Final topology

In general topology and related areas of mathematics, the final topology (or strong topology or colimit topology or inductive topology) on a set , with respect to a family of functions into , is the finest topology on X which makes those functions continuous.

The dual notion is the initial topology.


Given a set and a family of topological spaces with functions

the final topology on is the finest topology such that each

is continuous.

Explicitly, the final topology may be described as follows: a subset U of X is open if and only if is open in Yi for each i I.



A subset of is closed/open if and only if its preimage under fi is closed/open in for each i I.

The final topology on X can be characterized by the following universal property: a function from to some space is continuous if and only if is continuous for each i I.

By the universal property of the disjoint union topology we know that given any family of continuous maps fi : Yi X there is a unique continuous map

If the family of maps fi covers X (i.e. each x in X lies in the image of some fi) then the map f will be a quotient map if and only if X has the final topology determined by the maps fi.

Categorical description

In the language of category theory, the final topology construction can be described as follows. Let Y be a functor from a discrete category J to the category of topological spaces Top which selects the spaces Yi for i in J. Let Δ be the diagonal functor from Top to the functor category TopJ (this functor sends each space X to the constant functor to X). The comma category (Y Δ) is then the category of cones from Y, i.e. objects in (Y Δ) are pairs (X, f) where fi : Yi X is a family of continuous maps to X. If U is the forgetful functor from Top to Set and Δ is the diagonal functor from Set to SetJ then the comma category (UY Δ) is the category of all cones from UY. The final topology construction can then be described as a functor from (UY Δ) to (Y Δ). This functor is left adjoint to the corresponding forgetful functor.

See also


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