Abelian categories are categories that possess most of properties of categories of modules over a ring, e.g. abelian group structure on morphisms, existence of kernels and cokernels of morphisms, existence of direct products and directs sums, etc.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

45
votes
1answer
2k views

Abstract nonsense proof of snake lemma

During my studies, I always wanted to see a "purely category-theoretical" proof of the Snake Lemma, i.e. a proof that constructs all morphisms (including the snake) and proves exactness via universal ...
34
votes
2answers
1k views

What are exact sequences, metaphysically speaking?

Why is it natural or useful to organize objects (of some appropriate category) into exact sequences? Exact sequences are ubiquitous - and I've encountered them enough to know that they can provide a ...
33
votes
3answers
1k views

Intuition behind Snake Lemma

I've been struggling with this for some time. I can prove the Snake Lemma, but I don't really “understand” it. By that I mean if no one told me Snake Lemma existed, I would not even ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Proving the snake lemma without a diagram chase

Suppose we have two short exact sequences in an abelian category $$0 \to A \mathrel{\overset{f}{\to}} B \mathrel{\overset{g}{\to}} C \to 0 $$ $$0 \to A' \mathrel{\overset{f'}{\to}} B' ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Abelian categories and axiom (AB5)

Let $\mathcal{A}$ be an abelian category. We say that $\mathcal{A}$ satisfies (AB5) if $\mathcal{A}$ is cocomplete and filtered colimits are exact. In Weibel's Introduction to homological algebra, ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

When is the derived category abelian?

I read in the book Methods of homological algebra of Gelfand and Manin that the derived category of an abelian category $A$ is never abelian. Now to me this seems to be wrong, because if $A=0$ then ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

How to define Homology Functor in an arbitrary Abelian Category?

In the Category of Modules over a Ring, the i-th Homology of a Chain Complex is defined as the Quotient Ker d / Im d where d as usual denotes the differentials, indexes skipped for simplicity. How ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Hom is a left-exact functor

If $0 \to A \to B\to C$ is a left exact sequence of $R$-module, then for any $R$-module $M$, $0 \to Hom_R(M,A)\to Hom_R(M,B)\to Hom_R(M,C)$ is left exact. I proved the above, and highlighted what ...
16
votes
2answers
862 views

Meaning of “efface” in “effaceable functor” and “injective effacement”

I'm reading Grothendieck's Tōhoku paper, and I was curious about the reasoning behind the terms "effaceable functor" and "injective effacement". I know that in English, to efface something means ...
15
votes
1answer
771 views

Equivalent conditions for a preabelian category to be abelian

Let's fix some terminology first. A category $\mathcal{C}$ is preabelian if: 1) $Hom_{\mathcal{C}}(A,B)$ is an abelian group for every $A,B$ such that composition is biadditive, 2) $\mathcal{C}$ has ...
14
votes
0answers
404 views

Why do universal $\delta$-functors annihilate injectives?

Let $\mathcal{A}$ and $\mathcal{B}$ be abelian categories. Suppose $\mathcal{A}$ has enough injectives, and consider a universal (cohomological) $\delta$-functor $T^\bullet$ from $\mathcal{A}$ to ...
12
votes
1answer
519 views

On equivalent definitions of Ext

Let $A$ be an abelian category and $X$, $Y$ two objects of $A$. Let's define Ext in this way: Ext$^i_A(X,Y)$=Hom$_{D(A)}(X[0],Y[i])$ Where $X[0]$ is the complex with all zeros except in degree 0 ...
10
votes
2answers
825 views

If a functor between categories of modules preserves injectivity and surjectivity, must it be exact?

Let $A$ and $B$ be commutative rings. Let $F$ be a functor from the category of $A$ modules to the category of $B$ modules. Suppose that $F$ preserves injectivity and surjectivity: whenever $f : ...
10
votes
1answer
123 views

Motivation for Definition of Derived Category

On the $n$Lab entry about derived categories, I read the derived category of an abelian category $\mathsf A$ is the localization of $\mathsf{Ch}_\bullet (\mathsf A)$ at the quasi-isomorphisms. My ...
10
votes
1answer
401 views

Limits in the category of exact sequences

Let $\mathbf C$ be an abelian category admitting projective limits. Let's consider the category whose objects are those of the form $$ 0\to A\to B\to C\to 0 $$ and whose morphisms are triples of ...
9
votes
2answers
599 views

Derived functors of torsion functor

Let $A$ be a domain. For every $A$-module $M$ consider its torsion submodule $M^{tor}$ made up of elements of $M$ which are annihilated by a non zero-element of $A$. If $f \colon M \to N$ is a ...
9
votes
2answers
109 views

An explicit imbedding of $(R\mathbf{-Mod})^{op}$ into $S\mathbf{-Mod}$

Given a ring $R$ consider $(R\mathbf{-Mod})^{op}$, the opposite category of the category of left $R$-modules. Since it is the dual to an abelian category and the axioms of abelian categories are ...
9
votes
1answer
508 views

The construction of the localization of a category

I was reading the construction of the localization of a category in the book "Methods of homological algebra" of Manin and Gelfand. Let me remind you the definition of the localization of a category: ...
8
votes
2answers
146 views

The Freyd-Mitchell Embedding Theorem and projective (injective) objects

Given a small abelian category $\mathcal{A}$, the Freyd-Mitchell Embedding Theorem gives me a fully faithful exact functor $F:\mathcal{A}\rightarrow R$-$\mathsf{Mod}$, for some unital ring $R$, so ...
8
votes
0answers
91 views

Abelian category induced by commutative ring

If $R$ is any ring, then ${}_R \mathsf{Mod}$ is an abelian category. We cannot detect commutativity of $R$ from ${}_R \mathsf{Mod}$, since for example $R$ and the matrix ring $M_n(R)$ are always ...
7
votes
2answers
200 views

Freyd: “is a subobject of” is not transitive

On page 20 of Abelian Categories, Freyd writes Note that the relation "is a subobject of" is not transitive. On page 91 of Awodey's Category Theory (there are several typos in this page; the ...
7
votes
1answer
285 views

The projective model structure on chain complexes

Let $\mathcal{A}$ be an abelian category with enough projective objects and let $\mathcal{M}$ be the category of chain complexes in $\mathcal{A}$ concentrated in non-negative degrees. Quillen [1967, ...
7
votes
1answer
331 views

Example of relative Ext functor

Greetings, I've been reading Maclane's "Homology" and ran into the following question: Let $(R,S)$ be a resolvent pair of ring, i.e $R$ is an $S$-algebra and we have a functor $\Psi \colon ...
7
votes
0answers
192 views

Has category theory solved major math problems?

All: I am new to category theory. Just wonder if category theory has solved any major math problems for other mathematics fields? or what are the major applications of the category theory ? ...
6
votes
2answers
820 views

Arbitrary products of quasi-coherent sheaves?

I have a short question: Does the category of quasi-coherent sheaves on a scheme have arbitrary products? I know that it does if the scheme is affine and I know that they will not be isomorphic to ...
6
votes
1answer
57 views

How to construct a tensor product of two preadditive categories in pure categorical fashion?

Let $\mathsf C$ and $\mathsf D$ be two preadditive categories (by an preadditive category I mean a category together with compatible abelian group structure on every hom-set). I thought of ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

Homotopy of double chain complexes

Consider complexes $(A,d_1), (A',d_1)$, $(C,d_2), (C',d_2)$ and morphisms $f_1,f_2: (A,d_1)\to (A',d_1)$ and $g_1,g_2: (C,d_2)\to (C',d_2)$ of degrees $0$. Consider the functor $(-\otimes-)$, then ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

Applications of diagram lemmas

I'm currently reading Theo Bühler's survey on exact categories about which he says This article is written for the reader who wants to learn about exact categories and knows why. Very few ...
6
votes
0answers
287 views

Abelian categories, axioms AB5 and AB5* and incompatability

This is a homework exercise, so please don't post full solutions to the question below. Grothendieck (I believe) introduced several axioms an abelian category A voluntarily could satisfy. In ...
5
votes
2answers
226 views

Applications of Mitchell's embedding theorem

I don't understand what is the advantage of viewing a particular category as a category of modules over some ring. Can anybody tell me some application of Mitchell's embedding theorem so that I can ...
5
votes
2answers
88 views

A generalization of abelian categories including Grp

The category of groups shares various properties with abelian categories. For example, the Five lemma and Nine lemma hold in Grp. Is there a weakened notion of abelian category which also includes Grp ...
5
votes
1answer
200 views

Additive category and zero map

Let $A$ be an additive category. Namely $A$ has a zero object, $A$ has finite products and coproducts, and Every Hom-set is an Abelian group such that composition of morphisms is bilinear. ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Counter-example for abelian category that is not concrete

I am trying to figure out a counter-example for abelian category that is not concrete category. Does the category of representations over a quiver work? Thanks,
5
votes
1answer
330 views

Mistake in Popescu's book “Abelian Categories with Applications to Rings and Modules”

Corollary 5.5 a) in chapter 1 on page 13 in Popescu's book "Abelian Categories with Applications to Rings and Modules" says: Let $F\colon C\rightarrow C^\prime$ be a functor and $G$ be a full and ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Converse of the Nine-Lemma (aka $ 3\times 3$ lemma)

I have been asked to either prove or disprove a sort of converse to the well know "Nine Lemma" (Also sometimes called the $3 \times 3$ Lemma I believe) The basic concept of the Nine Lemma is that if ...
5
votes
2answers
331 views

intersections in abelian category

Let $\mathcal{A}$ be an abelian category. We fix an object $A$ and we consider the category $mono(A)$ whose objects are the monomorphisms $u:B\rightarrow A$ and where a morphism from $u:B\rightarrow ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Uniqueness of the long exact sequence in homology

A few days ago colleagues of mine and I listened to a talk about spectral sequences and one "application" of them was the proof that any short exact sequence (s.e.s.) $$0 \to A \xrightarrow{f} B ...
5
votes
0answers
119 views

When is $K_0(i)$ an injection?

Suppose that $\mathcal A$ and $\mathcal B$ are two abelian categories such that $\mathcal A$ is a full subcategory of $\mathcal B$. If $i: \mathcal A\rightarrow\mathcal B$ is the inclusion functor, ...
5
votes
0answers
135 views

Properties of quotient categories.

Let $\mathcal{A}$ be an abelian category and $\mathcal{C}$ a localizing subcategory in the sense of Gabriel. (A Serre subcategory or "thick" subcategory, such that the quotient functor $T\colon ...
4
votes
2answers
341 views

Why can we use flabby sheaves to define cohomology?

In my algebraic geometry class, we defined sheaf cohomology using flabby sheaves, and the functor on the category of sheaves on a space $X$: $$ D: \mathcal F \mapsto D\mathcal F $$ where $$ ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Commuting squares in abelian categories

Here $A,B,C$ and $D$ are all objects in an Abelian category. $\require{AMScd} \begin{CD} A @> >> B @> >> C;\\ @VVV @VVV @VVV\\ D @> >>E @> >> F; \end{CD} $ The ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

Morita equivalence of acyclic categories

(Crossposted to MathOverflow.) Call a category acyclic if only the identity morphisms are invertible and the endomorphism monoid of every object is trivial. Let $C, D$ be two finite acyclic ...
4
votes
1answer
346 views

Is quasi-isomorphism an equivalence relation?

Let $E^\bullet$ and $F^\bullet$ be complexes on an abelian category; what does it mean to say that $E^\bullet$ and $F^\bullet$ are quasi-isomorphic? Does it only mean that there is a map of complexes ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Is $\coprod \subseteq \prod$ true in any (complete cocomplete) Abelian category?

Consider $A_i, \; i \in I$ a collection of objects in an Abelian category with arbitrary products and coproducts $\mathcal{C}$. Is there always a functorial monomorphism $\coprod_{i}A_i ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

Category of vector bundles over a space is additive?

Consider the category of vector bundles over a fixed base space. Then this category is not abelian, since the kernel of a morphism of bundles is in general not a vector bundle. But is it additive? ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

Long exact sequence into short exact sequences

This question is the categorical version of this question about splitting up long exact sequences of modules into short exact sequence of modules. I want to understand the general mechanism for ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Does “maximal submodule <=> simple quotient module” generalize to abelian categories?

Does the statement "If $A$, $B$ are modules over a commutative ring $R$, then $B$ is a maximal submodule of $A$ if and only if $A/B$ is a simple module" generalize to the setting of abelian ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

Equivalent characterizations of faithfully exact functors of abelian categories

Let $F\colon \mathcal{A} \rightarrow \mathcal{B}$ be a functor of abelian categories. We will define some properties of $F$ before we state a question. Let $X \rightarrow Y \rightarrow Z$ be a ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Composition of bicartesian squares

A commutative square is called bicartesian when it is both pull-back and push-out. In an abelian category, consider two pull-back squares $(X)$ and $(Y)$: $$ \begin{array}{ccccc} A & ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Factoring morphisms in abelian categories

I am reading the appendix of Charles Weibel's Homological Algebra and have the following question. It is mentioned that every morphism $f: B \to C $ in an abelian category factors as $B \to im(f) \to ...