the ball with antipodal surface points identified, consider the path running from the "north pole" straight through the interior down to the south pole. This is a closed loop, since the north pole and the south pole are identified. This loop cannot be shrunk to a point, since no matter how you deform the loop, the start and end point have to remain antipodal, or else the loop will "break open". In terms of rotations, this loop represents a continuous sequence of rotations about the ''z''-axis starting (by example) at identity (center of ball), through south pole, jump to north pole and ending again at the identity rotation (i.e. a series of rotation through an angle ''φ'' where ''φ'' runs from 0 to 2).
Surprisingly, if you run through the path twice, i.e., run from north pole down to south pole, jump back to the north pole (using the fact that north and south poles are identified), and then again run from north pole down to south pole, so that ''φ'' runs from 0 to 4, you get a closed loop which ''can'' be shrunk to a single point: first move the paths continuously to the ball's surface, still connecting north pole to south pole twice. The second path can then be mirrored over to the antipodal side without changing the path at all. Now we have an ordinary closed loop on the surface of the ball, connecting the north pole to itself along a great circle. This circle can be shrunk to the north pole without problems. The plate trick
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...

and similar tricks demonstrate this practically.
The same argument can be performed in general, and it shows that the fundamental group
In the mathematical
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities ...

of SO(3) is a cyclic group
In group theory
The popular puzzle Rubik's cube invented in 1974 by Ernő Rubik has been used as an illustration of permutation group">Ernő_Rubik.html" ;"title="Rubik's cube invented in 1974 by Ernő Rubik">Rubik's cube invented in 1974 by Er ...

of order 2 (a fundamental group with two elements). In physics
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...

applications, the non-triviality (more than one element) of the fundamental group allows for the existence of objects known as spinor
In geometry and physics, spinors are elements of a complex
The UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences is one of the 11 constituent faculties of University College London
, mottoeng = Let all come who by merit deserve the most re ...

s, and is an important tool in the development of the spin–statistics theorem
In quantum mechanics, the spin–statistics theorem relates the spin (physics), intrinsic spin of a particle (angular momentum not due to the orbital motion) to the particle statistics it obeys. In units of the reduced Planck constant ''ħ'', all ...

.
The universal cover
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

of SO(3) is a Lie group
In mathematics, a Lie group (pronounced "Lee") is a group (mathematics), group that is also a differentiable manifold. A manifold is a space that locally resembles Euclidean space, whereas groups define the abstract concept of a binary operati ...

called Spin(3). The group Spin(3) is isomorphic to the special unitary group
In mathematics, the special unitary group of degree , denoted , is the Lie group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures ...

SU(2); it is also diffeomorphic to the unit 3-sphere
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...

''S''versor
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

s (quaternion
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

s with absolute value
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

1). The connection between quaternions and rotations, commonly exploited in computer graphics
Computer graphics deals with generating images with the aid of computers. Today, computer graphics is a core technology in digital photography, film, video games, cell phone and computer displays, and many specialized applications. A great dea ...

, is explained in quaternions and spatial rotation Unit
Unit may refer to:
Arts and entertainment
* UNIT
Unit may refer to:
Arts and entertainment
* UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who''
* Unit of action, a discrete piece of action (or bea ...

s. The map from ''S''surjective
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...

homomorphism
In algebra
Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. I ...

of Lie groups, with kernel
Kernel may refer to:
Computing
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* Compute kernel, in GPGPU programming
* Kernel method, in machine learnin ...

. Topologically, this map is a two-to-one covering map
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

. (See the plate trick
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...

.)
Connection between SO(3) and SU(2)

In this section, we give two different constructions of a two-to-one andsurjective
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...

homomorphism
In algebra
Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. I ...

of SU(2) onto SO(3).
Using quaternions of unit norm

The group isisomorphic
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

to the quaternion
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

s of unit norm via a map given by
:$q\; =\; a\backslash mathbf\; +\; b\backslash mathbf\; +\; c\backslash mathbf\; +\; d\backslash mathbf\; =\; \backslash alpha\; +\; j\backslash beta\; \backslash leftrightarrow\; \backslash begin\backslash alpha\; \&\; -\backslash overline\; \backslash beta\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash beta\; \&\; \backslash overline\; \backslash alpha\backslash end\; =\; U$
restricted to $a^2+b^2+c^2+d^2=,\; \backslash alpha,\; ^2\; +,\; \backslash beta,\; ^2\; =\; 1$ where$\backslash quad\; q\; \backslash in\; \backslash mathbb,\backslash quad\; a,b,c,d\; \backslash in\; \backslash R,\backslash quad\; U\; \backslash in\; \backslash operatorname(2)$ and $\backslash alpha=a+ib\; \backslash in\backslash mathbb$, $\backslash beta\; =\; c+id\; \backslash in\; \backslash mathbb$.
Let us now identify $\backslash R^3$ with the span of $\backslash mathbf,\backslash mathbf,\backslash mathbf$. One can then verify that if $v$ is in $\backslash R^3$ and $q$ is a unit quaternion, then
:$qvq^\backslash in\; \backslash R^3.$
Furthermore, the map $v\backslash mapsto\; qvq^$ is a rotation of $\backslash R^3.$ Moreover, $(-q)v(-q)^$ is the same as $qvq^$. This means that there is a homomorphism from quaternions of unit norm to the 3D rotation group .
One can work this homomorphism out explicitly: the unit quaternion, , with
:$\backslash begin\; q\; \&=\; w\; +\; \backslash mathbfx\; +\; \backslash mathbfy\; +\; \backslash mathbfz\; ,\; \backslash \backslash \; 1\; \&=\; w^2\; +\; x^2\; +\; y^2\; +\; z^2\; ,\; \backslash end$
is mapped to the rotation matrix
:$Q\; =\; \backslash begin\; 1\; -\; 2\; y^2\; -\; 2\; z^2\; \&\; 2\; x\; y\; -\; 2\; z\; w\; \&\; 2\; x\; z\; +\; 2\; y\; w\; \backslash \backslash \; 2\; x\; y\; +\; 2\; z\; w\; \&\; 1\; -\; 2\; x^2\; -\; 2\; z^2\; \&\; 2\; y\; z\; -\; 2\; x\; w\; \backslash \backslash \; 2\; x\; z\; -\; 2\; y\; w\; \&\; 2\; y\; z\; +\; 2\; x\; w\; \&\; 1\; -\; 2\; x^2\; -\; 2\; y^2\; \backslash end.$
This is a rotation around the vector by an angle , where and . The proper sign for is implied, once the signs of the axis components are fixed. The is apparent since both and map to the same .
Using Möbius transformations

The general reference for this section is . The points on the sphere :$\backslash mathbf\; =\; \backslash left\; \backslash $ can, barring the north pole , be put into one-to-one bijection with points on the plane defined by , see figure. The map is calledstereographic projection
In geometry
Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position o ...

.
Let the coordinates on be . The line passing through and can be parametrized as
:$L(t)\; =\; N\; +\; t(N\; -\; P)\; =\; \backslash left(0,0,\backslash frac\backslash right)\; +\; t\; \backslash left\; (\; \backslash left(0,0,\backslash frac\backslash right)\; -\; (x,\; y,\; z)\; \backslash right\; ),\; \backslash quad\; t\backslash in\; \backslash R.$
Demanding that the of $L(t\_0)$ equals , one finds
:$t\_0\; =\; \backslash frac1.$
We have $L(t\_0)=(\backslash xi,\backslash eta,-1/2).$ Hence the map
:$\backslash begin\; S:\backslash mathbf\; \backslash to\; M\; \backslash \backslash \; P\; =\; (x,y,z)\; \backslash longmapsto\; P\text{'}=\; (\backslash xi,\; \backslash eta)\; =\; \backslash left(\backslash frac,\; \backslash frac\backslash right)\; \backslash equiv\; \backslash zeta\; =\; \backslash xi\; +\; i\backslash eta\; \backslash end$
where, for later convenience, the plane is identified with the complex plane $\backslash C.$
For the inverse, write as
:$L\; =\; N\; +\; s(P\text{'}-N)\; =\; \backslash left(0,0,\backslash frac\backslash right)\; +\; s\backslash left(\; \backslash left(\backslash xi,\; \backslash eta,\; -\backslash frac\backslash right)\; -\; \backslash left(0,0,\backslash frac\backslash right)\backslash right),$
and demand to find and thus
:$\backslash begin\; S^:M\; \backslash to\; \backslash mathbf\; \backslash \backslash \; P\text{'}=\; (\backslash xi,\; \backslash eta)\; \backslash longmapsto\; P\; =\; (x,y,z)\; =\; \backslash left(\backslash frac,\; \backslash frac,\; \backslash frac\backslash right)\; \backslash end$
If is a rotation, then it will take points on to points on by its standard action on the embedding space $\backslash R^3.$ By composing this action with one obtains a transformation of ,
:$\backslash zeta=P\text{'}\; \backslash longmapsto\; P\; \backslash longmapsto\; \backslash Pi\_s(g)P\; =\; gP\; \backslash longmapsto\; S(gP)\; \backslash equiv\; \backslash Pi\_u(g)\backslash zeta\; =\; \backslash zeta\text{'}.$
Thus is a transformation of $\backslash C$ associated to the transformation of $\backslash R^3$.
It turns out that represented in this way by can be expressed as a matrix (where the notation is recycled to use the same name for the matrix as for the transformation of $\backslash C$ it represents). To identify this matrix, consider first a rotation about the through an angle ,
:$\backslash begin\; x\text{'}\; \&=\; x\backslash cos\; \backslash phi\; -\; y\; \backslash sin\; \backslash phi,\backslash \backslash \; y\text{'}\; \&=\; x\backslash sin\; \backslash phi\; +\; y\; \backslash cos\; \backslash phi,\backslash \backslash \; z\text{'}\; \&=\; z.\; \backslash end$
Hence
:$\backslash zeta\text{'}\; =\; \backslash frac\; =\; \backslash frac\; =\; e^\backslash zeta\; =\; \backslash frac,$
which, unsurprisingly, is a rotation in the complex plane. In an analogous way, if is a rotation about the through and angle , then
:$w\text{'}\; =\; e^w,\; \backslash quad\; w\; =\; \backslash frac,$
which, after a little algebra, becomes
:$\backslash zeta\text{'}\; =\; \backslash frac.$
These two rotations, $g\_,\; g\_,$ thus correspond to bilinear transform
The bilinear transform (also known as Tustin's method) is used in digital signal processing and discrete-time control theory to transform continuous-time system representations to discrete-time and vice versa.
The bilinear transform is a special c ...

s of , namely, they are examples of Möbius transformation
In geometry and complex analysis, a Möbius transformation of the complex plane is a rational function of the form
f(z) = \frac
of one complex number, complex variable ''z''; here the coefficients ''a'', ''b'', ''c'', ''d'' are complex numbers sa ...

s.
A general Möbius transformation is given by
:$\backslash zeta\text{'}\; =\; \backslash frac,\; \backslash quad\; \backslash alpha\backslash delta\; -\; \backslash beta\backslash gamma\; \backslash ne\; 0.$
The rotations, $g\_,\; g\_$ generate all of and the composition rules of the Möbius transformations show that any composition of $g\_,\; g\_$ translates to the corresponding composition of Möbius transformations. The Möbius transformations can be represented by matrices
:$\backslash begin\backslash alpha\; \&\; \backslash beta\backslash \backslash \; \backslash gamma\; \&\; \backslash delta\backslash end,\; \backslash qquad\; \backslash alpha\backslash delta\; -\; \backslash beta\backslash gamma\; =\; 1,$
since a common factor of cancels.
For the same reason, the matrix is ''not'' uniquely defined since multiplication by has no effect on either the determinant or the Möbius transformation. The composition law of Möbius transformations follow that of the corresponding matrices. The conclusion is that each Möbius transformation corresponds to two matrices .
Using this correspondence one may write
:$\backslash begin\; \backslash Pi\_u(g\_\backslash phi)\; \&=\; \backslash Pi\_u\backslash left;\; href="/html/ALL/s/begin\; \backslash cos\_\backslash phi\_\_-\backslash sin\_\backslash phi\_\_0\backslash \backslash \; \backslash sin\_\backslash phi\_\_\backslash cos\_\backslash phi\_\_0\backslash \backslash \; 0\_\_0\_\_1\; \backslash end\backslash right.html"\; ;"title="begin\; \backslash cos\; \backslash phi\; -\backslash sin\; \backslash phi\; 0\backslash \backslash \; \backslash sin\; \backslash phi\; \backslash cos\; \backslash phi\; 0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; 0\; 1\; \backslash end\backslash right">begin\; \backslash cos\; \backslash phi\; -\backslash sin\; \backslash phi\; 0\backslash \backslash \; \backslash sin\; \backslash phi\; \backslash cos\; \backslash phi\; 0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; 0\; 1\; \backslash end\backslash right$
These matrices are unitary and thus . In terms of Euler angles
The Euler angles are three angles introduced by Leonhard Euler
Leonhard Euler ( ; ; 15 April 170718 September 1783) was a Swiss mathematician
A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics
Mathematics ( ...

This is effected by first applying a rotation $g\_$ through about the to take the to the line , the intersection between the planes and , the latter being the rotated . Then rotate with $g\_$ through about to obtain the new from the old one, and finally rotate by $g\_$ through an angle about the ''new'' , where is the angle between and the new . In the equation, $g\_$ and $g\_$ are expressed in a temporary ''rotated basis'' at each step, which is seen from their simple form. To transform these back to the original basis, observe that $\backslash mathbf\_\; =\; g\_g\_g\_^.$ Here boldface means that the rotation is expressed in the ''original'' basis. Likewise,
:$\backslash mathbf\_\; =\; g\_g\_g\_^\; g\_\; g\_\; \backslash left;\; href="/html/ALL/s/g\_g\_g\_^\_g\_\_\backslash right\_.html"\; ;"title="g\_g\_g\_^\; g\_\; \backslash right\; ">g\_g\_g\_^\; g\_\; \backslash right$
Thus
:$\backslash mathbf\_\backslash mathbf\_\backslash mathbf\_\; =\; g\_g\_g\_^\; g\_g\_\; \backslash left;\; href="/html/ALL/s/\_\_g\_\_g\_^\_g\_\_\backslash right\_.html"\; ;"title="\_\; g\_\; g\_^\; g\_\; \backslash right\; ">\_\; g\_\; g\_^\; g\_\; \backslash right$ one finds for a general rotation
one has
For the converse, consider a general matrix
:$\backslash pm\backslash Pi\_u(g\_)\; =\; \backslash pm\backslash begin\; \backslash alpha\; \&\; \backslash beta\backslash \backslash \; -\backslash overline\; \&\; \backslash overline\; \backslash end\; \backslash in\; \backslash operatorname(2).$
Make the substitutions
:$\backslash begin\; \backslash cos\backslash frac\; \&=\; ,\; \backslash alpha,\; ,\; \&\; \backslash sin\backslash frac\; \&=\; ,\; \backslash beta,\; ,\; \&\; (0\; \backslash le\; \backslash theta\; \backslash le\; \backslash pi),\backslash \backslash \; \backslash frac\; \&=\; \backslash arg\; \backslash alpha,\; \&\; \backslash frac\; \&=\; \backslash arg\; \backslash beta.\; \&\; \backslash end$
With the substitutions, assumes the form of the right hand side ( RHS) of , which corresponds under to a matrix on the form of the RHS of with the same . In terms of the complex parameters ,
:$g\_\; =\; \backslash begin\; \backslash frac\backslash left(\; \backslash alpha^2\; -\; \backslash beta^2\; +\; \backslash overline\; -\; \backslash overline\backslash right)\; \&\; \backslash frac\backslash left(-\backslash alpha^2\; -\; \backslash beta^2\; +\; \backslash overline\; +\; \backslash overline\backslash right)\; \&\; -\backslash alpha\backslash beta\; -\; \backslash overline\backslash overline\backslash \backslash \; \backslash frac\backslash left(\backslash alpha^2\; -\; \backslash beta^2\; -\; \backslash overline\; +\; \backslash overline\backslash right)\; \&\; \backslash frac\backslash left(\backslash alpha^2\; +\; \backslash beta^2\; +\; \backslash overline\; +\; \backslash overline\backslash right)\; \&\; -i\backslash left(+\backslash alpha\backslash beta\; -\; \backslash overline\backslash overline\backslash right)\backslash \backslash \; \backslash alpha\backslash overline\; +\; \backslash overline\backslash beta\; \&\; i\backslash left(-\backslash alpha\backslash overline\; +\; \backslash overline\backslash beta\backslash right)\; \&\; \backslash alpha\backslash overline\; -\; \backslash beta\backslash overline\; \backslash end.$
To verify this, substitute for the elements of the matrix on the RHS of . After some manipulation, the matrix assumes the form of the RHS of .
It is clear from the explicit form in terms of Euler angles that the map
:$\backslash begin\; p:\backslash operatorname(2)\; \backslash to\; \backslash operatorname(3)\backslash \backslash \; \backslash Pi\_u(\backslash pm\; g\_)\; \backslash mapsto\; g\_\backslash end$
just described is a smooth, and surjective group homomorphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

. It is hence an explicit description of the universal covering map of from the universal covering group
In mathematics, a covering group of a topological group ''H'' is a covering space ''G'' of ''H'' such that ''G'' is a topological group and the covering map is a continuous (topology), continuous group homomorphism. The map ''p'' is called the c ...

.
Lie algebra

Associated with every Lie group is itsLie algebra
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

, a linear space of the same dimension as the Lie group, closed under a bilinear alternating product called the Lie bracket
In mathematics, a Lie algebra (pronounced "Lee") is a vector space \mathfrak g together with an Binary operation, operation called the Lie bracket, an Alternating multilinear map, alternating bilinear map \mathfrak g \times \mathfrak g \rightar ...

. The Lie algebra of is denoted by $\backslash mathfrak(3)$ and consists of all skew-symmetric matrices. This may be seen by differentiating the orthogonality condition, .For an alternative derivation of $\backslash mathfrak(3)$, see Classical group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gen ...

. The Lie bracket of two elements of $\backslash mathfrak(3)$ is, as for the Lie algebra of every matrix group, given by the matrix commutator, , which is again a skew-symmetric matrix. The Lie algebra bracket captures the essence of the Lie group product in a sense made precise by the Baker–Campbell–Hausdorff formula.
The elements of $\backslash mathfrak(3)$ are the "infinitesimal generators" of rotations, i.e. they are the elements of the tangent space of the manifold SO(3) at the identity element. If $R(\backslash phi,\; \backslash boldsymbol)$ denotes a counterclockwise rotation with angle φ about the axis specified by the unit vector $\backslash boldsymbol,$ then
:$\backslash forall\; \backslash boldsymbol\; \backslash in\; \backslash R^3:\; \backslash qquad\; \backslash left.\; \backslash frac\; \backslash \_\; R(\backslash phi,\backslash boldsymbol)\; \backslash boldsymbol\; =\; \backslash boldsymbol\; \backslash times\; \backslash boldsymbol.$
This can be used to show that the Lie algebra $\backslash mathfrak(3)$ (with commutator) is isomorphic to the Lie algebra $\backslash R^3$ (with cross product). Under this isomorphism, an Axis–angle representation#Rotation vector, Euler vector $\backslash boldsymbol\backslash in\backslash R^3$ corresponds to the linear map $\backslash widetilde$ defined by $\backslash widetilde(\backslash boldsymbol)\; =\; \backslash boldsymbol\backslash times\backslash boldsymbol.$
In more detail, a most often suitable basis for $\backslash mathfrak(3)$ as a vector space is
:$\backslash boldsymbol\_x\; =\; \backslash begin0\&0\&0\backslash \backslash 0\&0\&-1\backslash \backslash 0\&1\&0\backslash end,\; \backslash quad\; \backslash boldsymbol\_y\; =\; \backslash begin0\&0\&1\backslash \backslash 0\&0\&0\backslash \backslash -1\&0\&0\backslash end,\; \backslash quad\; \backslash boldsymbol\_z\; =\; \backslash begin0\&-1\&0\backslash \backslash 1\&0\&0\backslash \backslash 0\&0\&0\backslash end.$
The commutation relations of these basis elements are,
:$[\backslash boldsymbol\_x,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_y]\; =\; \backslash boldsymbol\_z,\; \backslash quad\; [\backslash boldsymbol\_z,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_x]\; =\; \backslash boldsymbol\_y,\; \backslash quad\; [\backslash boldsymbol\_y,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_z]\; =\; \backslash boldsymbol\_x$
which agree with the relations of the three standard basis, standard unit vectors of $\backslash R^3$ under the cross product.
As announced above, one can identify any matrix in this Lie algebra with an Euler vector $\backslash boldsymbol\; =\; (x,y,z)\; \backslash in\backslash R^3,$
:$\backslash widehat\; =\backslash boldsymbol\backslash cdot\; \backslash boldsymbol\; =\; x\; \backslash boldsymbol\_x\; +\; y\; \backslash boldsymbol\_y\; +\; z\; \backslash boldsymbol\_z\; =\backslash begin0\&-z\&y\backslash \backslash z\&0\&-x\backslash \backslash -y\&x\&0\backslash end\; \backslash in\; \backslash mathfrak(3).$
This identification is sometimes called the hat-map. Under this identification, the $\backslash mathfrak(3)$ bracket corresponds in $\backslash R^3$ to the cross product,
:$\backslash left\; [\backslash widehat,\backslash widehat\; \backslash right\; ]\; =\; \backslash widehat.$
The matrix identified with a vector $\backslash boldsymbol$ has the property that
:$\backslash widehat\backslash boldsymbol\; =\; \backslash boldsymbol\; \backslash times\; \backslash boldsymbol,$
where the left-hand side we have ordinary matrix multiplication. This implies $\backslash boldsymbol$ is in the null space of the skew-symmetric matrix with which it is identified, because $\backslash boldsymbol\; \backslash times\; \backslash boldsymbol\; =\; \backslash boldsymbol.$
A note on Lie algebras

In Lie algebra representations, the group SO(3) is compact and simple of rank 1, and so it has a single independent Casimir element, a quadratic invariant function of the three generators which commutes with all of them. The Killing form for the rotation group is just the Kronecker delta, and so this Casimir invariant is simply the sum of the squares of the generators, $\backslash boldsymbol\_x,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_y,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_z,$ of the algebra :$[\backslash boldsymbol\_x,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_y]\; =\; \backslash boldsymbol\_z,\; \backslash quad\; [\backslash boldsymbol\_z,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_x]\; =\; \backslash boldsymbol\_y,\; \backslash quad\; [\backslash boldsymbol\_y,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_z]\; =\; \backslash boldsymbol\_x.$ That is, the Casimir invariant is given by :$\backslash boldsymbol^2\backslash equiv\; \backslash boldsymbol\backslash cdot\; \backslash boldsymbol\; =\backslash boldsymbol\_x^2+\backslash boldsymbol\_y^2+\backslash boldsymbol\_z^2\; \backslash propto\; \backslash boldsymbol.$ For unitary irreducible Lie algebra representation, representations , the eigenvalues of this invariant are real and discrete, and characterize each representation, which is finite dimensional, of dimensionality $2j+1$. That is, the eigenvalues of this Casimir operator are :$\backslash boldsymbol^2=-\; j(j+1)\; \backslash boldsymbol\_$ where $j$ is integer or half-integer, and referred to as thespin
Spin or spinning may refer to:
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or angular momentum.
So, above, the 3 × 3 generators, ''L'', displayed act on the triplet (spin 1) representation, while the 2 × 2 ones, ''t'', act on the Spinor, doublet (spin-½) representation. By taking Kronecker products of with itself repeatedly, one may construct all higher irreducible representations . That is, the resulting generators for higher spin systems in three spatial dimensions, for arbitrarily large , can be calculated using these spin operators and ladder operators.
For every unitary irreducible representations there is an equivalent one, . All
infinite-dimensional irreducible representations must be non-unitary, since the group is compact.
In quantum mechanics, the Casimir invariant is the "angular-momentum-squared" operator; integer values of spin characterize boson, bosonic representations, while half-integer values fermion, fermionic representations. The Skew-Hermitian matrix, antihermitian matrices used above are utilized as spin operators, after they are multiplied by , so they are now Hermitian matrix, hermitian (like the Pauli matrices). Thus, in this language,
:$[\backslash boldsymbol\_x,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_y]\; =\; i\backslash boldsymbol\_z,\; \backslash quad\; [\backslash boldsymbol\_z,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_x]\; =\; i\backslash boldsymbol\_y,\; \backslash quad\; [\backslash boldsymbol\_y,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_z]\; =\; i\backslash boldsymbol\_x.$
and hence
:$\backslash boldsymbol^2=\; j(j+1)\; \backslash boldsymbol\_.$
Explicit expressions for these are,
:$\backslash begin\; \backslash left\; (\backslash boldsymbol\_z^\backslash right\; )\_\; \&=\; (j+1-a)\backslash delta\_\backslash \backslash \; \backslash left\; (\backslash boldsymbol\_x^\backslash right\; )\_\; \&=\backslash frac\; \backslash left\; (\backslash delta\_+\backslash delta\_\; \backslash right\; )\; \backslash sqrt\backslash \backslash \; \backslash left\; (\backslash boldsymbol\_y^\backslash right\; )\_\; \&=\backslash frac\; \backslash left\; (\backslash delta\_-\backslash delta\_\; \backslash right\; )\; \backslash sqrt\backslash \backslash \; \backslash end$
where $j$ is arbitrary and $1\; \backslash le\; a,\; b\; \backslash le\; 2j+1.$
For example, the resulting spin matrices for spin 1 ($j\; =\; 1$) are:
:$\backslash begin\; \backslash boldsymbol\_x\; \&=\; \backslash frac\; \backslash begin\; 0\; \&1\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; 1\; \&0\; \&1\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&1\; \&0\; \backslash end\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash boldsymbol\_y\; \&=\; \backslash frac\; \backslash begin\; 0\; \&-i\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; i\; \&0\; \&-i\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&i\; \&0\; \backslash end\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash boldsymbol\_z\; \&=\; \backslash begin\; 1\; \&0\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&-1\; \backslash end\; \backslash end$
Note, however, how these are in an equivalent, but different basis, the Spherical basis#Change of basis matrix, spherical basis, than the above $i\backslash boldsymbol$ in the Cartesian basis.Specifically, $\backslash boldsymbol\; \backslash boldsymbol\_\backslash boldsymbol^\backslash dagger=i\backslash boldsymbol\_\backslash alpha$ for
:$\backslash boldsymbol=\; \backslash frac\; \backslash begin\; -1\; \&\; 0\; \&\; 1\; \backslash \backslash \; -i\; \&\; 0\; \&-\; i\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; \backslash sqrt\; \&\; 0\backslash end.$
For spin ($j=\backslash tfrac$):
:$\backslash begin\; \backslash boldsymbol\_x\; \&=\; \backslash frac\; \backslash begin\; 0\; \&\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; \backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&2\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&2\; \&0\; \&\backslash sqrt\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \backslash end\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash boldsymbol\_y\; \&=\; \backslash frac\; \backslash begin\; 0\; \&-i\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; i\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&-2i\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&2i\; \&0\; \&-i\backslash sqrt\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&i\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \backslash end\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash boldsymbol\_z\; \&=\backslash frac\; \backslash begin\; 3\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&1\; \&0\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&-1\; \&0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&-3\; \backslash end.\; \backslash end$
For spin ($j\; =\; \backslash tfrac$):
:$\backslash begin\; \backslash boldsymbol\_x\; \&=\; \backslash frac\; \backslash begin\; 0\; \&\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&2\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&2\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&3\; \&0\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&3\; \&0\; \&2\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&2\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&\backslash sqrt\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \backslash end\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash boldsymbol\_y\; \&=\; \backslash frac\; \backslash begin\; 0\; \&-i\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; i\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&-2i\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&2i\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&-3i\; \&0\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&3i\; \&0\; \&-2i\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&2i\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \&-i\backslash sqrt\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&i\backslash sqrt\; \&0\; \backslash end\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash boldsymbol\_z\; \&=\; \backslash frac\; \backslash begin\; 5\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&3\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&1\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&-1\; \&0\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&-3\; \&0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&0\; \&-5\; \backslash end.\; \backslash end$
Isomorphism with 𝖘𝖚(2)

The Lie algebras $\backslash mathfrak(3)$ and $\backslash mathfrak(2)$ are isomorphic. One basis for $\backslash mathfrak(2)$ is given by :$\backslash boldsymbol\_1\; =\; \backslash frac\backslash begin0\; \&\; -i\backslash \backslash \; -i\; \&\; 0\backslash end,\; \backslash quad\; \backslash boldsymbol\_2\; =\; \backslash frac\backslash begin0\; \&\; -1\backslash \backslash \; 1\; \&\; 0\backslash end,\; \backslash quad\; \backslash boldsymbol\_3\; =\; \backslash frac\backslash begin-i\; \&\; 0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; i\backslash end.$ These are related to the Pauli matrix, Pauli matrices by :$\backslash boldsymbol\_i\; \backslash longleftrightarrow\; \backslash frac\; \backslash sigma\_i.$ The Pauli matrices abide by the physicists' convention for Lie algebras. In that convention, Lie algebra elements are multiplied by , the exponential map (below) is defined with an extra factor of in the exponent and the structure constants remain the same, but the ''definition'' of them acquires a factor of . Likewise, commutation relations acquire a factor of . The commutation relations for the $\backslash boldsymbol\_i$ are :$[\backslash boldsymbol\_i,\; \backslash boldsymbol\_j]\; =\; \backslash varepsilon\_\backslash boldsymbol\_k,$ where is the totally anti-symmetric symbol with . The isomorphism between $\backslash mathfrak(3)$ and $\backslash mathfrak(2)$ can be set up in several ways. For later convenience, $\backslash mathfrak(3)$ and $\backslash mathfrak(2)$ are identified by mapping :$\backslash boldsymbol\_x\; \backslash longleftrightarrow\; \backslash boldsymbol\_1,\; \backslash quad\; \backslash boldsymbol\_y\; \backslash longleftrightarrow\; \backslash boldsymbol\_2,\; \backslash quad\; \backslash boldsymbol\_z\; \backslash longleftrightarrow\; \backslash boldsymbol\_3,$ and extending by linearity.Exponential map

The exponential map for , is, since is a matrix Lie group, defined using the standard matrix exponential series, :$\backslash begin\; \backslash exp\; :\; \backslash mathfrak(3)\; \backslash to\; \backslash operatorname(3)\; \backslash \backslash \; A\; \backslash mapsto\; e^A\; =\; \backslash sum\_^\backslash infty\; \backslash frac\; A^k\; =\; I\; +\; A\; +\; \backslash tfrac\; A^2\; +\; \backslash cdots.\backslash end$ For any skew-symmetric matrix , is always in . The proof uses the elementary properties of the matrix exponential :$\backslash left(e^A\backslash right)^\backslash textsf\; e^A\; =\; e^\; e^A\; =\; e^\; =\; e^\; =\; e^\; =\; e^A\; \backslash left(e^A\backslash right)^\backslash textsf\; =\; e^0\; =\; I.$ since the matrices and commute, this can be easily proven with the skew-symmetric matrix condition. This is not enough to show that is the corresponding Lie algebra for , and shall be proven separately. The level of difficulty of proof depends on how a matrix group Lie algebra is defined. defines the Lie algebra as the set of matrices :$\backslash left\backslash ,$ in which case it is trivial. uses for a definition derivatives of smooth curve segments in through the identity taken at the identity, in which case it is harder. For a fixed , is a one-parameter subgroup along a geodesic in . That this gives a one-parameter subgroup follows directly from properties of the exponential map. The exponential map provides a diffeomorphism between a neighborhood of the origin in the and a neighborhood of the identity in the . For a proof, see Closed subgroup theorem. The exponential map issurjective
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...

. This follows from the fact that every , since every rotation leaves an axis fixed (Euler's rotation theorem
In geometry, Euler's rotation theorem states that, in three-dimensional space, any displacement of a rigid body such that a point on the rigid body remains fixed, is equivalent to a single rotation about some axis that runs through the fixed poi ...

), and is conjugate to a block diagonal matrix of the form
:$D\; =\; \backslash begin\backslash cos\; \backslash theta\; \&\; -\backslash sin\; \backslash theta\; \&\; 0\backslash \backslash \; \backslash sin\; \backslash theta\; \&\; \backslash cos\; \backslash theta\; \&\; 0\backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; 0\; \&\; 1\backslash end\; =\; e^,$
such that , and that
:$Be^B^\; =\; e^,$
together with the fact that is closed under the adjoint representation, adjoint action of , meaning that .
Thus, e.g., it is easy to check the popular identity
:$e^\; e^\; e^\; =\; e^.$
As shown above, every element is associated with a vector , where is a unit magnitude vector. Since is in the null space of , if one now rotates to a new basis, through some other orthogonal matrix , with as the axis, the final column and row of the rotation matrix in the new basis will be zero.
Thus, we know in advance from the formula for the exponential that must leave fixed. It is mathematically impossible to supply a straightforward formula for such a basis as a function of , because its existence would violate the hairy ball theorem; but direct exponentiation is possible, and Axis–angle representation#Exponential map from 𝖘𝖔(3) to SO(3), yields
:$\backslash begin\; \backslash exp(\backslash tilde)\; \&=\; \backslash exp(\backslash theta(\backslash boldsymbol))\; =\; \backslash exp\backslash left(\backslash theta\; \backslash begin\; 0\; \&\; -z\; \&\; y\; \backslash \backslash \; z\; \&\; 0\; \&\; -x\; \backslash \backslash \; -y\; \&\; x\; \&\; 0\; \backslash end\backslash right)\backslash \backslash [4pt]\; \&=\; \backslash boldsymbol\; +\; 2cs(\backslash boldsymbol)\; +\; 2s^2\; (\backslash boldsymbol)^2\; \backslash \backslash [4pt]\; \&=\; \backslash begin\; 2\; \backslash left(x^2\; -\; 1\backslash right)\; s^2\; +\; 1\; \&\; 2\; x\; y\; s^2\; -\; 2\; z\; c\; s\; \&\; 2\; x\; z\; s^2\; +\; 2\; y\; c\; s\; \backslash \backslash \; 2\; x\; y\; s^2\; +\; 2\; z\; c\; s\; \&\; 2\; \backslash left(y^2\; -\; 1\backslash right)\; s^2\; +\; 1\; \&\; 2\; y\; z\; s^2\; -\; 2\; x\; c\; s\; \backslash \backslash \; 2\; x\; z\; s^2\; -\; 2\; y\; c\; s\; \&\; 2\; y\; z\; s^2\; +\; 2\; x\; c\; s\; \&\; 2\; \backslash left(z^2\; -\; 1\backslash right)\; s^2\; +\; 1\; \backslash end,\; \backslash end$
where $c\; =\; \backslash cos\backslash frac$ and $s\; =\; \backslash sin\backslash frac$. This is recognized as a matrix for a rotation around axis by the angle : cf. Rodrigues' rotation formula.
Logarithm map

Given , let $A\; =\; \backslash tfrac\; \backslash left(R\; -\; R^\backslash mathrm\backslash right)$ denote the antisymmetric part and let $\backslash ,\; A\backslash ,\; =\; \backslash sqrt.$ Then, the logarithm of is given by :$\backslash log\; R\; =\; \backslash fracA.$ This is manifest by inspection of the mixed symmetry form of Rodrigues' formula, :$e^X\; =\; I\; +\; \backslash fracX\; +\; 2\backslash fracX^2,\; \backslash quad\; \backslash theta\; =\; \backslash ,\; X\backslash ,\; ,$ where the first and last term on the right-hand side are symmetric.Baker–Campbell–Hausdorff formula

Suppose and in the Lie algebra are given. Their exponentials, and , are rotation matrices, which can be multiplied. Since the exponential map is a surjection, for some in the Lie algebra, , and one may tentatively write :$Z\; =\; C(X,\; Y),$ for some expression in and . When and commute, then , mimicking the behavior of complex exponentiation. The general case is given by the more elaborate BCH formula, a series expansion of nested Lie brackets. For matrices, the Lie bracket is the same operation as the commutator, which monitors lack of commutativity in multiplication. This general expansion unfolds as follows,For a full proof, see Derivative of the exponential map. Issues of convergence of this series to the correct element of the Lie algebra are here swept under the carpet. Convergence is guaranteed when $\backslash ,\; X\backslash ,\; +\; \backslash ,\; Y\backslash ,\; <\; \backslash log\; 2$ and $\backslash ,\; Z\backslash ,\; <\; \backslash log\; 2.$ The series may still converge even if these conditions aren't fulfilled. A solution always exists since is onto in the cases under consideration. :$Z\; =\; C(X,\; Y)\; =\; X\; +\; Y\; +\; \backslash frac\; [X,\; Y]\; +\; \backslash tfrac\; [X,\; [X,\; Y\; -\; \backslash frac\; [Y,\; [X,\; Y\; +\; \backslash cdots.$ The infinite expansion in the BCH formula for reduces to a compact form, :$Z\; =\; \backslash alpha\; X\; +\; \backslash beta\; Y\; +\; \backslash gamma[X,\; Y],$ for suitable trigonometric function coefficients . The are given by :$\backslash alpha\; =\; \backslash phi\; \backslash cot\backslash left(\backslash frac\backslash right)\; \backslash gamma,\; \backslash qquad\; \backslash beta\; =\; \backslash theta\; \backslash cot\backslash left(\backslash frac\backslash right)\backslash gamma,\; \backslash qquad\; \backslash gamma\; =\; \backslash frac\backslash frac,$ where :$\backslash begin\; c\; \&=\; \backslash frac\backslash sin\backslash theta\backslash sin\backslash phi\; -\; 2\backslash sin^2\backslash frac\backslash sin^2\backslash frac\backslash cos(\backslash angle(u,\; v)),\backslash quad\; a\; =\; c\; \backslash cot\backslash left(\backslash frac\backslash right),\; \backslash quad\; b\; =\; c\; \backslash cot\backslash left(\backslash frac\backslash right),\; \backslash \backslash \; d\; \&=\; \backslash sqrt,\; \backslash end$ for :$\backslash theta\; =\; \backslash frac\backslash ,\; X\backslash ,\; ,\backslash quad\; \backslash phi\; =\; \backslash frac\backslash ,\; Y\backslash ,\; ,\backslash quad\; \backslash angle(u,\; v)\; =\; \backslash cos^\backslash frac.$ The inner product is the Hilbert–Schmidt inner product and the norm is the associated norm. Under the hat-isomorphism, :$\backslash langle\; u,\; v\backslash rangle\; =\; \backslash frac\backslash operatornameX^\backslash mathrmY,$ which explains the factors for and . This drops out in the expression for the angle. It is worthwhile to write this composite rotation generator as :$\backslash alpha\; X\; +\; \backslash beta\; Y\; +\; \backslash gamma[X,\; Y]\backslash underset\; X\; +\; Y\; +\; \backslash frac\; [X,\; Y]\; +\; \backslash frac\; [X,\; [X,\; Y\; -\; \backslash frac\; [Y,\; [X,\; Y\; +\; \backslash cdots,$ to emphasize that this is a ''Lie algebra identity''. The above identity holds for all faithful representations of . The kernel (algebra), kernel of a Lie algebra homomorphism is an ideal (Lie algebra), ideal, but , being simple (abstract algebra), simple, has no nontrivial ideals and all nontrivial representations are hence faithful. It holds in particular in the doublet or spinor representation. The same explicit formula thus follows in a simpler way through Pauli matrices, cf. the Pauli matrices#Exponential of a Pauli vector, 2×2 derivation for SU(2). The Pauli matrices#Exponential of a Pauli vector, Pauli vector version of the same BCH formula is the somewhat simpler group composition law of SU(2), :$e^e^\; =\; \backslash exp\backslash left(\; \backslash frac\; \backslash sin\; a\text{'}\; \backslash sin\; b\text{'}\; \backslash left(\backslash left(i\backslash cot\; b\text{'}\backslash hat\; +\; i\; \backslash cot\; a\text{'}\; \backslash hat\backslash right)\backslash cdot\backslash vec\; +\; \backslash frac\; \backslash left[i\; \backslash hat\; \backslash cdot\; \backslash vec,\; i\; \backslash hat\; \backslash cdot\; \backslash vec\backslash right]\backslash right)\; \backslash right),$ where :$\backslash cos\; c\text{'}\; =\; \backslash cos\; a\text{'}\; \backslash cos\; b\text{'}\; -\; \backslash hat\; \backslash cdot\backslash hat\; \backslash sin\; a\text{'}\; \backslash sin\; b\text{'},$ the spherical law of cosines. (Note are angles, not the above.) This is manifestly of the same format as above, :$Z\; =\; \backslash alpha\text{'}\; X\; +\; \backslash beta\text{'}\; Y\; +\; \backslash gamma\text{'}\; [X,\; Y],$ with :$X\; =\; i\; a\text{'}\backslash hat\; \backslash cdot\; \backslash mathbf,\; \backslash quad\; Y\; =\; ib\text{'}\backslash hat\; \backslash cdot\; \backslash mathbf\; \backslash in\; \backslash mathfrak(2),$ so that :$\backslash begin\; \backslash alpha\text{'}\; \&=\; \backslash frac\backslash frac\backslash cos\; b\text{'}\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash beta\text{'}\; \&=\; \backslash frac\backslash frac\backslash cos\; a\text{'}\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash gamma\text{'}\; \&=\; \backslash frac\backslash frac\backslash frac\backslash frac.\; \backslash end$ For uniform normalization of the generators in the Lie algebra involved, express the Pauli matrices in terms of -matrices, , so that :$a\text{'}\; \backslash mapsto\; -\backslash frac,\; \backslash quad\; b\text{'}\; \backslash mapsto\; -\; \backslash frac.$ To verify then these are the same coefficients as above, compute the ratios of the coefficients, :$\backslash begin\; \backslash frac\; \&=\; \backslash theta\backslash cot\backslash frac\; \&=\; \backslash frac\backslash \backslash \; \backslash frac\; \&=\; \backslash phi\backslash cot\backslash frac\; \&=\; \backslash frac.\; \backslash end$ Finally, given the identity . For the general case, one might use Ref. Thequaternion
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

formulation of the composition of two rotations RInfinitesimal rotations

The matrices in the Lie algebra are not themselves rotations; the skew-symmetric matrices are derivatives. An actual "differential rotation", or ''infinitesimal rotation matrix'' has the form :$I\; +\; A\; \backslash ,\; d\backslash theta,$ where is vanishingly small and . These matrices do not satisfy all the same properties as ordinary finite rotation matrices under the usual treatment of infinitesimals . To understand what this means, consider :$dA\_\; =\; \backslash begin\; 1\; \&\; 0\; \&\; 0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; 1\; \&\; -d\backslash theta\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; d\backslash theta\; \&\; 1\; \backslash end.$ First, test the orthogonality condition, . The product is :$dA\_\backslash mathbf^\backslash textsf\; \backslash ,\; dA\_\backslash mathbf\; =\; \backslash begin\; 1\; \&\; 0\; \&\; 0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; 1\; +\; d\backslash theta^2\; \&\; 0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; 0\; \&\; 1\; +\; d\backslash theta^2\; \backslash end,$ differing from an identity matrix by second order infinitesimals, discarded here. So, to first order, an infinitesimal rotation matrix is an orthogonal matrix. Next, examine the square of the matrix, :$dA\_^2\; =\; \backslash begin\; 1\; \&\; 0\; \&\; 0\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; 1\; -\; d\backslash theta^2\; \&\; -2d\backslash theta\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; 2\backslash ,d\backslash theta\; \&\; 1\; -\; d\backslash theta^2\; \backslash end.$ Again discarding second order effects, note that the angle simply doubles. This hints at the most essential difference in behavior, which we can exhibit with the assistance of a second infinitesimal rotation, :$dA\_\backslash mathbf\; =\; \backslash begin\; 1\; \&\; 0\; \&\; d\backslash phi\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; 1\; \&\; 0\; \backslash \backslash \; -d\backslash phi\; \&\; 0\; \&\; 1\; \backslash end.$ Compare the products to , :$\backslash begin\; dA\_\backslash ,dA\_\; \&=\; \backslash begin\; 1\; \&\; 0\; \&\; d\backslash phi\; \backslash \backslash \; d\backslash theta\backslash ,d\backslash phi\; \&\; 1\; \&\; -d\backslash theta\; \backslash \backslash \; -d\backslash phi\; \&\; d\backslash theta\; \&\; 1\; \backslash end\; \backslash \backslash \; dA\_\backslash ,dA\_\; \&=\; \backslash begin\; 1\; \&\; d\backslash theta\backslash ,d\backslash phi\; \&\; d\backslash phi\; \backslash \backslash \; 0\; \&\; 1\; \&\; -d\backslash theta\; \backslash \backslash \; -d\backslash phi\; \&\; d\backslash theta\; \&\; 1\; \backslash end.\; \backslash \backslash \; \backslash end$ Since $d\backslash theta\; \backslash ,\; d\backslash phi$ is second-order, we discard it: thus, to first order, multiplication of infinitesimal rotation matrices is ''commutative''. In fact, :$dA\_\backslash ,dA\_\; =\; dA\_\backslash ,dA\_,$ again to first order. In other words, the order in which infinitesimal rotations are applied is irrelevant. This useful fact makes, for example, derivation of rigid body rotation relatively simple. But one must always be careful to distinguish (the first order treatment of) these infinitesimal rotation matrices from both finite rotation matrices and from Lie algebra elements. When contrasting the behavior of finite rotation matrices in the BCH formula above with that of infinitesimal rotation matrices, where all the commutator terms will be second order infinitesimals one finds a bona fide vector space. Technically, this dismissal of any second order terms amounts to Group contraction.Realizations of rotations

We have seen that there are a variety of ways to represent rotations: * as orthogonal matrices with determinant 1, * by axis and rotation angle * inversor
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

s and the map 3-sphere
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...

''S''quaternions and spatial rotation Unit
Unit may refer to:
Arts and entertainment
* UNIT
Unit may refer to:
Arts and entertainment
* UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who''
* Unit of action, a discrete piece of action (or bea ...

s)
* in geometric algebra as a Rotor (mathematics), rotor
* as a sequence of three rotations about three fixed axes; see Euler angles.
Spherical harmonics

See also Representation of a Lie group#An example: The rotation group SO.283.29, Representations of SO(3) The group of three-dimensional Euclidean rotations has an infinite-dimensional representation on the Hilbert space :$L^2\backslash left(\backslash mathbf^2\backslash right)\; =\; \backslash operatorname\; \backslash left\backslash ,$ where $Y^\backslash ell\_m$ are spherical harmonics. Its elements are square integrable complex-valued functionsThe elements of are actually equivalence classes of functions. two functions are declared equivalent if they differ merely on a set of measure zero. The integral is the Lebesgue integral in order to obtain a ''complete'' inner product space. on the sphere. The inner product on this space is given by If is an arbitrary square integrable function defined on the unit sphere , then it can be expressed as where the expansion coefficients are given by The Lorentz group action restricts to that of and is expressed as This action is unitary, meaning that The can be obtained from the of above using Clebsch–Gordan coefficients, Clebsch–Gordan decomposition, but they are more easily directly expressed as an exponential of an odd-dimensional -representation (the 3-dimensional one is exactly ). In this case the space decomposes neatly into an infinite direct sum of irreducible odd finite-dimensional representations according to Section 4.3.5. This is characteristic of infinite-dimensional unitary representations of . If is an infinite-dimensional unitary representation on a separable space, separableA Hilbert space is separable if and only if it has a countable basis. All separable Hilbert spaces are isomorphic. Hilbert space, then it decomposes as a direct sum of finite-dimensional unitary representations. Such a representation is thus never irreducible. All irreducible finite-dimensional representations can be made unitary by an appropriate choice of inner product, :$\backslash langle\; f,\; g\backslash rangle\_U\; \backslash equiv\; \backslash int\_\; \backslash langle\backslash Pi(R)f,\; \backslash Pi(R)g\backslash rangle\; \backslash ,\; dg\; =\; \backslash frac\; \backslash int\_0^\; \backslash int\_0^\backslash pi\; \backslash int\_0^\; \backslash langle\; \backslash Pi(R)f,\; \backslash Pi(R)g\backslash rangle\; \backslash sin\; \backslash theta\; \backslash ,\; d\backslash phi\; \backslash ,\; d\backslash theta\; \backslash ,\; d\backslash psi,\; \backslash quad\; f,g\; \backslash in\; V,$ where the integral is the unique invariant integral over normalized to , here expressed using theEuler angles
The Euler angles are three angles introduced by Leonhard Euler
Leonhard Euler ( ; ; 15 April 170718 September 1783) was a Swiss mathematician
A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics
Mathematics ( ...

parametrization. The inner product inside the integral is any inner product on .
Generalizations

The rotation group generalizes quite naturally to ''n''-dimensionalEuclidean space
Euclidean space is the fundamental space of . Originally, it was the of , but in modern there are Euclidean spaces of any nonnegative integer , including the three-dimensional space and the ''Euclidean plane'' (dimension two). It was introduce ...

, $\backslash R^n$ with its standard Euclidean structure. The group of all proper and improper rotations in ''n'' dimensions is called the orthogonal group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gen ...

O(''n''), and the subgroup of proper rotations is called the special orthogonal group SO(''n''), which is a Lie group
In mathematics, a Lie group (pronounced "Lee") is a group (mathematics), group that is also a differentiable manifold. A manifold is a space that locally resembles Euclidean space, whereas groups define the abstract concept of a binary operati ...

of dimension .
In special relativity, one works in a 4-dimensional vector space, known as Minkowski space rather than 3-dimensional Euclidean space. Unlike Euclidean space, Minkowski space has an inner product with an indefinite metric signature, signature. However, one can still define ''generalized rotations'' which preserve this inner product. Such generalized rotations are known as Lorentz transformations and the group of all such transformations is called the Lorentz group.
The rotation group SO(3) can be described as a subgroup of SE(3), ESee also

*Orthogonal group *Angular momentum *Coordinate rotations *Charts on SO(3) *Representation of a Lie group#An example: The rotation group SO(3), Representations of SO(3) *Euler angles
The Euler angles are three angles introduced by Leonhard Euler
Leonhard Euler ( ; ; 15 April 170718 September 1783) was a Swiss mathematician
A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics
Mathematics ( ...

*Rodrigues' rotation formula
*Infinitesimal rotation
*Pin group
*Quaternions and spatial rotations
*Rigid body
*Spherical harmonics
*Plane of rotation
*Footnotes

References

Bibliography

* * ** * * * * * (translation of the original 1932 edition, ''Die Gruppentheoretische Methode in Der Quantenmechanik''). *. {{DEFAULTSORT:Rotation Group Lie groups Rotational symmetry Rotation in three dimensions Euclidean solid geometry