Krawtchouk polynomials, the Lie algebra sl2, and Leonard pairs


AbstractA Leonard pair is a pair of diagonalizable linear transformations of a finite-dimensional vector space, each of which acts in an irreducible tridiagonal fashion on an eigenbasis for the other one. In the present paper we give an elementary but comprehensive account of how the following are related: (i) Krawtchouk polynomials; (ii) finite-dimensional irreducible modules for the Lie algebra sl2; (iii) a class of Leonard pairs said to have Krawtchouk type. Along the way we obtain elementary proofs of some well-known facts about Krawtchouk polynomials, such as the three-term recurrence, the orthogonality, the difference equation, and the generating function. The paper is a tutorial meant for a graduate student or a researcher unfamiliar with the above topics

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Last time updated on 6/4/2019

This paper was published in Elsevier - Publisher Connector .

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