nLab tangential notions of Frölicher spaces

Tangential Topics of Frölicher Spaces

This section is essentially lifted from Comparative Smootheology as I intend to remove it from that article and this seems a good place to put it.

Nearly every construction in differential topology starts with tangent or cotangent bundles. We shall look at how one could define these in the more general setting. An advantage of the dual nature of the definition of a Frölicher space is that just about every definition of a tangent or cotangent vector is possible. Essentially, as we have access to both curves and functionals we can consider push-forward?s and pull-back?s.

The ideas in this section can be traced at least as far back as Frölicher’s work in MR842916. That there are different orders of tangent and cotangent vectors appears in Kriegl and Michor’s book MR1471480, though it doubtless has antecedents. (However in MR1471480, only operational tangent vectors have higher orders. This is because the context is that of manifolds and so non-trivial higher order kinematic tangent vectors do not appear.)

Let us start with kinematic tangent vectors. We start with a notion of what it means for a curve to be flat.


Let (X,𝒞,)(X, \mathcal{C}, \mathcal{F}) be a Frölicher space. A curve c𝒞c \in \mathcal{C} is said to be kk-flat at tt \in \mathbb{R} if for each ff \in \mathcal{F}, (fc) (j)(t)=0(f c)^{(j)}(t) = 0 for 1jk1 \le j \le k. It is flat at tt \in \mathbb{R} if it is kk-flat for all kk \in \mathbb{N}.

We write 𝒞 x,k\mathcal{C}_{x,k} for the subset of 𝒞\mathcal{C} consisting of those curves that map 00 to xx and are (k1)(k-1)-flat at 00.

For convenience, in the next definition we will say that any curve is 00-flat.


Let (X,𝒞,)(X, \mathcal{C}, \mathcal{F}) be a Frölicher space. Let xXx \in X and let kk \in \mathbb{N}. The kkth kinematic tangent set at xx, T x,kXT_{x,k} X, is the quotient of 𝒞 x,k1\mathcal{C}_{x,k-1} by the equivalence relation c 1c 2c_1 \simeq c_2 if (fc 1) (k)(t)=(fc 2) (k)(t)(f c_1)^{(k)}(t) = (f c_2)^{(k)}(t) for all ff \in \mathcal{F}.

We write this as T x,kXT_{x,k} X rather than T x kXT_x^k X to avoid conflict of notation with iterated tangent spaces. Since any curve can be composed with a suitable smooth map \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R} to produce a curve of higher flatness, there are natural inclusions T x,kXT x,k+1XT_{x,k} X \to T_{x,k+1} X. For Euclidean spaces with their usual structure, all of these tangent sets coincide.


Let (X,𝒞,)(X, \mathcal{C}, \mathcal{F}) be a Frölicher space. The full kinematic tangent set of XX at xx is T x,X= kT x,kXT_{x,\infty} X = \bigcup_k T_{x,k} X.

It is obvious that each of these kinematic tangent sets is functorial in Frölicher spaces.

One would anticipate that in a given application the only two candidates for a kinematic tangent set will be either the full kinematic tangent set or the first kinematic tangent set. Note that for a manifold with boundary, the first kinematic tangent set at a point in the boundary is the tangent space of the boundary whereas the full kinematic tangent set is the tangent space of an ambient manifold (including the outward pointing normal).

We have been careful in writing “tangent set” rather than “tangent space” so as not to imply any particular structure. Reparametrisation of paths easily defines the structure of an (,+)(\mathbb{R},+)-set on each tangent set (scalar multiplication) but in general one will not be able to add tangent vectors. Nonetheless, some addition may be possible and addition has nice properties when it is defined.


Let XX be a Frölicher space, xXx \in X. For u,v,wT x,kXu,v, w \in T_{x,k} X we say that ww is a sum of uu and vv if there are representatives α\alpha, β\beta, γ\gamma such that (fα) (k)=(fβ) (k)+(fγ) (k)(f \alpha)^{(k)} = (f \beta)^{(k)} + (f \gamma)^{(k)} for all fF Xf \in F_X.

More generally, u 1,,u kT x,kXu_1, \dots, u_k \in T_{x,k} X have a sum if there is some wT x,kXw \in T_{x,k} X with (fβ) (k)=(fα i) (k)(f \beta)^{(k)} = \sum (f \alpha_i)^{(k)}.


Sums are unique if they exist.


If β\beta and γ\gamma both represent sums of u 1,,u ku_1, \cdots, u_k then

(1)(fβ) (k)=(fα i) (k)=(fγ) (k) (f \beta)^{(k)} = \sum (f \alpha_i)^{(k)} = (f \gamma)^{(k)}

so β\beta and γ\gamma represent the same vector in T x,kXT_{x,k} X.

The construction of kinematic tangent vectors suggests a similar construction for cotangent vectors. As with tangent vectors, we need an auxiliary definition of flatness.


Let (X,𝒞,)(X, \mathcal{C}, \mathcal{F}) be a Frölicher space, xXx \in X. A functional ff \in \mathcal{F} is said to be kk-flat at xXx \in X if for each c𝒞c \in \mathcal{C} with c(0)=xc(0) = x, (fc) (j)(0)=0(f c)^{(j)}(0) = 0 for 1jk1 \le j \le k. It is flat at xXx \in X if it is kk-flat for all kk \in \mathbb{N}.

We write x,k\mathcal{F}_{x,k} for the subset of \mathcal{F} of functionals that are kk-flat at xx.

Again, for convenience we will say that all functionals are 00-flat.


Let (X,𝒞,)(X, \mathcal{C}, \mathcal{F}) be a Frölicher space, xXx \in X. The kkth kinematic cotangent space at xx, T x,k *XT^*_{x,k} X, is the quotient of x,k1\mathcal{F}_{x,k-1} by the relation f 1f 2f_1 \simeq f_2 if (f 1c) (k)(0)=(f 2c) (k)(0)(f_1 c)^{(k)}(0) = (f_2 c)^{(k)}(0) for all c𝒞c \in \mathcal{C} with c(0)=xc(0) = x.

The same discussion for kinematic tangent vectors applies to kinematic cotangent vectors except for the fact that cotangent vectors automatically form a vector space; sums are always defined.


The full kinematic cotangent space of XX at xx is T x, *X=T x,k *XT^*_{x,\infty} X = \bigcup T^*_{x,k} X.

There are obvious pairings between kinematic tangent and cotangent vectors based on evaluation. One defines a map (f,c)(fc) (k)(0)(f,c) \mapsto (f c)^{(k)}(0) and this descends to providing one knows that (fc) (j)(0)(f c)^{(j)}(0) vanishes for j<kj \lt k. The simplest case of this is where one of the tangent or cotangent vectors has order kk. Thus the highest level pairing, (f,c)(fc)(0)(f, c) \mapsto (f c)'(0), defines a pairing for all tangent and cotangent vectors but one which vanishes unless both are of first order.

We can also define operational tangent vectors. Recall that \mathcal{F} is an algebra of functions.


Let (X,𝒞,)(X, \mathcal{C}, \mathcal{F}) be a Frölicher space, xXx \in X. An operational tangent vector at xx is a derivation at xx of \mathcal{F}. That is, a linear map :\partial : \mathcal{F} \to \mathbb{R} such that (fg)=f(x)g+g(x)f\partial(f g) = f(x) \partial g + g(x) \partial f.

We write D xXD_x X for the vector space of operational tangent vectors at xx and D x,kXD_{x,k} X for the space of operational tangent vectors at xx that vanish on x,k\mathcal{F}_{x,k}.

The order of an operational tangent vector is defined to be the least kk for which it lies in D x,kXD_{x,k} X, otherwise it is said to have infinite order. Again, in a given application it may be preferable to restrict to operational tangent vectors of finite order, or of order 11.


There are natural maps T x,kXD x,kXT_{x, k} X \to D_{x,k} X compatible with the connecting maps on each side.


For c𝒞 x,k1c \in \mathcal{C}_{x,k-1} and ff \in \mathcal{F} we define an operational tangent vector by f(fc) (k1)(0)f \mapsto (f c)^{(k-1)}(0). This has the required properties.

This map, however, need not be injective and neither need it map to a spanning set.

One can define two more versions of cotangent vectors by taking linear duals of the two versions of tangent vectors (this has to be done with care for the kinematic tangent vectors); however, these definitions may be thought of as one step removed from the smooth structure itself.

Last revised on January 22, 2014 at 03:23:49. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.