In mathematics, an embedding (or imbedding[1]) is one instance of some mathematical structure contained within another instance, such as a group that is a subgroup.

When some object is said to be embedded in another object , the embedding is given by some injective and structure-preserving map . The precise meaning of "structure-preserving" depends on the kind of mathematical structure of which and are instances. In the terminology of category theory, a structure-preserving map is called a morphism.

The fact that a map is an embedding is often indicated by the use of a "hooked arrow" (U+21AA RIGHTWARDS ARROW WITH HOOK);[2] thus: (On the other hand, this notation is sometimes reserved for inclusion maps.)

Given and , several different embeddings of in may be possible. In many cases of interest there is a standard (or "canonical") embedding, like those of the natural numbers in the integers, the integers in the rational numbers, the rational numbers in the real numbers, and the real numbers in the complex numbers. In such cases it is common to identify the domain with its image contained in , so that .

Topology and geometry edit

General topology edit

In general topology, an embedding is a homeomorphism onto its image.[3] More explicitly, an injective continuous map   between topological spaces   and   is a topological embedding if   yields a homeomorphism between   and   (where   carries the subspace topology inherited from  ). Intuitively then, the embedding   lets us treat   as a subspace of  . Every embedding is injective and continuous. Every map that is injective, continuous and either open or closed is an embedding; however there are also embeddings that are neither open nor closed. The latter happens if the image   is neither an open set nor a closed set in  .

For a given space  , the existence of an embedding   is a topological invariant of  . This allows two spaces to be distinguished if one is able to be embedded in a space while the other is not.

Related definitions edit

If the domain of a function   is a topological space then the function is said to be locally injective at a point if there exists some neighborhood   of this point such that the restriction   is injective. It is called locally injective if it is locally injective around every point of its domain. Similarly, a local (topological, resp. smooth) embedding is a function for which every point in its domain has some neighborhood to which its restriction is a (topological, resp. smooth) embedding.

Every injective function is locally injective but not conversely. Local diffeomorphisms, local homeomorphisms, and smooth immersions are all locally injective functions that are not necessarily injective. The inverse function theorem gives a sufficient condition for a continuously differentiable function to be (among other things) locally injective. Every fiber of a locally injective function   is necessarily a discrete subspace of its domain  

Differential topology edit

In differential topology: Let   and   be smooth manifolds and   be a smooth map. Then   is called an immersion if its derivative is everywhere injective. An embedding, or a smooth embedding, is defined to be an immersion that is an embedding in the topological sense mentioned above (i.e. homeomorphism onto its image).[4]

In other words, the domain of an embedding is diffeomorphic to its image, and in particular the image of an embedding must be a submanifold. An immersion is precisely a local embedding, i.e. for any point   there is a neighborhood   such that   is an embedding.

When the domain manifold is compact, the notion of a smooth embedding is equivalent to that of an injective immersion.

An important case is  . The interest here is in how large   must be for an embedding, in terms of the dimension   of  . The Whitney embedding theorem[5] states that   is enough, and is the best possible linear bound. For example, the real projective space   of dimension  , where   is a power of two, requires   for an embedding. However, this does not apply to immersions; for instance,   can be immersed in   as is explicitly shown by Boy's surface—which has self-intersections. The Roman surface fails to be an immersion as it contains cross-caps.

An embedding is proper if it behaves well with respect to boundaries: one requires the map   to be such that

  •  , and
  •   is transverse to   in any point of  .

The first condition is equivalent to having   and  . The second condition, roughly speaking, says that   is not tangent to the boundary of  .

Riemannian and pseudo-Riemannian geometry edit

In Riemannian geometry and pseudo-Riemannian geometry: Let   and   be Riemannian manifolds or more generally pseudo-Riemannian manifolds. An isometric embedding is a smooth embedding   that preserves the (pseudo-)metric in the sense that   is equal to the pullback of   by  , i.e.  . Explicitly, for any two tangent vectors   we have


Analogously, isometric immersion is an immersion between (pseudo)-Riemannian manifolds that preserves the (pseudo)-Riemannian metrics.

Equivalently, in Riemannian geometry, an isometric embedding (immersion) is a smooth embedding (immersion) that preserves length of curves (cf. Nash embedding theorem).[6]

Algebra edit

In general, for an algebraic category  , an embedding between two  -algebraic structures   and   is a  -morphism   that is injective.

Field theory edit

In field theory, an embedding of a field   in a field   is a ring homomorphism  .

The kernel of   is an ideal of  , which cannot be the whole field  , because of the condition  . Furthermore, any field has as ideals only the zero ideal and the whole field itself (because if there is any non-zero field element in an ideal, it is invertible, showing the ideal is the whole field). Therefore, the kernel is  , so any embedding of fields is a monomorphism. Hence,   is isomorphic to the subfield   of  . This justifies the name embedding for an arbitrary homomorphism of fields.

Universal algebra and model theory edit

If   is a signature and   are  -structures (also called  -algebras in universal algebra or models in model theory), then a map   is a  -embedding exactly if all of the following hold:

  •   is injective,
  • for every  -ary function symbol   and   we have  ,
  • for every  -ary relation symbol   and   we have   iff  

Here   is a model theoretical notation equivalent to  . In model theory there is also a stronger notion of elementary embedding.

Order theory and domain theory edit

In order theory, an embedding of partially ordered sets is a function   between partially ordered sets   and   such that


Injectivity of   follows quickly from this definition. In domain theory, an additional requirement is that

  is directed.

Metric spaces edit

A mapping   of metric spaces is called an embedding (with distortion  ) if


for every   and some constant  .

Normed spaces edit

An important special case is that of normed spaces; in this case it is natural to consider linear embeddings.

One of the basic questions that can be asked about a finite-dimensional normed space   is, what is the maximal dimension   such that the Hilbert space   can be linearly embedded into   with constant distortion?

The answer is given by Dvoretzky's theorem.

Category theory edit

In category theory, there is no satisfactory and generally accepted definition of embeddings that is applicable in all categories. One would expect that all isomorphisms and all compositions of embeddings are embeddings, and that all embeddings are monomorphisms. Other typical requirements are: any extremal monomorphism is an embedding and embeddings are stable under pullbacks.

Ideally the class of all embedded subobjects of a given object, up to isomorphism, should also be small, and thus an ordered set. In this case, the category is said to be well powered with respect to the class of embeddings. This allows defining new local structures in the category (such as a closure operator).

In a concrete category, an embedding is a morphism   that is an injective function from the underlying set of   to the underlying set of   and is also an initial morphism in the following sense: If   is a function from the underlying set of an object   to the underlying set of  , and if its composition with   is a morphism  , then   itself is a morphism.

A factorization system for a category also gives rise to a notion of embedding. If   is a factorization system, then the morphisms in   may be regarded as the embeddings, especially when the category is well powered with respect to  . Concrete theories often have a factorization system in which   consists of the embeddings in the previous sense. This is the case of the majority of the examples given in this article.

As usual in category theory, there is a dual concept, known as quotient. All the preceding properties can be dualized.

An embedding can also refer to an embedding functor.

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Spivak 1999, p. 49 suggests that "the English" (i.e. the British) use "embedding" instead of "imbedding".
  2. ^ "Arrows – Unicode" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-07.
  3. ^ Hocking & Young 1988, p. 73. Sharpe 1997, p. 16.
  4. ^ Bishop & Crittenden 1964, p. 21. Bishop & Goldberg 1968, p. 40. Crampin & Pirani 1994, p. 243. do Carmo 1994, p. 11. Flanders 1989, p. 53. Gallot, Hulin & Lafontaine 2004, p. 12. Kobayashi & Nomizu 1963, p. 9. Kosinski 2007, p. 27. Lang 1999, p. 27. Lee 1997, p. 15. Spivak 1999, p. 49. Warner 1983, p. 22.
  5. ^ Whitney H., Differentiable manifolds, Ann. of Math. (2), 37 (1936), pp. 645–680
  6. ^ Nash J., The embedding problem for Riemannian manifolds, Ann. of Math. (2), 63 (1956), 20–63.

References edit

External links edit