- #1

Son Goku

- 113

- 21

I'd particularly like anything that uses examples from physics, but it isn't essential.

You are using an out of date browser. It may not display this or other websites correctly.

You should upgrade or use an alternative browser.

You should upgrade or use an alternative browser.

- Thread starter Son Goku
- Start date

- #1

Son Goku

- 113

- 21

I'd particularly like anything that uses examples from physics, but it isn't essential.

- #2

sparkster

- 153

- 0

There's alway http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_theory" [Broken]. Dummitt and Foote has a decent intro to category theory as an appendix.

Last edited by a moderator:

- #3

Dcase

- 121

- 0

Week 245 has talks in this theory from a U-Toronto workshop at the Fields Institute January 9-13, 2007.

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/week245.html

- #4

matt grime

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

- 9,426

- 4

Mac Lane is the standard book, but it is very hard going.

- #5

mathwonk

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

- 11,391

- 1,628

hungerford ahs a short little section that helps too.

but the amin point is to make yourself always focus on the maps betwen objects instead of just the obejects.

e.g. from a pair of spaces one can form a product space. but also from maps of two pairs of spaces, obe derives maps of their products.

]this si thew whole point. which constructions of spaces allow comparable constructions of maps between those spaces?

the fundamental group assigns to a space maps from a circle into that space. but also think abiout how a map of the spaces indiuces a map of their fundamental groups. now you are thinking "categorically".

- #6

mathwonk

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

- 11,391

- 1,628

the fact that the product of determinants is the determinsnt of the product matrix says that a determinant isa functor from amtrices to numbers.

the chain rule says that the derivative is a fucntor from pointed functions to numbers.

at some point people realized that amny important constructions were fucntors. but to=defione functors, betwen categories, one ahd to define categories.

i recommend the original apper by maclane and who?

matt, what is the original paper defining exact sequences and so on, and especially natural transformations, with the double dual as the basic example? was it by eilenberg and maclane?

is this it?

General Theory of Natural Equivalences

S Eilenberg, S MacLane - Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, 1945 - JSTOR

General Theory of Natural Equivalences. Samuel Eilenberg. Saunders MacLane.

Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 58, No. 2, 231-294. ...

it seems to be available free on the internet.

do you think this is a good one matt?

the chain rule says that the derivative is a fucntor from pointed functions to numbers.

at some point people realized that amny important constructions were fucntors. but to=defione functors, betwen categories, one ahd to define categories.

i recommend the original apper by maclane and who?

matt, what is the original paper defining exact sequences and so on, and especially natural transformations, with the double dual as the basic example? was it by eilenberg and maclane?

is this it?

General Theory of Natural Equivalences

S Eilenberg, S MacLane - Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, 1945 - JSTOR

General Theory of Natural Equivalences. Samuel Eilenberg. Saunders MacLane.

Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 58, No. 2, 231-294. ...

it seems to be available free on the internet.

do you think this is a good one matt?

Last edited:

- #7

TenaliRaman

- 644

- 1

-- AI

- #8

mathwonk

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

- 11,391

- 1,628

categories are nothing. functors are something. natural transformstions are more interesting still.

- #9

sparkster

- 153

- 0

Incidentally, in a homological algebra course, it was after talking about this and bi-, tri, ... , infinity-categories, that my professor remarked about people calling category theory abstract nonsense.

- #10

matt grime

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

- 9,426

- 4

- #11

Son Goku

- 113

- 21

I got out Mac Lane on your suggestion. I must say this is an incredibly interesting branch of mathematics. I think it's a really "clean" way to view concepts from other areas.

Mac Lane is the standard book, but it is very hard going.

Thanks for that example. Solidified the concept a bit for me.the fact that the product of determinants is the determinant of the product matrix says that a determinant is a functor from matrices to numbers.

I was just wondering, in what other areas of mathematics has category theory been useful. (I'd assume it has been useful in Algebraic Topology.)

- #12

matt grime

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

- 9,426

- 4

All parts of algebra (so that is geometry and topology too). Some parts of analysis. Theoretical physics. Computer Science. Is that enough? Few parts of mathematics are not touched by category theory.

Silly examples:

a group is a category with one object and all morphisms invertible. A representation of a group is a functor from this category to the category of vector spaces. An isomoprhism of representations is a natural transformation of functors.

completion of a normed vector space is left adjoint to the forgetful functor from banach spaces to normed vector spaces.

classifications of things are functors (moduli spaces). There is a functor from the genus 2 curves to abelian varieties of dimension 2 (an equivalence, right, roy? curve to jacobian, jacobian to the theta divisor or some other such slogan).

The representation theory of a field is essentially the same as the representation theory of nxn matrices over that field - Morita equivalence.

Silly examples:

a group is a category with one object and all morphisms invertible. A representation of a group is a functor from this category to the category of vector spaces. An isomoprhism of representations is a natural transformation of functors.

completion of a normed vector space is left adjoint to the forgetful functor from banach spaces to normed vector spaces.

classifications of things are functors (moduli spaces). There is a functor from the genus 2 curves to abelian varieties of dimension 2 (an equivalence, right, roy? curve to jacobian, jacobian to the theta divisor or some other such slogan).

The representation theory of a field is essentially the same as the representation theory of nxn matrices over that field - Morita equivalence.

Last edited:

- #13

Son Goku

- 113

- 21

Yeah. Computer Science surprised me to be honest. Of course though, it doesn't matter how "useful" it is. I was just idly wondering how much it had seeped into the general language of mathematicians.All parts of algebra (so that is geometry and topology too). Some parts of analysis. Theoretical physics. Computer Science. Is that enough?

Thanks for the examples. I really like the representation theory example.a group is a category with one object and all morphisms invertible. A representation of a group is a functor from this category to the category of vector spaces. An isomoprhism of representations is a natural transformation of functors.

completion of a normed vector space is left adjoint to the forgetful functor from banach spaces to normed vector spaces.

classifications of things are functors (moduli spaces). There is a functor from the genus 2 curves to abelian varieties of dimension 2 (an equivalence, right, roy? curve to jacobian, jacobian to the theta divisor or some other such slogan).

The representation theory of a field is essentially the same as the representation theory of nxn matrices over that field - Morita equivalence.

- #14

Dcase

- 121

- 0

Could you clarify your comment in your post of 02-13-2007, 06:41 PM?

I am confused because why would so many university math / physics workshops employ a non-expert to discuss category theory.

Counterparts of yours in ‘Beyond the Standard Model’ [Physics] and others who comment in that forum appear to regard the individual as an expert in category theory as it relates to physics.

- #15

Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus

Science Advisor

Gold Member

- 14,967

- 19

You know how you denote the domain and range of a function with the notation [itex]f : D \rightarrow R[/itex]? (AFAIK) Before category theory, people wrote [itex]f \subseteq D \times R[/itex].I was just idly wondering how much it had seeped into the general language of mathematicians.

- #16

matt grime

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

- 9,426

- 4

I am confused because why would so many university math / physics workshops employ a non-expert to discuss category theory.

knowing about some aspect of something doesn't make you an expert in the subject as a whole

Counterparts of yours in ‘Beyond the Standard Model’ [Physics] and others who comment in that forum appear to regard the individual as an expert in category theory as it relates to physics.

You have just answered your own question.

John is very knowledgeable about n-categories and how they pertain to physics. Most mathematicians are under your rules therefore experts in categories since they use them 'expertly' in their own field. That does not in any reasonable sense as far as I am concerned make them experts in category theory.

I know how string theory relates to algebra. That does not make me an expert in physics, or even string theory.

- #17

Gib Z

Homework Helper

- 3,352

- 6

Hurkyl: My Teacher still uses that. He either even more ancient than I thought, or just old fashioned.

- #18

cecilia

- 1

- 0

I'd particularly like anything that uses examples from physics, but it isn't essential.

I have written a website introducing category theory using examples in physics.

Hope you find it useful: http://topos-physics.org" [Broken]

If you have any questions use the comments on the site or message me

Last edited by a moderator:

- #19

Dcase

- 121

- 0

1 - Thank you for the clear and concise explanation of expertise in your post of 02-16-2007, 04:55 AM.

I agree that it is necessary and likely sufficient for expertise to be qualified as specifically as possible.

2 - I have become very interested in Game Theory because of what I perceive to be an extremely powerful analytic tool, particularly as used by Basar [engineer] and Olsder [mathematician].

Elements of Game Theory are used “... general search algorithm for movement strategies based on the detection of sporadic cues and partial information ...” in the Editor's Summary, 25 January 2007 of Nature 25 January 2007 Volume 445 Number 7126, pp339:

Letter: 'Infotaxis' as a strategy for searching without gradients

Massimo Vergassola, Emmanuel Villermaux and Boris I. Shraiman

doi:10.1038/nature05464

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v445/n7126/edsumm/e070125-10.html

I am somewhat surprised that the only mathematics ever to win a Nobel Prize is not listed in within the category of Mathematics. Even though the Nobel category was Economics, only a minor tweak should be needed for use in Energy Economics. The ‘Set Theory, Logic, Probability, Statistics’ appears to be an appropriate forum.

I have posted this thread on this forum:

Game Theory - applied mathematics - how powerful is it?

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=154996

Are you able to refer me to a website or other textbook [preferably with expertise noncooperative theory] so that I might learn more about this mathematical tool?

Share:

- Last Post

- Replies
- 3

- Views
- 542

- Last Post

- Replies
- 2

- Views
- 67

- Last Post

- Replies
- 9

- Views
- 864

- Replies
- 10

- Views
- 181

- Last Post

- Replies
- 8

- Views
- 484

- Replies
- 9

- Views
- 1K

- Replies
- 14

- Views
- 825

- Last Post

- Replies
- 1

- Views
- 793

- Last Post

- Replies
- 4

- Views
- 141

- Replies
- 35

- Views
- 3K