The flow method for the Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff formula: Exact results

Federico Zadra*, Alessandro Bravetti, Angel Alejandro García-Chung, Marcello Seri

*Corresponding author for this work

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Leveraging techniques from the literature on geometric numerical integration, we propose a new general method to compute exact expressions for the BCH formula. In its utmost generality, the method consists in embedding the Lie algebra of interest into a subalgebra of the algebra of vector fields on some manifold by means of an isomorphism, so that the BCH formula for two elements of the original algebra can be recovered from the composition of the flows of the corresponding vector fields. For this reason we call our method the flow method. Clearly, this method has great advantage in cases where the flows can be computed analytically. We illustrate its usefulness on some benchmark examples where it can be applied directly, and discuss some possible extensions for cases where an exact expression cannot be obtained.
Original languageEnglish
Article number385206
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number38
Early online date16-Aug-2023
Publication statusPublished - 4-Sept-2023


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