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# Lie derivative

In mathematics, a Lie derivative is a derivation on the algebra of smooth functions over a manifold M. The vector space of all Lie derivatives on M forms an infinite dimensional Lie algebra with respect to the Lie bracket defined by [A,B]≡£AB=-£BA.

The Lie derivatives are represented by vector fields, as infinitesimal generators of flows (active diffeomorphisms) on M. Looking at it the other way round, the diffeomorphism group of M has the associated Lie algebra structure, of Lie derivatives, in a way directly analogous to the Lie group theory.

## Lie derivative of tensor fields

In differential geometry, if we have a differentiable tensor T of rank (p q) (i.e. a differentiable linear map of smooth sections, α, β, ... of the cotangent bundle T*M and X, Y, ... of the tangent bundle TM, T(α,β,...,X,Y,...) such that for any smooth functions f1,...,fp,...,fp+q, T(f1α,f2β,...,fp+1X,fp+2Y,...)=f1f2...fp+1fp+2...fp+qT(α,β,...,X,Y,...)) and a differentiable vector field (section of the tangent bundle) A , then the linear map

AT)(α,β,...,X,Y,...)≡∇A T(α,β,...,X,Y,...)-∇T(-,β,...,X,Y,...)A(α)-...+ T(α,β,...,∇XA,Y,...)+...

is independent of the connection ∇ used, as long as it's torsion-free, and in fact, is a tensor. This tensor is called the Lie derivative of T with respect to A.