Concept

Morphism

Summary
In mathematics, particularly in , a morphism is a structure-preserving map from one mathematical structure to another one of the same type. The notion of morphism recurs in much of contemporary mathematics. In set theory, morphisms are functions; in linear algebra, linear transformations; in group theory, group homomorphisms; in analysis and topology, continuous functions, and so on. In , morphism is a broadly similar idea: the mathematical objects involved need not be sets, and the relationships between them may be something other than maps, although the morphisms between the objects of a given category have to behave similarly to maps in that they have to admit an associative operation similar to function composition. A morphism in category theory is an abstraction of a homomorphism. The study of morphisms and of the structures (called "objects") over which they are defined is central to category theory. Much of the terminology of morphisms, as well as the intuition underlying them, comes from , where the objects are simply sets with some additional structure, and morphisms are structure-preserving functions. In category theory, morphisms are sometimes also called arrows. A C consists of two classes, one of and the other of . There are two objects that are associated to every morphism, the and the . A morphism f from X to Y is a morphism with source X and target Y; it is commonly written as or the latter form being better suited for commutative diagrams. For many common categories, objects are sets (often with some additional structure) and morphisms are functions from an object to another object. Therefore, the source and the target of a morphism are often called and respectively. Morphisms are equipped with a partial binary operation, called . The composition of two morphisms f and g is defined precisely when the target of f is the source of g, and is denoted g ∘ f (or sometimes simply gf). The source of g ∘ f is the source of f, and the target of g ∘ f is the target of g.