JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER
1. Definitions
Definition 1.1. A category A is a class of objects Ob(A) together with a set of
morphisms HomA (M, N ) for every pair of objects M, N ∈ Ob(A) and a map ◦ :
HomA (M, N ) × HomA (L, M ) → HomA (L, N ) for each triple of objects L, M, N ∈ Ob(A)
such that:
• ∃1M ∈ HomA (M, M ) such that 1M ◦ g = g and f ◦ 1M = f whenever this makes
sense, and
• (f ◦ g) ◦ h = f ◦ (g ◦ h) whenever this makes sense.
Example 1.2. Let R be a unitary ring. Then Mod R, the category of Rmodules with
Rmodule homomorphisms is a category.
Definition 1.3. A category A is called small if Ob(A) is a set.
Definition 1.4. Let A, B be categories. A covariant (resp. contravariant) functor
F : A → B is given by an object F (M ) for every M ∈ A and for every morphism f ∈
HomA (M, N ) a morphism F (f ) ∈ HomB (F (M ), F (N )) (resp. F (f ) ∈ HomB (F (N ), F (M ))),
such that:
• F (1M ) = 1F (M )
• F (g ◦ h) = F (g) ◦ F (h) (resp. F (g ◦ h) = F (h) ◦ F (g)).
Example 1.5. Let R be a unitary ring, M an Rmodule. Then HomR (M, −) : Mod R →
Mod Z is a covariant functor.
Definition 1.6. (i) A category A is called preadditive if HomA (M, N ) is an abelian
group for all M, N ∈ Ob(A) and ◦ is bilinear.
(ii) An object 0 ∈ A is called zero object if for every object M ∈ A there is only one
morphism 0 → M and only one morphism M → 0. If there is a zero object, the
composition of M → 0 and 0 → N is also denoted by 0 for every pair M, N ∈ Ob(A).
(iii) For objects M, N ∈ A the product M × N is defined as the object M × N , such
that:
p2
M bEo p1 MO × /N
<
EE z
EE h2 zzz
EE∃!h zz
h1 E zz
X
(iv) A preadditive category is called additive if it has a zero object and M × N exists
for every pair M, N ∈ Ob(A).
(v) Let f : M → N . Then ker f , the kernel of f is defined by the following diagram:
f
ker fbE
i / MO / N
E
E
∃!h E
X
where f i = 0 and f g = 0.
(vi) Let f : m → N . Then Coker f , the cokernel of f is defined by the following diagram:
f
M / N
π / Coker f
v
v
g v
{v v ∃!h
X
(vii) Let A be additive. A morphism i : M → N is called monomorphism if ig = 0
implies g = 0 for all g : L → M .
(viii) Let A be additive. A morphism p : M → N is called epimorphism if gp = 0 implies
g = 0 for all g : N → X.
(ix) A category A is called abelian if A is additive, every morphism has a kernel and a
cokernel and every monomorphism is a kernel and every epimorphism is a cokernel.
(x) Let A be abelian. Define Im(f ) := ker Coker f and Coim f := Coker ker f .
f g
(xi) A sequence L → M → N is called exact if ker g = Im f , i.e. Im f satisfies the
universal property of ker g:
h0/ ker π
X II
II h
II
II
II i
f $ g
L /M / N
π
Coker f
where gi = 0 and gh = 0. A sequence · · · → Mi → Mi+1 → Mi+2 → . . . is exact if
every piece with three terms is exact.
(xii) A functor F : A → B is called left exact if for every exact sequence 0 → L → M →
N the sequence 0 → F (L) → F (M ) → F (N ) is exact.
(xiii) A functor F : A → B is called right exact if for every exact sequence L → M →
N → 0 the sequence F (L) → F (M ) → F (N ) is exact.
(xiv) A functor F : A → B is called exact if it is both left and right exact.
(xv) A functor F : A → B is called full if F : HomA (M, N ) → HomB (F (M ), F (N )) is
surjective.
THE FREYDMITCHELL EMBEDDING THEOREM 3
The next example is a bit cheating since we will use this lemma in the cause of the
proof of the embedding theorem, but it explains how to use the FreydMitchell embedding
theorem in practice.
Lemma 2.2 (Snake lemma). Let
ψ
X / Y / Z / 0
f g h
ϕ
0 / L / M / N
be a commutative diagram with exact rows. Then there exists a morphism δ such that the
following sequence is exact:
/ o R / /
A B I L Mod R
pi Q
Mi odH i∈I Mi
HH O
HH
HH ∃!h
hi HHH
X
resp.
ιi `
/
Mi H i∈I Mi
HH
HH ∃!h
HH
hi HHH
$
X
Definition 2.4. (i) An object P ∈ B is called projective generator if HomB (P , −) is
exact and faithful.
(ii) An object I ∈ B is called injective cogenerator if HomB (−, I) is exact and faithful.
What is B? B = Fun(A, Mod Z) is the category of functors A → Mod Z (as objects)
and the following morphisms:
Definition 2.5. A natural transformation ϕ between two functors F, G : A → A0 is
given by a morphism ϕM : F (M ) → G(M ) for every M ∈ Ob(A) such that the following
diagram commutes for every f : M → N :
ϕM
F (M ) / G(M )
F (f ) G(f )
ϕN
F (N ) / G(N )
What is L? This is just the subcategory of left exact functors. It has some sort of
”inverse” R and the nice property that it is complete and has a projective generator P . So
we will take R := End(⊕P )op . The following sections will now construct each of the given
functors.
Proof. We start with the injectivity of the given map. For a natural transformation consider
the following commutative diagram:
Hom(M,f )
Hom( M, M ) / Hom(M, N )
ϕM ϕN
F (f )
F (M ) / F (N )
Hence we have F (f )(ϕM (1M )) = ϕN (Hom(M, f )(1M )) = ϕN (f ). Hence ϕN (and hence ϕ)
is determined by ϕM (1M ).
For the surjectivity we can use this law as the definition. Let x ∈ F (M ). We want
to define a natural transformation such that ϕ 7→ x. Define ϕN (f ) := F (f )(x). Then
ϕM (1M ) = F (1M )(x) = 1F (M ) (x) = x. We now have to prove that this law indeed defines
a natural transformation, i.e. that the following diagram commutes:
ϕN
Hom(M, N ) / F (N )
Hom(M,f ) F (f )
ϕN 0
Hom(M, N 0 ) / F (N 0 )
Indeed, we have F (f )(ϕN (g)) = F (f )F (g)(x) = F (f g)(x) = ϕN 0 (f g) = ϕN 0 (Hom(M, f )(g)).
Now we come to the naturalities. First convince yourself that for every f : M → N we
have that Hom(f, −) : Hom(N, −) → Hom(M, −) given by Hom(f, −)X = Hom(f, X) :
Hom(N, X) → Hom(M, X), g 7→ gf is a natural transformation. Thus the naturality is
given has follows:
ψ7→ψM (1M )
Hom(Hom(M, −), F ) / F (M )
ψ7→ψ◦Hom(f,−) F (f )
ψ7→ψN (1N )
Hom(Hom(N, −), F ) / F (N )
Hence if we go first down and then to the right we get ψ 7→ ψN (Hom(f, N )(1N )) and if
we go first to the right and then down we get ψ 7→ F (f )(ψM (1M )). These two expressions
coincide since ψ is a natural transformation.
For the second naturality let ϕ : F → G and consider the following diagram:
ρ7→ρM (1M )
Hom(Hom(M, −), F ) / F (M )
ρ7→ϕ◦ρ ϕM
ρ7→ρM (1M )
Hom(Hom(M, −), G) / G(M )
It is easy to see that ρ is mapped to (ϕ ◦ ρ)M (1M ) for both ways.
Corollary 3.2. H : A → Fun(A, Mod Z), M 7→ Hom(M, −) is contravariant fullyfaithful
left exact (we will see in the next chapter what the abelian structure on Fun(A, Mod Z) is).
6 JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER
The proof that this category has injective envelopes is more difficult and relies on the axiom
of global choice.
1 /2
Now a functor F can be given by mapping this diagram to the following diagram in
a category A with a zero object 0:
0O
f
M / N
Then ι0 = 0 and ι1 = 0 and ι2 = π : N → Coker f satisfy the given property and the
universal property is the same as for the cokernel as F (0) → F (1) = 0.
Definition 5.3. Two functors R : B → L and S : L → B are called adjoint if there is a
natural bijection in X and Y , Hom(R(X), Y ) ∼
= Hom(X, S(Y )).
Proposition 5.4. Left adjoint functors R preserve colimits, i.e. R(colim F ) ∼
= colim RF .
Proof. Let C = colim F . Then the diagram
C oaB F (i)
O
B BB
ιi
BFB (α)
ιj BB
F (j)
8 JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER
6. Localizing subcategories
Definition 6.1. Let B be abelian. A nonempty subcategory C is called Serre subcate
gory if for all exact sequences L → M → N we have M ∈ C iff L, N ∈ C.
Definition 6.2. Let C be a Serre subcategory of B and let f : M → N be in B. Then
f is called Cmonomorphism if ker f ∈ C, Cepimorphism if Coker f ∈ C and C
isomorphism if it is both a Cmonomorphism and a Cepimorphism.
Definition 6.3. Let B be abelian. C ⊆ A be a Serre subcategory and L ∈ B. Then
B is called Cclosed if for every Cisomorphism u : M → N we have that Hom(u, L) :
Hom(N, L) → Hom(M, L) is a bijection. The full subcategory of all Cclosed objects is
denoted by L.
Definition 6.4. Let M ∈ B. A morphism f : M → L is called Cenvelope if f is a
Cisomorphism and L is Cclosed.
Definition 6.5. A Serre subcategory is called localizing if very object in B has a C
envelope.
Theorem 6.6. Let C be a local subcategory of B, L ⊆ B the full subcategory of Cclosed
objects. Then we have:
(i) The inclusion I : L → B has a left adjoint R : B → L. In particular R is fullyfaithful.
THE FREYDMITCHELL EMBEDDING THEOREM 9
f
M / N
uM uN
RM _∃RF
_ _/ RN
(ii)(iv) That L is closed under kernels can be seen as follows: Let 0 → X → L → L0 be exact
with L, L0 ∈ L. And let u : M → N be a Cisomorphism. Then there is the following
commutative diagram:
/
Q Q
Hom(N, Li ) Hom(M, Li )
O
/
Q Q
Hom(N, Li ) Hom(M, Li )
P
ιi
∃hi
`
P
I
∃h
f

X / Y / 0
g
The hi exist because P is projective and the h exists because of the universal property of
the coproduct. Hence the diagram commutes. In ` particular we have ghιi = ghi = f ιi and
as ιi is a monomorphism we have gh = f . Hence P is projective. `
For proving that it is a generator we have to prove that Hom( I P , −) is faithful, i.e.
` `
that the function Hom(M, N ) → Hom(Hom( P , M ), Hom( P , N )), f 7→ (g 7→ f ◦ g)
is injective, i.e. that for every f 6= 0 there exists g such that f ◦ g 6= 0. We have that
Hom(P , −) is faithful, i.e. for f ∈ Hom(M, N ) there exists g 0 : P → M such that f g 0 6= 0.
Fix a particular j ∈ I and define g by the universal property of the coproduct with respect
to the following diagram:
ιj ` ` ιi
P LLL / P i∈I\{j} P
o
rr P
LLL rr
LLL
LLL ∃g rrrrr
g0 LL& rrrr 0
xr
M
Hence we have f gιj = f` g 0 6= 0 and as ιj is injective we have f g 6= 0.
We now let R := End( I P )op and define F : A → Mod R via M 7→ Hom(P, M ). We
check that it is welldefined:
• Hom(P, M ) is an Rmodule via r · f = f ◦ r, and
• Hom(P, f ) : Hom(P, M ) → Hom(P, N ) is an Rmodule homomorphism as r ·
Hom(P, f )(h) = (f h)r = f (hr) = Hom(P, f )(h ◦ r) = Hom(P, f )(r · h).
THE FREYDMITCHELL EMBEDDING THEOREM 13
It remains to prove that this functor is exact and fullyfaithful. The exactness and the
faithfulness follow from the fact that P is a projective generator. So we are just left with
the fact that Hom(P, −) is full.
To prove this take an arbitrary Rmodule homomorphism α : Hom(P, M ) → Hom(P, N ).
We have proven that there exist epimorphisms P → M and P → N . Define K := ker(P →
M ). Then we have the following commutative diagram:
0 / Hom(P, K) / R / Hom(P, M ) / 0
∃α0 α
R / Hom(P, N ) / 0
The α0 exists because R is a projective Rmodule. But Rop ∼
= End(R) via r 7→ ρr , the right
multiplication with r. Hence α0 = ρx for some x ∈ R = End(P )op . Consider the following
diagram:
0 /K /P /M /0
x
P /N /0
9. Literature
The following references might be useful to learn more about the FreydMitchell embed
ding theorem and categories in general. I used parts of them for this paper:
• Aly: Abelian categories and the FreydMitchell embedding theorem, 2008
• Keller: Introduction to abelian and derived categories
• Mitchell: The full imbedding theorem, 1964
14 JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER