# nLab mate

Contents

### Context

#### 2-Category theory

2-category theory

Definitions

Transfors between 2-categories

Morphisms in 2-categories

Structures in 2-categories

Limits in 2-categories

Structures on 2-categories

# Contents

## Definition

###### Proposition

(mate bijection)
Given a 2-category $K$, adjoint pairs $(\eta,\epsilon) \colon f \dashv u \colon b \to a$ and $(\eta',\epsilon') \colon f' \dashv u' \colon b' \to a'$ , and 1-cells $x \colon a \to a'$ and $y \colon b \to b'$, there is a bijection

$K(a,b')(f' x,y f) \cong K(b,a')(x u,u' y)$

given by pasting with the unit of one adjunction and the counit of the other, i.e.:

and

###### Proof

That this is a bijection follows easily from the triangle identities, which say that the gray-shaded cells in the following pasting diagram cancel out;

###### Definition

The 2-cells $\lambda$ and $\mu$ in prop. are called mates [Kelly & Street (2006) p. 87; Leinster (2004), pp. 150] (earlier: conjugates, MacLane (1971), p. 98, see Exp. below) with respect to the adjunctions $f \dashv u$ and $f' \dashv u'$ (and to the 1-cells $x$ and $y$).

## Properties

### General

###### Proposition

Strict 2-functors preserve adjunctions and pasting diagrams, so that if $F \colon K \to J$ is a 2-functor and if $\lambda$ and $\mu$ are mates wrt $f \dashv u$ and $f' \dashv u'$ in $K$, then $F \lambda$ and $F \mu$ are mates wrt $F f \dashv F u$ and $F f' \dashv F u'$ in $J$.

###### Proposition

If $\alpha \colon F \Rightarrow G$ is a 2-natural transformation, then the naturality identities $\alpha_b \circ F f = G f \circ \alpha_a$ and $\alpha_a \circ F u = G u \circ \alpha_b$ are mates wrt $F f \dashv F u$ and $G f \dashv G u$.

### Naturality

There are two double categories with objects those of $K$, vertical arrows adjoint pairs in $K$ and horizontal arrows 1-cells of $K$. In one the 2-cells are those of the form $\lambda$ above, while in the other they are those of the form $\mu$. It is easily shown, as in Kelly–Street, that the triangle identities and the definition of composition of adjoints make these two double categories isomorphic. So for any $K$ there is a double category $Adj(K)$, defined up to isomorphism as above but with mate-pairs in $K$ as 2-cells.

What this means is that, for example, the mate of a square coming from a pasting diagram is given by pasting the mates of the individual 2-cells (whenever this makes sense).

In the double category $Adj(K)$, every vertical arrow has both a companion (the left adjoint) and a conjoint (the right adjoint). (In fact, in some sense it is the universal double category constructed from $K$ with this property.) Therefore, it is equivalent to a 2-category equipped with proarrows. More explicitly, there is a forgetful functor $L \colon Adj_V(K) \to K$ from the 2-category of objects, adjunctions and mate-pairs in $K$ to $K$ that sends an adjunction $f \dashv u$ to $f$. It is locally fully faithful, and moreover every $L f$ has a right adjoint in $K$ by definition; this gives the more traditional definition of a proarrow equipment.

## Examples

###### Example

Let $F \dashv U \colon D \to C$ be an adjunction in the 2-category Cat, i.e. a pair of adjoint functors, and $A \colon * \to C$ and $X \colon * \to D$ be objects of $C$ and $D$ considered as functors out of the terminal category $*$. Then taking mates with respect to $1 \dashv 1 \colon * \to *$ and $F \dashv U$ yields the hom-isomorphism

$D(F A,\, X) \;\cong\; C(A,\, U X)$

and the pasting operations as above yield the notion of conjugate transformation of adjoints. (This is the original notion, due to MacLane (1971), p. 98)

Moreover, the naturality of the mate correspondence yields naturality of the bijection.

###### Example

If the ambient 2-category $K$ is the delooping of a monoidal category $(\mathcal{C}, \otimes)$ in that

$K \simeq \mathbf{B}_\otimes \mathcal{C}$

then an adjunction in $K$ is a pair of dual objects and the mate-construction is the construction of dual morphisms between dualizable objects.

###### Example

Suppose given a commutative square (up to isomorphism) of functors:

$\array{ & \overset{f^*}{\to} & \\ ^{g^*}\downarrow && \downarrow^{k^*}\\ & \underset{h^*}{\to} & }$

in which $f^*$ and $h^*$ have left adjoints $f_!$ and $h_!$, respectively. (The classical example is a Wirthmüller context.) Then the natural isomorphism that makes the square commute

$k^* f^* \to h^* g^*$

has a mate

$h_! k^* \to g^* f_!$

defined as the composite

$h_! k^* \overset{\eta}{\to} h_! k^* f^* f_! \overset{\cong}{\to} h_! h^* g^* f_! \overset{\epsilon}{\to} g^* f_! \,.$

One says that the original square satisfies the Beck-Chevalley condition if this mate is an equivalence.

## Multi-variable mates

There is a version of the mate correspondence that applies to two-variable adjunctions and $n$-variable adjunctions; see Cheng-Gurski-Riehl.

The relationship between two of the adjoints in a multivariable adjunction can be described as a parametrized adjunction: fixing the variables in each of the categories that appear in the domains of both adjoints, the pair of functors define an adjunction between the remaining two categories. Relative to the parametrized adjunctions that define a multivariable adjunction, the multivariable mates can be understood as parametrized mates.

The example of conjugate transformation of adjoints (but without the terminology of “mates”)

The explicit notion of mates may be officially due to

and is reviewed in:

Further review and discussion:

Discussion in the generalization of bicategories: