category theory

# Contents

## Idea

In a concrete category, an injective hull of an object $A$ is an extension $A \stackrel{m}{\longrightarrow} B$ of $A$ such that $B$ is injective and $m$ is an essential embedding. It is the dual concept to projective cover.

In general, there is no way of making the assignment of the injective hull to an object into a functor such that there is a natural transformation between the identity functor and that functor.

## Examples

• In Vect every object $A$ has an injective hull, $A \stackrel{id_A}{\longrightarrow} A$. In other words, every vector space is already an injective object.
• In Pos every object has an injective hull, its MacNeille completion.
• In Ab every object has an injective hull. The embedding $\mathbb{Z} \hookrightarrow \mathbb{Q}$ is an example.
• In the category of fields and algebraic field extensions, every object has an injective hull, its algebraic closure.
• In the category of metric spaces and short maps, the injective hull is a standard construction also known as the tight span? (see Wikipedia).

## Generalization

Given a class $\mathcal{E}$ of objects in a category, an $\mathcal{E}$-hull (or $\mathcal{E}$-envelope) of an object $A$ is a map $h\colon A\longrightarrow E$ such that the following two conditions hold:

1. Any map $k\colon A\longrightarrow E'$ to an object in $\mathcal{E}$ factors through $h$ via some map $f: E\longrightarrow E'$.

2. Whenever a map $f\colon E\longrightarrow E$ satisfies $f\circ h = h$ then it must be an automorphism.

## References

Revised on September 4, 2012 20:25:29 by Urs Schreiber (131.174.190.104)