Quotient categories and phases

Sean Tull

We study properties of a category after quotienting out a suitable chosen group of isomorphisms on each object. Coproducts in the original category are described in its quotient by our new weaker notion of a `phased coproduct'. We examine these and show that any suitable category with them arises as such a quotient of a category with coproducts. Motivation comes from projective geometry, and also quantum theory where they describe superpositions in the category of Hilbert spaces and continuous linear maps up to global phase. The quotients we consider also generalise those induced by categorical isotropy in the sense of Funk et al.

Keywords: Phased coproduct, phased biproduct, quotient category, phase, global phase

2010 MSC: 18A05, 18A30, 18A35

Theory and Applications of Categories, Vol. 34, 2019, No. 20, pp 573-603.

Published 2019-07-15.


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