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topological groupoid∗
2013-03-21 17:50:54
A groupoid is a set G together with a subset G2 ⊂ G2 of composable pairs, a
multiplication µ : G2 → G : (a, b) 7→ ab and an inversion ·−1 : G → G : a 7→ a−1
such that
1. ·−1 ◦ ·−1 = idG ,
2. if {(a, b), (b, c)} ⊂ G2 then {(ab, c), (a, bc)} ⊂ G2 and (ab)c = a(bc),
3. (b, b−1 ) ∈ G2 and if (a, b) ∈ G2 then abb−1 = a and
4. (b−1 , b) ∈ G2 and if (b, c) ∈ G2 then b−1 bc = c.
Furthermore we have the source or domain map σ : G → G : a 7→ a−1 a and
the target or range map τ : G → G : a 7→ aa−1 . The image of these maps is
called the unit space and denoted G0 . If the unit space is a singleton than we
regain the notion of a group.
We also define Ga := σ −1 ({a}), Gb := τ −1 ({b}) and Gba := Ga ∩ Gb . It is
not hard to see that Gaa is a group, which is called the isotropy group at a.
We say that a groupoid G is principal and transitive, if the map (σ, τ ) : G →
G0 × G0 is injective and surjective, respectively.
A groupoid can be more abstractly and more succinctly defined as a category
whose morphisms are all isomorphisms.
A topological groupoid is a groupoid G which is also a topological space,
such that the multiplication and inversion are continuous when G2 is endowed
with the induced product topology from G2 . Consequently also σ and τ are
[1] P.J. Higgins, Categories and groupoids, van Nostrand original, 1971; Reprint
Theory and Applications of Categories, 7 (2005) pp 1-195.
∗ hTopologicalGroupoidi created: h2013-03-21i by: hHkBsti version: h36149i Privacy
setting: h1i hDefinitioni h18B40i h20L05i h54H13i h54H11i
† This text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0.
You can reuse this document or portions thereof only if you do so under terms that are
compatible with the CC-BY-SA license.
[2] R. Brown, Topology and groupoids, xxv+512pp, Booksurge 2006.
[3] R. Brown, ‘Three themes in the work of Charles Ehresmann: Local-to-global;
Groupoids; Higher dimensions’, Proceedings of the 7th Conference on the
Geometry and Topology of Manifolds: The Mathematical Legacy of Charles
Ehresmann, Bedlewo (Poland) 8.05.2005-15.05.2005, Banach Centre Publications 76, Institute of Mathematics Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw,
(2007) 51-63. (math.DG/0602499).