CHAPTER I. REDUCTIVE DUAL PAIRS AND THE HOWE CORRESPONDENCE

One of the basic strategies behind the proof of Theorem 0.3 of the introduction

is to use the machinery of Howe's papers [Hoi] and [Ho2]. Since these papers are

unpublished, we collect in this chapter the notation and general results from these papers

that we will need. In Chapter II we will give the more detailed analysis that will be

required in the proofs of our main results. Thus, for example and in the notation of

the introduction, it is shown in [Hoi] that O(Xk) = L(Xk + p) is a simple highest

weight module, and hence that J(k) is a primitive ideal. But it needs the more explicit

computations of Chapter II to find A & and the associated variety of J(k).

1. Reductive Dual Pairs.

1.1. Let U~ be a complex vector space, equipped with a symplectic form , ~ .

Write T for the group Sp(U~, , ~) and suppose that G and G' are two reductive

subgroups of T. Then (G,Gl) is called a reductive dual pair if G and G' are mutual

commutators in T. The pair is called a classical reductive dual pair if G and G' are

also classical Lie groups. Set sp(U~) = Lie(T). In general, closed subgroups of F will

be denoted by capital roman letters while the corresponding Lie subalgebras of sp(U~)

will be denoted by the same letter in lower case German script. Thus, write Q = Lie G

and g' = LieG'. Note that Q is the centraliser of #' in sp(U~), and vice-versa.

The classical reductive dual pairs (G, G') in T have been classified in [Hoi] and

all arise from the following construction. One may write U~ = E ® V , where E and V

are equipped with bilinear forms such that , ~ may be deduced from these forms.

Then G and G' are appropriate subgroups of GL(E) and GL(V), respectively. The

precise subgroups of GL(E) and GL(V) that occur will be described in Chapter II, but

that level of detail is unnecessary for the development of this chapter. The action of a

group H on a space V will always be written as h • v for h £ H and v £ V.

1.2. In the cases that interest us, U~ admits a polarisation U~ = U @U* such

that G' C GL(U). Thus, as a subgroup of T, G' will act on U* via the contragradient

representation; (g • u*)(u) = w*(^_1 • u), for u G U, u* £ U* and g £ G'. We will

always identify the ring of regular functions 0(U*) with the symmetric algebra S(U)

via , ~ . Thus u £ U corresponds to u, ~ £ 0(J7*). This in turn identifies

V(U*) = V(0(U*)) with V(S(U)) and hence with S(U)*S(U*) as left 5(17)-modules.

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