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ABSTRACT : Two mathematical objects are said to be homotopic if one
can be continuously deformed into the other. The concept of homotopy was
first formulated by Poincare in Analysis Situs (1895), set forth the
fundamentals of homology. In this talk I would like to introduce the concept
of homotopy and then try to explore how it is used in solving one of the
major problem of point set topology namely when the two topological
spaces are homeomorphic to each other.
Definition : (Homotopic maps)
Let f and g be continuous functions from a space X into a space
Y , we say that f is homotopic to g , written as f ≃ g , iff there is a
continuous function H : X × I Y such that
H( 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 ) = ( 1t )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 ) = ( 1t
2
)f(x) is
also a homotopy between f and g .
Example 2 : Let f , g : X R
2
be any maps . Then f and g are homotopic
to each other and the Homotopy map H : X × I R
2
, between them is
given by H( x , t ) = ( 1t )f(x) + t g(x)
such that H(x, 0) =
) (x f
and H(x, 1) =
) (x g
Hence f ≃ g.
Definition : (Nullhomotopy map )
A continuous map f : XY is said to be null homotopic if it is
homotopic to some constant map.
Remark : Null homotopic maps may not be homotopic . In fact, constant
maps 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 all
x ε X . Then f and g are not homotopic because X × I is connected while
Y is not connected and the continuous image of a connected space is
connected .
In certain situation, a restricted type of homotopy is considered.
Under this restriction some subset is required to remain fixed throughout the
deformation.
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 process
described 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 say
that the mapping defining f(x) and g(x) are homotopic relative to the subset
consisting 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) is
independent 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 is
called 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 them
than mere homotopy. It is defined as follows:
Definition. ( Path Homotopy ) Two paths f and g, mapping the interval
I = [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 map
H : I I X such that
H(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 and
the second condition says that for each t, the path t
f
defined by the equation
3
) (s f
t = H(s, t) is a path from 0
x
and 1
x
. In other words, the first condition
says that H represents a continuous way of deforming the path f to the path
g, and the second condition says that the ends points of the path remain fixed
during the deformation.
Theorem 1. The relation ≃ is an equivalence relation in the set C(X, Y) of
all continuous maps from X to Y.
Proof. If f C(X, Y), then H : f ≃ f, where H is defined by
H(x, t) =
) (x f
for all x X and t I = [0, 1]
And if f, g C(X, Y) and H
1
: f ≃ g, then H
2
: g ≃ f,
where H
2
(x, t) = H
1
(x, 1 – t) for all x X and t I
Further, if f, g, h C(X, Y) and H
1
: f ≃ g and H
2
: g ≃ h, then
H
3
: f ≃ h, where
H
3
(x, t) =
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
≤ ≤ −
≤ ≤
1
2
1
) 1 2 , (
2
1
0 ) 2 , (
2
1
t t x
t t x
H
H
is continuous on X I, since it is continuous on each of the closed
subsets X ]
]
]
2
1
, 0
and X ]
]
]
1 ,
2
1
, the result follows by pasting lemma.
Hence ≃ is an equivalence relation.
Theorem 2. The relation ≃
p
is an equivalence relation in the set C(I, X)
of all paths in X having the same initial and terminal points.
Proof. In the above theorem replace the cont. maps f, g, h by paths in X.
Theorem 3. If h, h : X Y are homotopic and k, k : Y Z are
homotopic, then k o h and k o h are homotopic.
In other words composites of homotopic maps are homotopic.
Proof. Since h, h : X Y are homotopic from X to Y
a continuous map H
1
: X I Y such that
H
1
(x, 0) = h(x) , H
1
(x, 1) = h (x) , x X
Also k, k : Y Z are homotopic from Y to Z
a continuous map H
2
: Y I Z such that
H
2
(y, 0) = k(y) , H
2
(y, 1) = k (y), y Y
Clearly, k o H
1
: X I Z is a continuous map such that
(k o H
1
) (x, 0) = k(H
1
(x, 0)) = k(h(x)) = (k o h) (x)
and (k o H
1
) (x, 1) = k(H
1
(x, 1)) = k(h (x)) = (k o h ) (x)
k o H
1
is the homotopy between k o h and k o h
i.e. k o H
1
: k o h ≃ k o h
4
Now, By transitivity of the homotopy relation, it remain to construct a
homotopy between k o h and k o h .
Define H : X I Z by
H(x, t) = H
2
(h (x), t) , x X, t I.
Then H is a composite of continuous functions and hence continuous
and
H(x, 0) = H
2
(h (x), 0) = k(h (x)) = (k o h ) (x)
H(x, 1) = H
2
(h (x), 1) = k (h (x)) = (k o h ) (x)
H is a homotopy between k o h and k o h
i.e. H : k o h ≃ k o h
Thus k o H
1
: k o h ≃ k o h and H : k o h ≃ k o h
By transitivity of the homotopy relation
k o h ≃ k o h
i.e. k o h and k o h are homotopic.
Definition (Homotopy and path homotopy equivalence classes)
The equivalence classes in C(X, Y) under the relation ≃ are called the
homotopy equivalence classes in C(X, Y).
Similarly, the equivalence class in C(I, X) under the relation ≃
p
are
called the path homotopy equivalence classes.
Note : If f is a path in X, then its pathhomotopy equivalence class is
denoted by [ f ]
Thus [ f ] = { g : [0, 1] X such that g ≃
p
f }
FUNDAMENTAL GROUP
Now we introduce some algebra into this geometric situation. We define a
certain operation on pathhomotopy classes as follow:
Definition : If f is a path in X from x
0
to x
1
, and g is a path in X from x
1
to x
2
. we define the product f * g of f and g to be the path h given by
h( s ) =
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
]
]
]
∈ −
]
]
]
∈
1 ,
2
1
for ) 1 2 (
2
1
, 0 for ) 2 (
s s g
s s f
The function h is welldefined and continuous, by pasting lemma; it is a
path in X from x
0
to x
2
. Thus h is a path whose first half is the path f and
whose second half is the path g .
5
The product operation on paths induces a welldefined operation on
pathhomotopy classes, defined by the equation
[ f ]
*
[ g] = [ f
*
g]
for, let H
1
be a path homotopy between f and f and let H
2
be a path
homotopy between g and g . Then
H(s, t) =
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
]
]
]
∈ −
]
]
]
∈
1 ,
2
1
for ) , 1 2 (
2
1
, 0 for ) , 2 (
2
1
s t s
s t s
H
H
is the required path homotopy between f
*
g and f
*
g as
H
1
(1, t) = 1
x
= H
2
(0, t) for all t and the map H : I I X is continuous
by pasting lemma.
Remark : (i) The product of two pathhomotopy classes is not always
defined.
(ii) The product of two pathhomotopy classes [ f ] and [ g] is defined
only when f(1) = g(0).
Definition. ( Loop ) Let X be a topological space, 0
x
a fixed point in X. A
continuous function f : I X will be called a loop based at 0
x
iff
0
) 1 ( ) 0 ( x f f · ·
. i.e. a path that begin and end at 0
x
is called a loop at 0
x
.
The set of all path homotopy classes of loop based at 0
x
is denoted by
1
(X, 0
x
) and it form a group (under the operation *) known as Fundamental
group of X relative to the base point 0
x
.
Note : We denote the relation of homotopy between two loops f and g by
f ≃
g
x
0
and the equivalence class containing f will be denoted by [ f ].
Theorem 4.
1
(X, 0
x
) with the operation * , is a group.
Proof. Now
1
(X, 0
x
) = Set of path homotopy classes of loop based at 0
x
.
Let
] [
1
f
and
] [
2
f
be two members of
1
(X,
)
0
x
.
Let
1
f
≃
1
0
g
x
and
2
f
≃
2
0
g
x
continuous map H
1
, H
2
: X I X
s.t. H
1
(s, 0) =
) (
1
s f
, H
1
(s, 1) =
) (
1
s g
H
1
(0, t) = 0
x
= H
1
(1, t) , s, t I.
6
and H
2
(s, 0) =
) (
2
s f
, H
2
(s, 1) =
) (
2
s g
H
2
(0, t) = 0
x
= H
2
(1, t) , s, t I.
Then H(s, t) =
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
]
]
]
∈ −
]
]
]
∈
1 ,
2
1
for ) , 1 2 (
2
1
, 0 for ) , 2 (
2
1
s t s
s t s
H
H
is the path homotopy between
2 1 *
f f
and
2 1
*
g g
such that
H(0, t) = H
1
(0, t) = 0
x
and H(1, t) = H
2
(1, t) = 0
x
i.e. H(0, t) = 0
x
= H(1, t)
and so
2 1 *
f f
≃ 2 1
* 0
g g
x
Thus
]
*
[ ] [
*
] [
2 1 2 1
f f f f ·
* is a binary operation on
1
(X, 0
x
)
For the associatively, it is sufficient to show that
h g f
*
)
*
(
≃
)
*
(
*
0
h g f
x
for loops f , g and h based at 0
x
.
A pictorial approach will make the idea behind the necessary homotopy
easy. In terms of its action on I, (f
*
g)
*
h is accomplished by completing
the action of f in the interval
]
]
]
4
1
, 0
, the action of g in the interval
]
]
]
2
1
,
4
1
and
the action of h in the interval
]
]
]
1 ,
2
1
. This is represented on the top line of the
fig. given below.
The bottom line represents
)
*
(
*
h g f
. A homotopy between
)
*
(
*
h g f
and
h g f
*
)
*
(
can then be constructed by allowing the action of f, g and h to
be divided at time t as shown.
For identity, let
0
x
e
denote the constant loop 0 0
) ( x t e
x
·
for all t I. We claim
that [
0
x
e
] is an identity of
1
(X, x
0
). For this it is sufficient to show that
xo
e f
* ≃
f
x
0 and
f e
xo *
≃
f
x
0 for all f
1
(X, x
0
)
To exhibit a homotopy for the first, define for each t I
7
vv
H(x, t) =
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
≤ ≤
−
−
≤ ≤
,
`
.

−
1
2
2
2
2
0
2
2
0
x
t
x
t
x
t
x
f
H is continuous on I I, since it is continuous on each of the closed sets
¹
'
¹
¹
'
¹ −
≤
2
2
: ) , (
t
x t x
and
¹
'
¹
¹
'
¹ −
≥
2
2
: ) , (
t
x t x
the result follows by pasting lemma.
Moveover , H(x, 0) = f(x) and H(x, 1) = ( f
*
0
x
e
) (x) for all x I
The other relation
f e
xo *
≃
f
x
0 can be done similarly.
For the inverse : For each loop f and x define f to be the loop
1 0 , ) 1 ( ) ( ≤ ≤ − · x x f x f
and let ] [ ] [ f f ·
It is now easy to check that this is well defined. To show that
] [ f
is an
inverse of [ f ], it is sufficient to show that
f f
*
≃
xo x
e
0
and
f f
e *
≃
xo x
e
0
First, let H(x, t) =
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
≤ ≤ −
− ≤ ≤
−
+
−
≤ ≤
1 1
1
2
1
) (
2
1
0 ) (
0
x t x
t x
t
t x f
t
x x f
The function H is continuous on each of the three closed sets which
cover the square and thus continuous.
Clearly H(x, 0) =
) ( )
*
( x f f
and H(x, 1) =
) (x e
xo for all x I.
The homotopy showing that f f
*
≃ xo x
e
0
is similarly constructed.
8
Hence
1
(X, x
0
) with the operation * is a group.
Remark.(1) The fundamental group
1
(X, x
0
) is also called the first
homotopy group of X. There are indeed groups
n
(X, x
0
) for all n Z
+
, but
we shall not study this here. They are part of the general subject called
homotopy theory.
(2) From the structure of
1
(X, x
0
) we may obtain local character of the
space at x
0
. For example : if
1
(X, x
0
) is the trivial group i.e. the group
whose only element is the identity
0
x
e
, then every path at x
0
is homotopic to
0
x
e
and intuitively this mean , for example , that there is no “holes” which
prevent a path at x
0
from shrinking to the point x
0
.
ISOMORPHISM OF FUNDAMENTAL GROUPS
Now, an immediate question arises to what extent the fundamental group
depends on the base point. In this direction we show that if x
0
, x
1
ε X and
there is a path from x
0
to x
1
, then the groups
1
(X, x
0
) ≅
1
(X, x
1
) .
For this we first define the following:
Definition. Let be a path in X from x
0
to x
1
.
Define a map
) , ( ) , ( :
1 1 0 1
ˆ
x x X X π π α →
by
] [
*
] [
*
] [ ]) ([
ˆ
α α α f f ·
The map
α
ˆ , known as ‘‘ hat’’, is welldefined, for the operation * is
welldefined. If f is a loop based at 0
x
, then
)
*
(
*
α α f
is a loop based at
1
x
.
Note : The map
α
ˆ depends only on the pathhomotopy class of .
Theorem 5. If x
0
, x
1
ε X and be a path in X from x
0
to x
1
. Then
the map
α
ˆ :
1
(X, x
0
)
1
(X, x
1
) is a group isomorphism.
Proof. Let [ f ] and [ g] be any two elements from
1
(X, x
0
).
To show that α
ˆ is a group isomorphism, we need to show
(i)
]) ([
*
]) ([ ]) [
*
] ([
ˆ ˆ ˆ
g f g f α α α ·
and
(ii) α
ˆ is oneone and onto.
Now
]) ([
*
]) ([
ˆ ˆ
g f α α
=
]) [
*
] [
*
] ([
*
]) [
*
] [
*
] ([ α α α α g f
=
] [
*
] [
*
]) [
*
] ([
*
] [
*
] [ α α α α g f
9
=
] [
*
] [
*
) (
*
] [
*
] [
0
α α g e f
x
=
] [
*
] [
*
] [
*
] [ α α g f
=
]) [
*
] ([
ˆ
g f α
For second, we show that if denotes the path
α
, which is the reverse
of , then β
ˆ
is an inverse of
α
ˆ .
We compute for each element [h] of
1
(X, x
1
),
] [
*
] [
*
] [ ] [
*
] [
*
] [ ]) ([
ˆ
α α β β β h h h · · , then
]) [ (
ˆ
ˆ
h β α =
]) [
*
] [
*
] ([
ˆ
α α α h
=
] [
*
]) [
*
] [
*
] ([
*
] [ α α α α h
=
]) [
*
] ([
*
] [
*
]) [
*
] ([ α α α α h
=
1 1
*
] [
* x x
e h e
= [h]
Similarly, we can show that
] [ ])) ([ (
ˆ
ˆ
f f · α β , for each [ f ]
1
(X, x
0
)
⇒ β
ˆ
is the inverse of α
ˆ
and vice a versa and so α
ˆ
is one – one and onto.
Hence α
ˆ is an isomorphism.
Corl. If X is an arcwise connected space (or path connected space) and
0
x
and
1
x
are two points of X, then
1
(X, x
0
) is isomorphic to
1
(X, x
1
).
Note : (1) From above , we notice that in case of arcwise connected space
(or path connected space) X, the fundamental group of X donot depends
upon the base point. Thus in this case we can speak of fundamental group
1
(X) of X. This will cause us no difficulty here but create problem over
simplification in a deeper study of fundamental group.
(2) The above corollary is not true if the condition of space being path
connected is omitted. Even if X is connected , the corollary need not be true.
Theorem 6. Let be a path in X from x
0
to x
1
, let be a path in X
from x
1
to x
2
and if = * , then α β γ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
o · i.e.
β α *
= α β
ˆ
ˆ
o .
Proof. Since be a path in X from 0
x
to 1
x
and is a path in X
from 1
x
to 2
x
and = * . Therefore is a path in X from 0
x
to 2
x
.
To show that α β γ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
o · .
Let [ f ]
1
(X, x
0
) be any element.
] [ ) (
ˆ
ˆ
f oα β = ])) ([ (
ˆ
ˆ
f α β
= ]) [
*
] [
*
] ([
ˆ
α α β f
=
] [
*
] [
*
] [
*
] [
*
] [ β α α β f
10
=
]
*
[
*
] [
*
]
*
[ β α α β f
= ]
*
[
*
] [
*
]
*
[ β α β α f
=
] [
*
] [
*
] [ γ γ f
=
]) ([
ˆ
f γ
.
ˆ ˆ
ˆ
γ α β · o
As we know that the map
α
ˆ depends only on the pathhomotopy class of .
Now the question arises “ is there any situation where the α
ˆ
is independent
of . To this direction we have the following theorem:
Theorem 7. If be a path in X from x
0
to x
1
and if
α
ˆ :
1
(X, x
0
)
1
(X, x
1
) , be the isomorphism determined by the path .
Then
α
ˆ is independent of if and only if
1
(X, x
0
) is abelian group .
Proof. Firstly , let
1
(X, x
0
) be an abelian group
Let and be any paths from x
0
and x
1
Since β α * is a loop based at x
0.
∴ for each
] [ f
ε
1
(X, x
0
) , we have
[ ] [ * ] [ ] [ * * f f · β α ] β α *
⇒ [ * [ ] * * f f · β α ] β α *
Pre Multiplying by
] [α
and post multiplying by
] [β
, we get
* ([ * ] [ ] [ * ]) * * ([ * ] [ f f α β β α α · ] * β α
)*
] [β
⇒ * * [ ] * * * * [ f f α β β α α · β α * *
] β
⇒ * * [ ] * * [ f f α β β · ] α
⇒ β
ˆ
(
] [ f
) = α
ˆ
(
] [ f
) , ∀
] [ f
ε
1
(X, x
0
)
⇒ β
ˆ
= α
ˆ
Conversely , let α
ˆ =β
ˆ
. To show that
1
(X, x
0
) is an abelian group
Let
] [ f
,
] [g
ε
1
(X, x
0
) be any two elements
Since f is a loop based at x
0
and β is a path from x
0
to x
1
11
∴ f * β is also a path from x
0
to x
1
.
Thus α and f * β are two paths from x
0
to x
1
α
ˆ
= f * β
∴ α
ˆ
(
] [g
) = f * β (
] [g
)
(
] *
*
[ α α g
) =
] *
* *
* [ β β f g f
(
] *
*
[ α α g
) =
] *
* *
* [ β β f g f
Pre Multiplying by
] [α
and post multiplying by
] [α
, we get
] [α
*(
] [ * ]) *
*
[ α α α g
=
] [α
*(
] *
*
*
*
[ β β f g f
)*
] [α
α [
*
] * *
*
α α α g
=
α [
*
] * * )
*
* (
*
α β β f g f
] [g
=
] *
*
*
*
[
0
0
x x
e f g f e
] [g
=
]
*
* [ f g f
Pre Multiplying by
] [ f
, we get
] [
*
] [ g f
=
] [ f
*
]
*
* [ f g f
] [
*
] [ g f
=
]
*
* * [ f g f f
=
]
*
[ f g
=
] [
*
] [ f g
Hence
1
(X, x
0
) be an abelian group
Remark : From the above theorem we conclude that if x
0
and x
1
be points
of the path connected space X . Then
1
(X, x
0
) be an abelian group iff for
each pair α and β of paths from x
0
to x
1
, we have α
ˆ
=β
ˆ
.
Definition.(Simply connected space) A space X is said to be simply
connected if it is a path connected space and
1
(X, x
0
) is the trivial (one
element) group for some x
0
X, and hence for every x
0
X.
The trivial group is expressed by writing
1
(X, x
0
) = 0.
Theorem 8. Any two paths, in a simply connected space X, having the
same initial and final points are path homotopic.
12
Proof. Let and be two paths from x
0
and x
1
.
Then *
β
is a loop in X based at x
0
.
Since X is simply connected, this loop is path homotopic to the constant
loop
0
x
e
at 0
x
. i.e.
β α
*
≃
p 0
x
e
⇒
] [ ]
*
[
0
x
e · β α
and so
] [ ]
*
[ ] [
*
] [ ] [
*
] * [
0 0
β β β β β α · · ·
x x
e e
Also
] [ ]
*
[ ]
* *
[ ] [
*
]
*
[
0
α α β β α β β α · · ·
x
e
Thus , we have [ ] = [ ] ⇒ α ≃
p
β .
The two paths, having the same initial and final points in a simply
connected space are path homotopic.
HOMOMORPHISM OF FUNDAMENTAL GROUPS
If X and Y two topological spaces, we now investigate how the fundamental
groups of X and Y are affected by a continuous transformation from X into
Y . In this direction we show that if f : X Y be any continuous , then the
fundamental group in X may not be isomorphic to its transformed form in Y.
However, there is a homomorphism between the groups as the following
theorem show:
Remark. Suppose that h : X Y is a continuous map that carries the point x
0
of X to the point y
0
of Y. We write this fact by
h : (X, x
0
) (Y, y
0
)
If f is a loop in X based at x
0
, then the composite map h o f : I Y is a
loop based at 0
y
.
13
Thus the correspondence f h o f, gives rise to a map carrying
1
(X, x
0
) into
1
(Y y
0
). We define it as follows
Definition. Let h : (X, x
0
) (Y, y
0
) be a continuous map that carries the
point x
0
of X to the point y
0
of Y.
Define
*
h
:
1
(X, x
0
)
1
(Y, y
0
) by
] [ ]) ([
*
f o h f h ·
The map
*
h
is called the homomorphism induced h, relative to the base
point x
0
.
Remark :The map
*
h
is welldefined, for if H: f ≃
p
f′ be the paths
homotopy between f and f′ , where f and f′ are paths at x
0
. Let g and g′
be paths at y
0
defined by g = h o f and g′ = h o f .
The we show that h o H : g ≃
p
g′ .
As both h : X Y and H : I×I X are continuous and so is the
composite map h o H : I×I Y is also continuous .
Moreover , h o H( x, 0) = h(H( x, 0)) = h( f (x)) = h o f (x) = g(x) 0.
and h o H( x, 1) = h(H( x, 1)) = h( f′ (x)) = h o f ′(x) = g′ (x)
h o H( 0, t) = h(H( 0, t)) = h( x
0
)) = y
0
h o H( 1, t) = h(H( 1, t)) = h( x
0
)) = y
0
Thus , we have h o H( x, 0) = g(x) , h o H( x, 1) = g′(x) and
h o H( 0, t) = h o H( 1, t) = y
0
.
and so h o H : g ≃
p
g′ .
Also
*
h
is a homomorphism , for let [ f ] , [ g ] ε
1
(X, x
0
) . Then
)] * ( [ ]) [ * ] ([
*
g f o h g f h ·
=[ (h o f) * (h o g)]
= [h o f ] *[ h o g]
=
]) ([ * ]) ([
* *
g h f h
Note : The homomorphism *
h
depends not only on the map h : X Y but
also on the choice of base point 0
x
(once 0
x
is chosen, 0
y
is determined by
h). To avoid notational difficulty we use the notation.
) , ( ) , ( : ) (
0 1 0 1 *
0
y x h
x
Y X π π →
Theorem 9. If h : (X, x
0
) (Y, y
0
) and k : (Y, y
0
) (Z, z
0
) are
continuous, then
* * *
) ( h o k h o k ·
.
If i : (X, x
0
) (X, x
0
) is the identity map, then *
i
is the identity
homomorphism.
Proof. Since h : (X, x
0
) (Y, y
0
) and k : (Y, y
0
) (Z, z
0
) are continuous
∴ k o h : (X, x
0
) (Z, z
0
) is also continuous . Then by definition
14
]) ([ ) (
*
f h o k
=
] ) [( f o h o k
Also,
]) ([ ) (
* *
f h o k
=
]) ([ ]) ([ (
* * *
f o h k f h k ·
=
)] ( [ f o h o k
=
] ) [( f o h o k
Thus
]) ([ ) (
*
f h o k
=
]) ([ ) (
* *
f h o k
, [ f ]
1
(X, x
0
)
*
) ( h o k
= * *
h o k
Moreover,
]) ([
*
f i
=
] [ ] [ f f o i ·
]) [ * ] ([
*
g f i
=
] [
*
] [ ]
*
[ ])
*
([
*
g f g f g f i · ·
=
]) ([
*
]) ([
* *
g i f i
Hence *
i
is the identity homomorphism.
Corl. If h : (X, x
0
) (Y, y
0
) is a homeomorphism of X with Y, then
*
h
:
1
(X, x
0
)
1
(Y, y
0
) is an isomorphism.
Proof. Let i, j be the identity map of (X, x
0
) and (Y, y
0
) respectively. Then
* *
, j i
be their respective identity homomorphism of the groups
1
(X, x
0
) and
1
(Y, y
0
). Let k : (Y, y
0
) (X, x
0
) be the inverse of h : (X, x
0
) (Y, y
0
).
Then, we have
* * * *
) ( i h o k h o k · ·
and
* * * *
) ( j k o h k o h · ·
This imply, that
*
k
is the inverse of
*
h
.
*
h
is oneone and onto.
For homomorphism, let [ f ], [ g]
1
(X, x
0
) be two elements
Then
]) [ * ] ([
*
g f h
=
])
*
([
*
g f h
= [h o (f
*
g)]
= [(h o f)
*
(h o g)]
= [h o f]
*
[h o g]
=
]) ([
*
]) ([
* *
g h f h
Hence
*
h
is an isomorphism.
Corl. If i : (X, x
0
) (Y, y
0
) be the identity map and
j : (Y, y
0
) (X, x
0
) be the identity map, then
* * *
) ( j o i j o i ·
, is the identity on
1
(X, x
0
)
and * * *
) ( i o j i o j ·
, is the identity on
1
(Y, y
0
)
Definition. (Homotopically equivalent spaces )
15
Two topological spaces X and Y are homotopically
equivalent or of same homotopy type iff there exist continuous mapping h
: X Y and k : Y X such that h o k ≃ Y
i
and k o h ≃ X
i
We observe that two homeomorphic spaces are of the same homotopy type
For, suppose X and Y are homeomorphic and let h :X Y be a
homeomorphism . Then the inverse map h
1
: Y X is continuous and
satisfies the condition that h
1
o h ≃
X
i
and h o h
1
≃ Y
i
. This mean h
is a
homotopy equivalence, i.e. X and Y are of the same homotopy type .
The converse is not true.
For example:Consider the unit disk Ď
2
(open or closed) and a point x
0
εĎ
2
.
Let i : P = { x
0
} Ď
2
be the inclusion map and
0
x
e
: Ď
2
P be a constant
map . Then clearly
0
x
e
o i = I
P
. On the other hand , the map H : Ď
2
× I Ď
2
defined by H (x , t) = (1t) x + t x
0
, is a homotopy from I
Ď2
to i o
0
x
e
.
Thus, Ď
2
is of the same homotopy type as a point P and these are clearly not
homeomorphic . Moreover
1
(Ď
2
, x
0
) =
1
(P, x
0
) =0.
Theorem 10. If (X, x
0
) and (Y, y
0
) are homotopically equivalent, then
1
(X, x
0
) and
1
(Y, y
0
) are isomorphic.
Proof. Since (X, x
0
) and (Y, y
0
) are homotopically equivalent
mapping h : (X, x
0
) (Y, y
0
) and k : (Y, y
0
) (X, x
0
) such that
h o k ≃ Y
i
and k o h ≃
X
i
h o k is homotopic to the identity on Y and k o h is homotopic to the
identity on X.
Now h
*
:
1
(X, x
0
)
1
(Y, y
0
) and k
*
:
1
(Y, y
0
)
1
(X, x
0
) are
homomorphism Also by above corl., we have
* * *
) ( k o h k o h ·
is the identity on
1
(X, x
0
)
and
* * *
) ( h o k h o k ·
is the identity on
1
(Y, y
0
)
Thus
*
h
and
*
k
are isomorphism and hence proved the theorem.
Remark : From the above example and theorem we see that if the
fundamental groups of two spaces are isomorphic , we can not say that the
two spaces are homeomophic to each other , however when the two spaces
are homeomorphic to each other then their fundamental groups are
isomorphic . This gives us a very important tool to say that two topological
spaces are not homeomorphic to each other.
16
Theorem 11. Let X and Y be two spaces with base x
0
ε X and y
0
ε Y,
respectively . Then
π
1
( X × Y , ( x
0
, y
0
) ) ≅ π
1
( X, x
0
) × π
1
( Y, y
0
)
i.e. the fundamental group of the product space is isomorphic to the product
of the fundamental groups of factors.
Proof . Suppose α : I X × Y is a loop based at ( x
0
, y
0
) and let
p
1
: X × Y X , p
2
: X × Y Y are the projection mapping . Then
p
1
, p
2
induces group homomorphism
* 1
p
: π
1
( X × Y , ( x
0
, y
0
) ) π
1
( X, x
0
) and
* 2
p
: π
1
( X × Y , ( x
0
, y
0
) ) π
1
( Y, y
0
) given by
* 1
p
(
] [α
) =
] p [
1
α
and
* 2
p
(
] [α
) =
] p [
2
α
∴ by the definition of the direct product of groups , we get a group
homomorphism
ρ : π
1
( X × Y , ( x
0
, y
0
) ) ≅ π
1
( X, x
0
) × π
1
( Y, y
0
)
defined by ρ(
] [α
) = (
] p [
1
α
,
] p [
2
α
).
Now it is sufficient to show that ρ is a bijection .
For this , first we note that given a pair of continuous maps f : I X ,
g: I Y , there is , by definition of product topology , a continuous map
( f , g ) : I X × Y defined by ( f , g )(t) = ( f (t) , g(t) ) , ∀ t ε I
conversely , any continuous map h : I X × Y defines a pair of continuous
maps
α
1
p
: I X and
α
2
p
: I Y . Moreover there is oneto –one
correspondence between the set of all continuous maps h : I X × Y and
the set of pairs (
α
1
p
,
α
2
p
) of continuous maps .
Now , let (
] [α
,
] [β
) ε π
1
( X, x
0
) × π
1
( Y, y
0
) . Then the pair (α , β) of
loops based at x
0
and y
0
respectively corresponds to the loops
(α , β) : t (α(t) , β(t)) in X × Y based at (x
0
, y
0
) and defines a map
η : π
1
( X, x
0
) × π
1
( Y, y
0
) π
1
( X × Y , ( x
0
, y
0
) ) given by
η (
] [α
,
] [β
) = ( [α , β] ) .
To see that η is well defined , note that if H
1
: α
1
≃ α
2
; H
2
: β
1
≃ β
2
17
are homotopies , then the map H : I × I X × Y defined by
H( s , t ) = ( H
1
(s,t) , H
2
(s,t) )
is a homotopy from (α
1
, β
1
) and (α
2
, β
2
) relative to the set { 0 , 1} .
Clearly , the map ρ and η are inverse of each other and so ρ is an
isomorphism . This complete the proof of the theorem .
Note : Let { X
α
: α ε I } be a family of spaces and for each α ε I , x
α
ε X
α
be a base point . Then the above theorem can be generalized as
π
1
( ∏ X
α
, x
α
) ≅ ∏ π
1
( X
α
, x
α
)
FUNDAMENTAL GROUPS OF SOME SPACES
In this section, we prove a few results which would be of help in computing
the fundamental groups of some familiar subspaces of the Euclidean space
ℝ
n
, etc. Most importantly we will show that the fundamental group of the
unit circle S
1
, π
1
(S
1
) is isomorphic to the additive group ℤ of integers and
that of a torus T ( a surface ), π
1
( T ) is isomorphic to ℤ × ℤ .
Example 1 . Let Ď
n
( n ≥ 1) be the ndimensional unit disk in ℝ
n
.
Since Ď
n
is path connected , we can compute its fundamental group at any
point . For simplicity , let us choose origin as its base point . Then the
homotopy H: Ď
n
× I Ď
n
defined by
H(x,t) = (1t)x
Shrinks every point of Ď
n
to the origin without moving the origin at all.
Therefore, each loop in Ď
n
based at origin is path homotopic to the constant
loop. Whence π
1
( Ď
n
) =0.
More generally , if S is any convex subset of ℝ
n
and s
0
ε S is a fixed point
, then the homotopy H( x,t) = (1t)x + t s
0
Shrinks each point of S to the point s
0
without moving the point s
0
. Therefore
, each loop in S based at s
0
is null homotopic , and π
1
(S ) =0.
Example 2 The fundamental group π
1
(S
1
) of the unit circle is
isomorphic the additive group ℤ of integers.
Recall that the unit circle S
1
= { (x , y) ε ℝ
2
 x
2
+ y
2
= 1 } is a subspace of
ℝ
2
.It can also be described in terms of complex numbers, viz.,
S
1
= { z ε ℂ : z = 1 }. Clearly S
1
is a topological group under the
multiplication of complex numbers. We choose (1 ,0) ε S
1
as the base point
and denote this point by p
o
. Now we will show that π
1
(S
1
, p
o
) ≅ ℤ .
18
Let p : ℝ S
1
be the exponential map defined by p(t) = e
2π it
, t ε ℝ ,
clearly , this is a continuous map which simply wraps the real line ℝ onto
the circle S
1
infinite number of times
More over it has a nice property that each path α : I S
1
with initial point
α(0) = p
o
ε S
1
can be lifted to a unique path α
′
: I ℝ s.t. α
′
(0) = 0 ε ℝ.
The path α
′
need not be a path at 0, that is α
′
(1) need not be 0. But because
poα
′
= α
, α
′
(1) must belong to the kernel of p , i.e. α
′
(1) ε ℤ . The integer
α
′
(1) is the number of complete revolution of S
1
(counterclockwise if α
′
(1)
is positive and clockwise if α
′
(1) is negative)made by any element of [α]
this integer is called the degree of the loop α .so deg([α]) = deg( α) .
This defines a map f : π
1
(S
1
, p
o
) ℤ defined by f ([α] ) = deg( α)
Now we shall show that f is an isomorphism.
For Homomorphism : Let [α] , [β] be any two elements of π
1
(S
1
, p
o
) .
Let α
′ ,
β
′
: I ℝ be the unique paths starting from origin of ℝ which are
lifts of α and β, respectively . Define a new path ω : I ℝ by
ω (t) =
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
]
]
]
∈ − +
]
]
]
∈
1 ,
2
1
for ) 1 2 ( ) 1 (
2
1
, 0 for ) 2 (
' '
'
t t
t t
β α
α
Then obviously ω also begin at origin and
19
p o ω (t) =
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
]
]
]
∈ − +
]
]
]
∈
1 ,
2
1
for ) 1 2 )( .( ) 1 )( (
2
1
, 0 for ) 2 (
' '
'
t t po po
t t po
β α
α
=
¹
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
]
]
]
∈ −
]
]
]
∈
1 ,
2
1
for ) 1 2 (
2
1
, 0 for ) 2 (
t t
t t
β
α
= (α* β)( t ) , ∀ t ε I.
Thus , ω is a lift of α* β starting from the origin .
∴ deg([ α]*[β ] ) = deg ([ α* β ] ) = ω(1) = α
′
(1) + β′(1)
= deg([α] ) + deg( [β] ) .
and thus , we have
f ( [ α]*[β ] ) = f ( [ α* β ] ) = deg(α* β) = deg(α) + deg(β)
= f ([α]) + f ([β])
f is oneone map :Let [α] , [β] ε π
1
(S
1
, p
o
) such that deg([α] ) = deg( [β] )
This mean that if α
′
: I ℝ ,
β
′
: I ℝ are lift of α , β
respectively starting from origin , then α
′
(1) = β′(1).
Define a homotopy H : I × I ℝ by
H(s ,t ) = (1t) α
′
(s) + t β′(s) , (s , t) ε I × I
Then H is a homotopy between α
′
and β′ relative to {0,1}.
This imply that p o H : I × I S
1
is a homotopy between α and β relative
to { 0,1} , and so [ α] = [β ].
f is onto : Let n ε ℤ . Define a loop γ : I S
1
by γ (t) = e
2π ni t
.
The path γ ′ : I ℝ defined by γ ′(t) = nt , , starting at the origin of ℝ and
lifts the path γ .
∴ deg( [γ ] ) = γ ′(1) = n .
Thus f is an isomorphism and so π
1
(S
1
, p
o
) ≅ ℤ .
Remark : We have already proved that the fundamental group of two
homeomorphic spaces are isomorphic . Consequently, any space which is
homeomorphic to the unit circle S
1
will have its fundamental group as the
additive group ℤ of integers.
For example all closed curve which have the subspace topology induced
from ℝ
2
and , as shown below:
20
have ℤ as their fundamental group . Infact , take a pencil , put it at a point
p in the plane ℝ
2
, move your hand tracing some curve not crossing the
curve already traced anywhere , finally come back to the point p . Then the
curve so described is homeomorphic to the circle S
1
and will have its
fundamental group isomorphic to the additive group ℤ of integers.
Example 3 : Fundamental group of Torus
We know that a torus T ( a surface) is homeomorphic to the product S
1
×S
1
of two circles S
1
, whereas the n dimensional torus T
n
≅ S
1
×S
1
… S
1
(ncopies) . Each is a path connected spaces . Therefore , we have
π
1
(T) ≅ ℤ×ℤ and π
1
(T
n
) ≅ ℤ×ℤ×……× ℤ ( n copies).
21
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