2. Lecture 1
2.1. Historical remarks. The theory of rational Cherednik algebras was his-
torically motivated by developments in two different areas: integrable systems and
multivariable special functions. In each of these areas, the classical representa-
tion theory of semisimple complex Lie algebras played a prominent role. On the
integrable systems side, one should single out the work of M. Olshanetsky and
A. Perelomov [OP83] who found a remarkable generalization of the Calogero-Moser
integrable systems for an arbitrary semisimple Lie algebra. On the special functions
side, the story began with the fundamental discovery of Dunkl operators [Dun89]
that transformed much of the present day harmonic analysis. In 1991, G. Heckman
[Hec91] noticed a relationship between the two constructions which is naturally
explained by the theory of rational Cherednik algebras. The theory itself was de-
veloped by P. Etingof and V. Ginzburg in their seminal paper [EG02b]. In fact,
this last paper introduced a more general class of algebras (the so-called symplectic
reflection algebras) and studied the representation theory of these algebras at the
‘quasi-classical’ (t = 0)
At the ‘quantum’ (t = 1) level, the representation
theory of the rational Cherednik algebras was developed in [BEG03a, BEG03b],
[DO03] and [GGOR03], following the insightful suggestion by E. Opdam and
R. Rouquier to model this theory parallel to the theory of universal enveloping
algebras of semisimple complex Lie algebras.
In this first lecture, we briefly review the results of [OP83] and [Dun89] in
their original setting and explain the link between these two papers discovered in
[Hec91]. Then, after giving a necessary background on complex reflection groups,
we introduce the Dunkl operators and sketch the proof of their commutativity
following [DO03]. In the next lecture, we define the rational Cherednik algebras
and show how Heckman’s observation can be reinterpreted in the language of these
2.2. Calogero-Moser systems and the Dunkl operators.
2.2.1. The quantum Calogero-Moser system. Let h = Cn, and let hreg denote
the complement (in h) of the union of hyperplanes xi xj = 0 for 1 i = j n.
Write C[hreg] for the ring of regular functions on hreg (i.e., the rational functions
on Cn with poles along xi xj = 0). Consider the following differential operator
acting on C[hreg]
H =

c(c + 1)
(xi xj)2
where c is a complex parameter. This operator is called the quantum Calogero-
Moser Hamiltonian: it can be viewed as the Schr¨ odinger operator of the system of n
quantum particles on the line with pairwise interaction proportional to (xi
It turns out that H is part of a family of n partial differential operators Lj :

of the form
Lj :=

+ lower order terms ,
yet another precursor of the theory of Cherednik algebras, one should mention the
beautiful paper [Wil98] which examines the link between the classical Calogero-Moser systems
and solutions of the (infinite-dimensional) Kadomtsev-Petviashvili integrable system.
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