HOMOTOPY

ABSTRACT

:- Two mathematical objects are said to be homotopic if onecan be continuously deformed into the other. The concept of homotopy wasfirst formulated by Poincare in

Analysis Situs

(1895), set forth thefundamentals of

homology

. In this talk I would like to introduce the conceptof homotopy and then try to explore how it is used in solving one of themajor problem of point set topology namely when the two topologicalspaces are homeomorphic to each other.

Definition : (Homotopic maps)

Let

f

and

g

be continuous functions from a space X into a spaceY , we say that

f

is homotopic to

g

, written as

f

≃

g

, iff there is acontinuous function H : X

×

I

Y such thatH( x , 0 ) =

f

(x) and H( x , 1 ) =

g

(x)Where I = [0, 1] , is the unit closed subset of R, the set of real numbers.The map H is called a homotopy between f and g. We also write H:

f

≃

g

,when H is a homotopy between

f

and

g

.This can be shown as below: - .In other words we have :

Example 1

: Let X = Y = R

n

and let

f

(x) = x and

g

(x) = 0 for x

ε

R

n

.

1

Let

H : R

n

×

I

R

n

defined as H( x , t ) = ( 1-t )

f

(x) .Then H is a homotopy between

f

and

g

.

Note

: There can be more than one homotopy between the two functions

f

and

g

. For example H

1

: R

n

×

I

R

n

defined by H

1

( x , t ) = ( 1-t

2

)

f

(x) isalso a homotopy between

f

and

g

.

Example 2

: Let

f , g

: X

R

2

be any maps . Then

f

and

g

are homotopicto each other and the Homotopy map H : X

×

I

R

2

, between them isgiven by H( x , t ) = ( 1-t )

f

(x) + t

g

(x)such that H(

x

, 0) =

)(

x f

and H(

x

, 1) =

)(

x g

Hence

f

≃

g

.

Definition

: (

Null-homotopy map

)

A continuous map

f

: X

Y is said to be null- homotopic if it ishomotopic to some constant map.

Remark

: Null- homotopic maps may not be homotopic . In fact, constantmaps need not be homotopic.

For example:

Let X be connected and Y be not connected .Let y

1

and y

2

be points in distinct components of Y and let

f

(x) = y

1

and

g

(x) = y

2

for allx

ε

X . Then

f

and

g

are not homotopic because X

×

I is connected whileY is not connected and the continuous image of a connected space isconnected .In certain situation, a restricted type of homotopy is considered.Under this restriction some subset is required to remain fixed throughout thedeformation.Let us consider the two simple arcs

f(x)

and

g(x)

with the same end points x

1

and x

2 .

Suppose

f(x)

is deformed continuously into

g(x)

by the processdescribed above , but with the condition that every member of the family of intermediate arcs has x

1

and x

2

as end points . Under this situation we saythat the mapping defining

f(x)

and

g(x)

are homotopic relative to the subsetconsisting of x

1

and x

2 .

2

We give the formal definition.

Definition

: (

Relative Homotopy

) Let A

⊆

X and

f :

X

Y ,

g :

X

Y be continuous mapping .

f

and

g

are said to be homotopic relative to A if there is a homotopy H : X

×

I

Y between

f

and

g

such that H(x,t) isindependent of t for x

ε

A . In other words H(x,t) =

f(x)

for all x

ε

A , t

ε

I.In this situation it is clear that

f(x) = g(x)

for all x

ε

A. The homotopy H iscalled a homotopy relative to A and is written as

f

≃

g

(rel A).If

f

and

g

are two

paths

in X, there is a stronger relation between themthan mere homotopy. It is defined as follows:

Definition.

(

Path Homotopy

) Two paths

f

and

g

, mapping the intervalI = [0, 1] into X, are said to be path homotopic if they have the same initial point

0

x

and the same final point

1

x

, and if there is a continuous mapH : I I X such thatH(

s

, 0) =

f

(

s

) and H(

s

, 1) =

g

(

s

),H(0,

t

) =

0

x

and H(1,

t

) =

1

x

, for each

s

I and each

t

I.We called H is a path homotopy between

f

and

g

.If

f

is a path homotopic to

g

, we write

f

≃

p

g

.Remark. The first condition says that H is a homotopy between

f

and

g

andthe second condition says that for each

t

, the path

t

f

defined by the equation

3

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