# Van Kampen's Theorem

by sammycaps
Tags: kampen, theorem
 P: 91 So I'm having a little trouble with the part of Van Kampen's theorem my professor presented to us. He called this the easy 1/2 of Van Kampen's theorem. Theorem (1/2 of Van Kampen's) - Let X,x=A,x U B,x (sets with basepoint x) where A and B are open in X and A$\bigcap$B is path-connected. Then $\pi$1(X) is generated by $\pi$1(A) and $\pi$1(B). $\pi$1(A) and $\pi$1(B) are not necessarily subsets of $\pi$1(X), at least in general. So if anyone can enlighten me on exactly what the Professor meant. I would think he just means the embedding of $\pi$1(A) and $\pi$1(B) in $\pi$1(X) but I don't think, at least in general, the homomorphism induced by the inclusion is injective. Thanks very much.
 Sci Advisor HW Helper PF Gold P: 4,771 Your interpretation is correct on all points. When we talk of $\pi_1(A)$ and $\pi_1(B)$ "in $\pi_1(X)$", we mean their image by the homomorphism induced by the canonical inclusion. And of course, this homomorphism is usually not injective (i.e. not an embedding). Consider for instance the homomophism induced by the inclusion of A:=Rē\{0} into X:=Rē.
 Quote by quasar987 Your interpretation is correct on all points. When we talk of $\pi_1(A)$ and $\pi_1(B)$ "in $\pi_1(X)$", we mean their image by the homomorphism induced by the canonical inclusion. And of course, this homomorphism is usually not injective (i.e. not an embedding). Consider for instance the homomophism induced by the inclusion of A:=Rē\{0} into X:=Rē.
 Sci Advisor HW Helper PF Gold P: 4,771 Van Kampen's Theorem Right. And in general, the easy 1/2 of V-K's thm states that any pointed loop $\gamma$ in X is homotopic to some concatenation of loops $\sigma_1 * \ldots * \sigma_n$ with each $\sigma_i$ lying entirely either in A or in B.