Contents

category theory

# Contents

## Definitions and terminology

A split monomorphism in a category $C$ is a morphism $m\colon A \to B$ in $C$ such that there exists a morphism $r\colon B \to A$ such that the composite $r \circ m$ equals the identity morphism $1_A$. Then the morphism $r$, which satisfies the dual condition, is a split epimorphism.

We say that:

• $r$ is a retraction of $m$,

• $m$ is a section of $r$,

• $A$ is a retract of $B$,

• the pair $(r,m)$ is a splitting of the idempotent $m \circ r\colon B \to B$.

A split monomorphism in $C$ can be equivalently defined as a morphism $m\colon A \to B$ such that for every object $X\colon C$, the function $C(m,X)$ is a surjection in $\mathbf{Set}$; a preimage of $1_A$ under $C(m,A)$ yields a retraction $r$.

Alternatively, it is also possible to define a split monomorphism as an absolute monomorphism: a morphism such that for every functor $F$ out of $C$, $F(m)$ is a monomorphism. From the definition as a morphism having a retraction, it is obvious that any split monomorphism is absolute; conversely, that the image of $m$ under the representable functor $C(1,A)$ is a monomorphism reduces to the characterization above.

## Properties

###### Proposition

Any split monomorphism is a monomorphism, in fact a regular monomorphism (it is the equalizer of $m\circ r$ and $1_B$), and therefore also a strong monomorphism, an extremal monomorphism, and (of course) a monomorphism.

Evident but important and in contrast to general monomorphisms:

###### Proposition

All functors preserve split monomorphisms.

###### Proposition

A morphism is an isomorphism if and only if it is an epimorphism and a split monomorphism.

For a proof, see Yuan 2012.

## Examples

### In vector spaces

In the category Vect of finite dimensional vector spaces (over any field) every monomorphism $V_1 \hookrightarrow V_2$ splits. The corresponding idempotent is the projection onto $V_1$ in $V_2$.

## In higher category theory

In higher category theory, we may still consider the notion of “split monomorphism”, i.e. a morphism $m\colon A \to B$ in $C$ such that there exists a morphism $r\colon B \to A$ with $r \circ m$ being equivalent to the identity of $A$. However, in a higher category, such a morphism $m$ will not necessarily be a “monomorphism”, that is, it need not be $(-1)$-truncated.

In general, we can say that in an $(n,1)$-category, a “split monomorphism” will be $(n-2)$-truncated. Thus: