group theory

category theory

Contents

Idea

$Ab$ denotes the category of abelian groups: it has abelian groups as objects and group homomorphisms between these as morphisms.

The archetypical example of an abelian group is the group $\mathbb{Z}$ of integers, and for many purposes it is useful to think of $Ab$ equivalently as the category of modules over $\mathbb{Z}$

$Ab \simeq \mathbb{Z} Mod \,.$

The category $Ab$ serves as the basic enriching category in homological algebra. There Ab-enriched categories play much the same role as Set-enriched categories (locally small categories) play in general.

In this vein, the analog of $Ab$ in homotopy theory – or rather in stable homotopy theory – is the category of spectra, either regarded as the stable homotopy category or rather refined to the stable (infinity,1)-category of spectra. A spectrum is much like an abelian group up to coherent homotopy and the role of the archetypical abelian group $\mathbb{Z}$ is the played by the sphere spectrum $\mathbb{S}$

Properties

Free abelian groups

Remark

The category $Ab$ is a concrete category, the forgetful functor

$U : Ab \to Set$

to Set sends a group, regarded as a set $A$ equipped with the structure $(+,0)$ of a chose element $0 \in A$ and a binary, associative and 0-unital operation $+$ to its underlying set

$(A, +, 0) \mapsto A \,.$

This functor has a left adjoint $F : Set \to Ab$ which sends a set $S$ to the free abelian group $\mathbb{Z}[S]$ on this set: the group of formal linear combinations of elements in $S$ with coefficients in $\mathbb{Z}$.

Direct sum, direct product and tensor product

We discuss basic properties of binary operations on the category of abelian groups: direct product, direct sum and tensor product. Below in Monoidal and bimonoidal structure we put these structures into a more abstract context.

Proposition

For $A, B \in Ab$ two abelian groups, their direct product $A \times B$ is the abelian group whose elements are pairs $(a, b)$ with $a \in A$ and $b \in B$, whose 0-element is $(0,0)$ and whose addition operation is the componentwise addition

$(a_1, b_1) + (a_2, b_2) = (a_1 + a_2, b_1 + b_2) \,.$

This is at the same time the direct sum $A \oplus B$.

Similarly for $I \in$FinSet$\hookrightarrow$ Set a finite set, we have

$\oplus_{i \in I} A_i \simeq \prod_i A_{i} \,.$

But for $I \in Set$ a set which is not finite, there is a difference: the direct sum $\oplus_{i \in I} A_i$ of an $I$-indexed family ${A_i}_{i \in I}$ of abelian groups is the sub-group of the direct product on those elements for which only finitely many components are non-0

$\oplus_{i \in I} A_i \hookrightarrow \prod_i A_i \,.$
Example

The trivial group $0 \in Ab$ (the group with a single element) is a unit for the direct sum: for every abelian group we have

$A \oplus 0 \simeq 0 \oplus A \simeq A \,.$
Example

In view of remark 1 this means that the direct sum of ${\vert I \vert}$ copies of the additive group of integers with themselves is equivalently the free abelian group on $I$:

$\oplus_{i \in I} \mathbb{Z} \simeq \mathbb{Z}[I] \,.$
Definition

For $A$ and $B$ two abelian groups, their tensor product of abelian groups is the group $A \otimes B$ with the property that a group homomorphism $A \otimes B \to C$ is equivalently a bilinear map out of the set $A \times B$.

See at tensor product of abelian groups for details.

Example

The unit for the tensor product of abelian groups is the additive group of integers:

$A \otimes \mathbb{Z} \simeq \mathbb{Z} \otimes A \simeq A \,.$
Proposition

The tensor product of abelian groups distributes over arbitrary direct sums:

$A \otimes (\oplus_{i \in I} B_i) \simeq \oplus_{i \in I} A \otimes B_i \,.$
Example

For $I \in Set$ and $A \in Ab$, the direct sum of ${\vert I\vert}$ copies of $A$ with itself is equivalently the tensor product of abelian groups of the free abelian group on $I$ with $A$:

$\oplus_{i \in I} A \simeq (\oplus_{i \in I} \mathbb{Z}) \otimes A \simeq (\mathbb{Z}[I]) \otimes A \,.$

Monoidal and bimonoidal structure

With the definitions and properties discussed above in Direct sum, etc. we have the following

Proposition

The category $Ab$ becomes a monoidal category

1. under direct sum $(Ab, \oplus, 0)$;

2. under tensor product of abelian groups $(Ab, \otimes, \mathbb{Z})$.

Indeed with both structures combined we have

• $(Ab, \oplus, \otimes, 0, \mathbb{Z})$

is a bimonoidal category (and can be made a bipermutative category).

Remark

A monoid internal to $(Ab, \otimes, \mathbb{Z})$ is equivalently a ring.

Remark

A monoid in $(Ab, \oplus, 0)$ is equivalently just an abelian group again (since $\oplus$ is the coproduct in $Ab$, so every object has a unique monoid structure with respect to it).

=–

Enrichment over $Ab$

Categories enriched over $Ab$ are called pre-additive categories or sometimes just additive categories. If they satisfy an extra exactness condition they are called abelian categories. See at additive and abelian categories.

category: category

Revised on August 21, 2015 02:59:22 by Urs Schreiber (82.69.70.127)