TheInfoList

In
algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. In its most ge ... , a homomorphism is a
structure-preserving map A map is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different s and s. A ...
between two
algebraic structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
s of the same type (such as two
group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...
s, two rings, or two
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
s). The word ''homomorphism'' comes from the
Ancient Greek language Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of languages, nati ...
: () meaning "same" and () meaning "form" or "shape". However, the word was apparently introduced to mathematics due to a (mis)translation of German meaning "similar" to meaning "same". The term "homomorphism" appeared as early as 1892, when it was attributed to the German mathematician
Felix Klein Christian Felix Klein (; 25 April 1849 – 22 June 1925) was a German mathematician and mathematics educator, known for his work with group theory, complex analysis, non-Euclidean geometry, and on the associations between geometry and group ...
(1849–1925). Homomorphisms of vector spaces are also called
linear map In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ... s, and their study is the object of
linear algebra Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning linear equations such as: :a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n=b, linear maps such as: :(x_1, \ldots, x_n) \mapsto a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n, and their representations in vector spaces and through matrix (mat ...
. The concept of homomorphism has been generalized, under the name of
morphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ... , to many other structures that either do not have an underlying set, or are not algebraic. This generalization is the starting point of
category theory Category theory formalizes mathematical structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and ...
. A homomorphism may also be an
isomorphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ... , an
endomorphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ...
, an
automorphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ... , etc. (see below). Each of those can be defined in a way that may be generalized to any class of morphisms.

# Definition

A homomorphism is a map between two
algebraic structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
s of the same type (that is of the same name), that preserves the
operations Operation or Operations may refer to: Science and technology * Surgical operation Surgery ''cheirourgikē'' (composed of χείρ, "hand", and ἔργον, "work"), via la, chirurgiae, meaning "hand work". is a medical or dental specialty that ...
of the structures. This means a
map A map is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different s and s. A ...
$f: A \to B$ between two sets $A$, $B$ equipped with the same structure such that, if $\cdot$ is an operation of the structure (supposed here, for simplification, to be a
binary operation In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ...
), then :$f\left(x\cdot y\right)=f\left(x\right)\cdot f\left(y\right)$ for every pair $x$, $y$ of elements of $A$.As it is often the case, but not always, the same symbol for the operation of both $A$ and $B$ was used here. One says often that $f$ preserves the operation or is compatible with the operation. Formally, a map $f: A\to B$ preserves an operation $\mu$ of
arity Arity () is the number of arguments In logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, label=none, lit=possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative, translit=logikḗ)Also related to (''logo ...
''k'', defined on both $A$ and $B$ if :$f\left(\mu_A\left(a_1, \ldots, a_k\right)\right) = \mu_B\left(f\left(a_1\right), \ldots, f\left(a_k\right)\right),$ for all elements $a_1, ..., a_k$ in $A$. The operations that must be preserved by a homomorphism include 0-ary operations, that is the constants. In particular, when an
identity element In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...
is required by the type of structure, the identity element of the first structure must be mapped to the corresponding identity element of the second structure. For example: * A semigroup homomorphism is a map between
semigroup In mathematics, a semigroup is an algebraic structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), an ...
s that preserves the semigroup operation. * A
monoid homomorphism In abstract algebra, a branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (ma ...
is a map between
monoid In abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathemati ...
s that preserves the monoid operation and maps the identity element of the first monoid to that of the second monoid (the identity element is a 0-ary operation). * A
group homomorphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ge ... is a map between
groups A group is a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together. Groups of people * Cultural group, a group whose members share the same cultural identity * Ethnic group, a group whose members share the same ethnic identi ...
that preserves the group operation. This implies that the group homomorphism maps the identity element of the first group to the identity element of the second group, and maps the
inverse Inverse or invert may refer to: Science and mathematics * Inverse (logic), a type of conditional sentence which is an immediate inference made from another conditional sentence * Additive inverse (negation), the inverse of a number that, when add ...
of an element of the first group to the inverse of the image of this element. Thus a semigroup homomorphism between groups is necessarily a group homomorphism. * A
ring homomorphism In ring theory, a branch of abstract algebra, a ring homomorphism is a structure-preserving function (mathematics), function between two ring (algebra), rings. More explicitly, if ''R'' and ''S'' are rings, then a ring homomorphism is a function s ...
is a map between
rings Ring most commonly refers either to a hollow circular shape or to a high-pitched sound. It thus may refer to: *Ring (jewellery), a circular, decorative or symbolic ornament worn on fingers, toes, arm or neck Ring may also refer to: Sounds * Ri ...
that preserves the ring addition, the ring multiplication, and the
multiplicative identity In mathematics, an identity element, or neutral element, is a special type of element of a set with respect to a binary operation on that set, which leaves any element of the set unchanged when combined with it. This concept is used in algebraic s ...
. Whether the multiplicative identity is to be preserved depends upon the definition of ''ring'' in use. If the multiplicative identity is not preserved, one has a rng homomorphism. * A
linear map In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ... is a homomorphism of
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
s; that is, a group homomorphism between vector spaces that preserves the abelian group structure and
scalar multiplication In mathematics, scalar multiplication is one of the basic operations defining a vector space in linear algebra (or more generally, a module (mathematics), module in abstract algebra). In common geometrical contexts, scalar multiplication of a re ... . * A
module homomorphism In algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. In ...
, also called a linear map between
modules Broadly speaking, modularity is the degree to which a system's components may be separated and recombined, often with the benefit of flexibility and variety in use. The concept of modularity is used primarily to reduce complexity by breaking a syst ...
, is defined similarly. * An
algebra homomorphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...
is a map that preserves the
algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. In its most ge ...
operations. An algebraic structure may have more than one operation, and a homomorphism is required to preserve each operation. Thus a map that preserves only some of the operations is not a homomorphism of the structure, but only a homomorphism of the substructure obtained by considering only the preserved operations. For example, a map between monoids that preserves the monoid operation and not the identity element, is not a monoid homomorphism, but only a semigroup homomorphism. The notation for the operations does not need to be the same in the source and the target of a homomorphism. For example, the
real number In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no g ...
s form a group for addition, and the positive real numbers form a group for multiplication. The
exponential function The exponential function is a mathematical function Function or functionality may refer to: Computing * Function key A function key is a key on a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of ... :$x\mapsto e^x$ satisfies :$e^ = e^xe^y,$ and is thus a homomorphism between these two groups. It is even an isomorphism (see below), as its
inverse function In mathematics, the inverse function of a Function (mathematics), function (also called the inverse of ) is a function (mathematics), function that undoes the operation of . The inverse of exists if and only if is Bijection, bijective, and i ...
, the
natural logarithm The natural logarithm of a number is its logarithm In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained ( ...
, satisfies :$\ln\left(xy\right)=\ln\left(x\right)+\ln\left(y\right),$ and is also a group homomorphism.

# Examples The
real number In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no g ...
s are a ring, having both addition and multiplication. The set of all 2×2
matrices Matrix or MATRIX may refer to: Science and mathematics * Matrix (mathematics) In mathematics, a matrix (plural matrices) is a rectangle, rectangular ''wikt:array, array'' or ''table'' of numbers, symbol (formal), symbols, or expression (mathema ...
is also a ring, under
matrix addition In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
and
matrix multiplication In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ... . If we define a function between these rings as follows: :$f\left(r\right) = \begin r & 0 \\ 0 & r \end$ where is a real number, then is a homomorphism of rings, since preserves both addition: :$f\left(r+s\right) = \begin r+s & 0 \\ 0 & r+s \end = \begin r & 0 \\ 0 & r \end + \begin s & 0 \\ 0 & s \end = f\left(r\right) + f\left(s\right)$ and multiplication: :$f\left(rs\right) = \begin rs & 0 \\ 0 & rs \end = \begin r & 0 \\ 0 & r \end \begin s & 0 \\ 0 & s \end = f\left(r\right)\,f\left(s\right).$ For another example, the nonzero
complex number In mathematics, a complex number is an element of a number system that contains the real numbers and a specific element denoted , called the imaginary unit, and satisfying the equation . Moreover, every complex number can be expressed in the for ... s form a
group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...
under the operation of multiplication, as do the nonzero real numbers. (Zero must be excluded from both groups since it does not have a
multiplicative inverse Image:Hyperbola one over x.svg, thumbnail, 300px, alt=Graph showing the diagrammatic representation of limits approaching infinity, The reciprocal function: . For every ''x'' except 0, ''y'' represents its multiplicative inverse. The graph forms a r ... , which is required for elements of a group.) Define a function $f$ from the nonzero complex numbers to the nonzero real numbers by :$f\left(z\right) = , z, .$ That is, $f$ is the
absolute value In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ... (or modulus) of the complex number $z$. Then $f$ is a homomorphism of groups, since it preserves multiplication: :$f\left(z_1 z_2\right) = , z_1 z_2, = , z_1, , z_2, = f\left(z_1\right) f\left(z_2\right).$ Note that cannot be extended to a homomorphism of rings (from the complex numbers to the real numbers), since it does not preserve addition: :$, z_1 + z_2, \ne , z_1, + , z_2, .$ As another example, the diagram shows a
monoid In abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathemati ...
homomorphism $f$ from the monoid $\left(\mathbb, +, 0\right)$ to the monoid $\left(\mathbb, \times, 1\right)$. Due to the different names of corresponding operations, the structure preservation properties satisfied by $f$ amount to $f\left(x+y\right) = f\left(x\right) \times f\left(y\right)$ and $f\left(0\right) = 1$. A
composition algebra In mathematics, a composition algebra over a field (mathematics), field is a Non-associative algebra, not necessarily associative algebra over a field, algebra over together with a Degenerate form, nondegenerate quadratic form that satisfies ...
$A$ over a field $F$ has a
quadratic form In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
, called a ''norm'', $N: A \to F$, which is a group homomorphism from the
multiplicative group In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
of $A$ to the multiplicative group of $F$.

# Special homomorphisms

Several kinds of homomorphisms have a specific name, which is also defined for general
morphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ... s.

## Isomorphism

An
isomorphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ... between
algebraic structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
s of the same type is commonly defined as a
bijective In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
homomorphism. In the more general context of
category theory Category theory formalizes mathematical structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and ...
, an isomorphism is defined as a
morphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ... that has an
inverse Inverse or invert may refer to: Science and mathematics * Inverse (logic), a type of conditional sentence which is an immediate inference made from another conditional sentence * Additive inverse (negation), the inverse of a number that, when add ...
that is also a morphism. In the specific case of algebraic structures, the two definitions are equivalent, although they may differ for non-algebraic structures, which have an underlying set. More precisely, if :$f: A\to B$ is a (homo)morphism, it has an inverse if there exists a homomorphism :$g: B\to A$ such that :$f\circ g = \operatorname_B \qquad \text \qquad g\circ f = \operatorname_A.$ If $A$ and $B$ have underlying sets, and $f: A \to B$ has an inverse $g$, then $f$ is bijective. In fact, $f$ is
injective In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
, as $f\left(x\right) = f\left(y\right)$ implies $x = g\left(f\left(x\right)\right) = g\left(f\left(y\right)\right) = y$, and $f$ is
surjective In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
, as, for any $x$ in $B$, one has $x = f\left(g\left(x\right)\right)$, and $x$ is the image of an element of $A$. Conversely, if $f: A \to B$ is a bijective homomorphism between algebraic structures, let $g: B \to A$ be the map such that $g\left(y\right)$ is the unique element $x$ of $A$ such that $f\left(x\right) = y$. One has $f \circ g = \operatorname_B \text g \circ f = \operatorname_A,$ and it remains only to show that is a homomorphism. If $*$ is a binary operation of the structure, for every pair $x$, $y$ of elements of $B$, one has :$g\left(x*_B y\right) = g\left(f\left(g\left(x\right)\right)*_Bf\left(g\left(y\right)\right)\right) = g\left(f\left(g\left(x\right)*_A g\left(y\right)\right)\right) = g\left(x\right)*_A g\left(y\right),$ and $g$ is thus compatible with $*.$ As the proof is similar for any
arity Arity () is the number of arguments In logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, label=none, lit=possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative, translit=logikḗ)Also related to (''logo ...
, this shows that $g$ is a homomorphism. This proof does not work for non-algebraic structures. For examples, for
topological space In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ...
s, a morphism is a
continuous map In mathematics, a continuous function is a function (mathematics), function such that a continuous variation (that is a change without jump) of the argument of a function, argument induces a continuous variation of the Value (mathematics), value o ...
, and the inverse of a bijective continuous map is not necessarily continuous. An isomorphism of topological spaces, called
homeomorphism In the mathematical Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantiti ...
or bicontinuous map, is thus a bijective continuous map, whose inverse is also continuous.

## Endomorphism

An
endomorphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ...
is a homomorphism whose
domain Domain may refer to: Mathematics *Domain of a function In mathematics, the domain of a Function (mathematics), function is the Set (mathematics), set of inputs accepted by the function. It is sometimes denoted by \operatorname(f), where is th ...
equals the
codomain In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ... , or, more generally, a
morphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ... whose source is equal to the target. The endomorphisms of an algebraic structure, or of an object of a
category Category, plural categories, may refer to: Philosophy and general uses *Categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as O ...
form a
monoid In abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathemati ...
under composition. The endomorphisms of a
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
or of a
module Module, modular and modularity may refer to the concept of modularity. They may also refer to: Computing and engineering * Modular design, the engineering discipline of designing complex devices using separately designed sub-components * Modula ...
form a ring. In the case of a vector space or a
free module In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ... of finite
dimension In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular s ...
, the choice of a
basis Basis may refer to: Finance and accounting *Adjusted basisIn tax accounting, adjusted basis is the net cost of an asset after adjusting for various tax-related items. Adjusted Basis or Adjusted Tax Basis refers to the original cost or other b ...
induces a
ring isomorphism In ring theory In algebra, ring theory is the study of ring (mathematics), rings—algebraic structures in which addition and multiplication are defined and have similar properties to those operations defined for the integers. Ring theory studie ...
between the ring of endomorphisms and the ring of
square matrices In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
of the same dimension.

## Automorphism

An
automorphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ... is an endomorphism that is also an isomorphism. The automorphisms of an algebraic structure or of an object of a category form a
group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...
under composition, which is called the
automorphism group In mathematics, the automorphism group of an object ''X'' is the group (mathematics), group consisting of automorphisms of ''X''. For example, if ''X'' is a Dimension (vector space), finite-dimensional vector space, then the automorphism group of ' ...
of the structure. Many groups that have received a name are automorphism groups of some algebraic structure. For example, the
general linear group In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ge ...
$\operatorname_n\left(k\right)$ is the automorphism group of a
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
of dimension $n$ over a
field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlefield * Lawn, an area of mowed grass * Meadow, a grassl ...
$k$. The automorphism groups of
field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlefield * Lawn, an area of mowed grass * Meadow, a grassl ...
s were introduced by
Évariste Galois Évariste Galois (; ; 25 October 1811 – 31 May 1832) was a French mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ...
for studying the
roots A root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a lar ...
of
polynomial In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ... s, and are the basis of
Galois theory In mathematics, Galois theory, originally introduced by Évariste Galois, provides a connection between field (mathematics), field theory and group theory. This connection, the fundamental theorem of Galois theory, allows reducing certain problems ...
.

## Monomorphism

For algebraic structures,
monomorphism In the context of abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, rin ...
s are commonly defined as
injective In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
homomorphisms. In the more general context of
category theory Category theory formalizes mathematical structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and ...
, a monomorphism is defined as a
morphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ... that is left cancelable. This means that a (homo)morphism $f:A \to B$ is a monomorphism if, for any pair $g$, $h$ of morphisms from any other object $C$ to $A$, then $f \circ g = f \circ h$ implies $g = h$. These two definitions of ''monomorphism'' are equivalent for all common algebraic structures. More precisely, they are equivalent for
fields File:A NASA Delta IV Heavy rocket launches the Parker Solar Probe (29097299447).jpg, FIELDS heads into space in August 2018 as part of the ''Parker Solar Probe'' FIELDS is a science instrument on the ''Parker Solar Probe'' (PSP), designed to mea ...
, for which every homomorphism is a monomorphism, and for
varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety Algebraic varieties are the central objects of study in algebraic geometry Algebraic geometry is a branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, ...
of
universal algebra Universal algebra (sometimes called general algebra) is the field of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spa ...
, that is algebraic structures for which operations and axioms (identities) are defined without any restriction (fields are not a variety, as the
multiplicative inverse Image:Hyperbola one over x.svg, thumbnail, 300px, alt=Graph showing the diagrammatic representation of limits approaching infinity, The reciprocal function: . For every ''x'' except 0, ''y'' represents its multiplicative inverse. The graph forms a r ... is defined either as a
unary operation In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
or as a property of the multiplication, which are, in both cases, defined only for nonzero elements). In particular, the two definitions of a monomorphism are equivalent for sets,
magmas Magma () is the molten or semi-molten natural material from which all igneous rock Igneous rock (derived from the Latin word ''ignis'' meaning fire), or magmatic rock, is one of the three main The three types of rocks, rock types, the other ...
,
semigroup In mathematics, a semigroup is an algebraic structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), an ...
s,
monoid In abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathemati ...
s,
groups A group is a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together. Groups of people * Cultural group, a group whose members share the same cultural identity * Ethnic group, a group whose members share the same ethnic identi ...
,
rings Ring most commonly refers either to a hollow circular shape or to a high-pitched sound. It thus may refer to: *Ring (jewellery), a circular, decorative or symbolic ornament worn on fingers, toes, arm or neck Ring may also refer to: Sounds * Ri ...
,
fields File:A NASA Delta IV Heavy rocket launches the Parker Solar Probe (29097299447).jpg, FIELDS heads into space in August 2018 as part of the ''Parker Solar Probe'' FIELDS is a science instrument on the ''Parker Solar Probe'' (PSP), designed to mea ...
,
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
s and
modules Broadly speaking, modularity is the degree to which a system's components may be separated and recombined, often with the benefit of flexibility and variety in use. The concept of modularity is used primarily to reduce complexity by breaking a syst ...
. A split monomorphism is a homomorphism that has a left inverse and thus it is itself a right inverse of that other homomorphism. That is, a homomorphism $f\colon A \to B$ is a split monomorphism if there exists a homomorphism $g\colon B \to A$ such that $g \circ f = \operatorname_A.$ A split monomorphism is always a monomorphism, for both meanings of ''monomorphism''. For sets and vector spaces, every monomorphism is a split monomorphism, but this property does not hold for most common algebraic structures. ''An injective homomorphism is left cancelable'': If $f\circ g = f\circ h,$ one has $f\left(g\left(x\right)\right)=f\left(h\left(x\right)\right)$ for every $x$ in $C$, the common source of $g$ and $h$. If $f$ is injective, then $g\left(x\right) = h\left(x\right)$, and thus $g = h$. This proof works not only for algebraic structures, but also for any
category Category, plural categories, may refer to: Philosophy and general uses *Categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as O ...
whose objects are sets and arrows are maps between these sets. For example, an injective continuous map is a monomorphism in the category of
topological space In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ...
s. For proving that, conversely, a left cancelable homomorphism is injective, it is useful to consider a ''
free object In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ...
on $x$''. Given a
variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in universal algebra Hort ...
of algebraic structures a free object on $x$ is a pair consisting of an algebraic structure $L$ of this variety and an element $x$ of $L$ satisfying the following
universal property In category theory Category theory formalizes mathematical structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), ...
: for every structure $S$ of the variety, and every element $s$ of $S$, there is a unique homomorphism $f: L\to S$ such that $f\left(x\right) = s$. For example, for sets, the free object on $x$ is simply $\$; for
semigroup In mathematics, a semigroup is an algebraic structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), an ...
s, the free object on $x$ is $\,$ which, as, a semigroup, is isomorphic to the additive semigroup of the positive integers; for
monoid In abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathemati ...
s, the free object on $x$ is $\,$ which, as, a monoid, is isomorphic to the additive monoid of the nonnegative integers; for
group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...
s, the free object on $x$ is the
infinite cyclic group In group theory The popular puzzle Rubik's cube invented in 1974 by Ernő Rubik has been used as an illustration of permutation group">Ernő_Rubik.html" ;"title="Rubik's cube invented in 1974 by Ernő Rubik">Rubik's cube invented in 1974 by Er ...
$\,$ which, as, a group, is isomorphic to the additive group of the integers; for
rings Ring most commonly refers either to a hollow circular shape or to a high-pitched sound. It thus may refer to: *Ring (jewellery), a circular, decorative or symbolic ornament worn on fingers, toes, arm or neck Ring may also refer to: Sounds * Ri ...
, the free object on $x$} is the
polynomial ring In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
for
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
s or
modules Broadly speaking, modularity is the degree to which a system's components may be separated and recombined, often with the benefit of flexibility and variety in use. The concept of modularity is used primarily to reduce complexity by breaking a syst ...
, the free object on $x$ is the vector space or free module that has $x$ as a basis. ''If a free object over $x$ exists, then every left cancelable homomorphism is injective'': let $f\colon A \to B$ be a left cancelable homomorphism, and $a$ and $b$ be two elements of $A$ such $f\left(a\right) = f\left(b\right)$. By definition of the free object $F$, there exist homomorphisms $g$ and $h$ from $F$ to $A$ such that $g\left(x\right) = a$ and $h\left(x\right) = b$. As $f\left(g\left(x\right)\right) = f\left(h\left(x\right)\right)$, one has $f \circ g = f \circ h,$ by the uniqueness in the definition of a universal property. As $f$ is left cancelable, one has $g = h$, and thus $a = b$. Therefore, $f$ is injective. ''Existence of a free object on $x$ for a
variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in universal algebra Hort ...
'' (see also ): For building a free object over $x$, consider the set $W$ of the
well-formed formula In mathematical logic Mathematical logic is the study of formal logic within mathematics. Major subareas include model theory, proof theory, set theory, and recursion theory. Research in mathematical logic commonly addresses the mathematical p ...
s built up from $x$ and the operations of the structure. Two such formulas are said equivalent if one may pass from one to the other by applying the axioms ( identities of the structure). This defines an
equivalence relation In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...
, if the identities are not subject to conditions, that is if one works with a variety. Then the operations of the variety are well defined on the set of
equivalence class In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...
es of $W$ for this relation. It is straightforward to show that the resulting object is a free object on $W$.

## Epimorphism

In
algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. In its most ge ... , epimorphisms are often defined as
surjective In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
homomorphisms. On the other hand, in
category theory Category theory formalizes mathematical structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and ...
,
epimorphism 220px In category theory Category theory formalizes mathematical structure and its concepts in terms of a Graph labeling, labeled directed graph called a ''Category (mathematics), category'', whose nodes are called ''objects'', and whose labe ...
s are defined as right cancelable
morphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ... s. This means that a (homo)morphism $f: A \to B$ is an epimorphism if, for any pair $g$, $h$ of morphisms from $B$ to any other object $C$, the equality $g \circ f = h \circ f$ implies $g = h$. A surjective homomorphism is always right cancelable, but the converse is not always true for algebraic structures. However, the two definitions of ''epimorphism'' are equivalent for sets,
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
s,
abelian group In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...
s,
modules Broadly speaking, modularity is the degree to which a system's components may be separated and recombined, often with the benefit of flexibility and variety in use. The concept of modularity is used primarily to reduce complexity by breaking a syst ...
(see below for a proof), and
groups A group is a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together. Groups of people * Cultural group, a group whose members share the same cultural identity * Ethnic group, a group whose members share the same ethnic identi ...
. The importance of these structures in all mathematics, and specially in
linear algebra Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning linear equations such as: :a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n=b, linear maps such as: :(x_1, \ldots, x_n) \mapsto a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n, and their representations in vector spaces and through matrix (mat ...
and
homological algebra Homological algebra is the branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contain ...
, may explain the coexistence of two non-equivalent definitions. Algebraic structures for which there exist non-surjective epimorphisms include
semigroup In mathematics, a semigroup is an algebraic structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), an ...
s and
rings Ring most commonly refers either to a hollow circular shape or to a high-pitched sound. It thus may refer to: *Ring (jewellery), a circular, decorative or symbolic ornament worn on fingers, toes, arm or neck Ring may also refer to: Sounds * Ri ...
. The most basic example is the inclusion of
integer An integer (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to ...
s into
rational number In mathematics, a rational number is a number that can be expressed as the quotient or fraction (mathematics), fraction of two integers, a numerator and a non-zero denominator . For example, is a rational number, as is every integer (e.g. ) ...
s, which is an homomorphism of rings and of multiplicative semigroups. For both structures it is a monomorphism and a non-surjective epimorphism, but not an isomorphism. A wide generalization of this example is the
localization of a ring In commutative algebra Commutative algebra is the branch of algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with ...
by a multiplicative set. Every localization is a ring epimorphism, which is not, in general, surjective. As localizations are fundamental in
commutative algebra Commutative algebra is the branch of algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry ...
and
algebraic geometry Algebraic geometry is a branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and thei ... , this may explain why in these areas, the definition of epimorphisms as right cancelable homomorphisms is generally preferred. A
split epimorphism In category theory Category theory formalizes mathematical structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), s ...
is a homomorphism that has a right inverse and thus it is itself a left inverse of that other homomorphism. That is, a homomorphism $f\colon A \to B$ is a split epimorphism if there exists a homomorphism $g\colon B \to A$ such that $f\circ g = \operatorname_B.$ A split epimorphism is always an epimorphism, for both meanings of ''epimorphism''. For sets and vector spaces, every epimorphism is a split epimorphism, but this property does not hold for most common algebraic structures. In summary, one has :$\text \implies \text\implies \text ;$ the last implication is an equivalence for sets, vector spaces, modules and abelian groups; the first implication is an equivalence for sets and vector spaces. Let $f\colon A \to B$ be a homomorphism. We want to prove that if it is not surjective, it is not right cancelable. In the case of sets, let $b$ be an element of $B$ that not belongs to $f\left(A\right)$, and define $g, h\colon B \to B$ such that $g$ is the
identity function Graph of the identity function on the real numbers In mathematics, an identity function, also called an identity relation, identity map or identity transformation, is a function (mathematics), function that always returns the same value that was ... , and that $h\left(x\right) = x$ for every $x \in B,$ except that $h\left(b\right)$ is any other element of $B$. Clearly $f$ is not right cancelable, as $g \neq h$ and $g \circ f = h \circ f.$ In the case of vector spaces, abelian groups and modules, the proof relies on the existence of
cokernel The cokernel of a linear mapping In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change ... s and on the fact that the
zero map 0 (zero) is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in languag ...
s are homomorphisms: let $C$ be the cokernel of $f$, and $g\colon B \to C$ be the canonical map, such that $g\left(f\left(A\right)\right) = 0$. Let $h\colon B\to C$ be the zero map. If $f$ is not surjective, $C \neq 0$, and thus $g \neq h$ (one is a zero map, while the other is not). Thus $f$ is not cancelable, as $g \circ f = h \circ f$ (both are the zero map from $A$ to $C$).

# Kernel

Any homomorphism $f: X \to Y$ defines an
equivalence relation In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...
$\sim$ on $X$ by $a \sim b$ if and only if $f\left(a\right) = f\left(b\right)$. The relation $\sim$ is called the kernel of $f$. It is a
congruence relation In abstract algebra, a congruence relation (or simply congruence) is an equivalence relation on an algebraic structure (such as a group (mathematics), group, ring (mathematics), ring, or vector space) that is compatible with the structure in the ...
on $X$. The
quotient set In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...
$X/$ can then be given a structure of the same type as $X$, in a natural way, by defining the operations of the quotient set by
group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...
for some operation, the
equivalence class In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...
$K$ of the
identity element In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...
of this operation suffices to characterize the equivalence relation. In this case, the quotient by the equivalence relation is denoted by $X/K$ (usually read as "$X$ Ideal (ring theory), mod $K$"). Also in this case, it is $K$, rather than $\sim$, that is called the kernel (algebra), kernel of $f$. The kernels of homomorphisms of a given type of algebraic structure are naturally equipped with some structure. This structure type of the kernels is the same as the considered structure, in the case of
abelian group In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...
s,
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
s and
modules Broadly speaking, modularity is the degree to which a system's components may be separated and recombined, often with the benefit of flexibility and variety in use. The concept of modularity is used primarily to reduce complexity by breaking a syst ...
, but is different and has received a specific name in other cases, such as normal subgroup for kernels of group homomorphisms and ideal (ring theory), ideals for kernels of
ring homomorphism In ring theory, a branch of abstract algebra, a ring homomorphism is a structure-preserving function (mathematics), function between two ring (algebra), rings. More explicitly, if ''R'' and ''S'' are rings, then a ring homomorphism is a function s ...
s (in the case of non-commutative rings, the kernels are the two-sided ideals).

# Relational structures

In model theory, the notion of an algebraic structure is generalized to structures involving both operations and relations. Let ''L'' be a signature consisting of function and relation symbols, and ''A'', ''B'' be two ''L''-structures. Then a homomorphism from ''A'' to ''B'' is a mapping ''h'' from the domain of ''A'' to the domain of ''B'' such that * ''h''(''F''''A''(''a''1,…,''a''''n'')) = ''F''''B''(''h''(''a''1),…,''h''(''a''''n'')) for each ''n''-ary function symbol ''F'' in ''L'', * ''R''''A''(''a''1,…,''a''''n'') implies ''R''''B''(''h''(''a''1),…,''h''(''a''''n'')) for each ''n''-ary relation symbol ''R'' in ''L''. In the special case with just one binary relation, we obtain the notion of a graph homomorphism. For a detailed discussion of relational homomorphisms and isomorphisms see.

# Formal language theory

Homomorphisms are also used in the study of formal languages and are often briefly referred to as morphisms.T. Harju, J. Karhumӓki, Morphisms in ''Handbook of Formal Languages'', Volume I, edited by G. Rozenberg, A. Salomaa, Springer, 1997, . Given alphabets Σ1 and Σ2, a function such that for all ''u'' and ''v'' in Σ1 is called a ''homomorphism'' on Σ1.The ∗ denotes the Kleene star operation, while Σ denotes the set of words formed from the alphabet Σ, including the empty word. Juxtaposition of terms denotes concatenation. For example, ''h''(''u'') ''h''(''v'') denotes the concatenation of ''h''(''u'') with ''h''(''v''). If ''h'' is a homomorphism on Σ1 and ε denotes the empty string, then ''h'' is called an ''ε-free homomorphism'' when for all in Σ1. The set Σ of words formed from the alphabet Σ may be thought of as the free monoid generated by Σ. Here the monoid operation is concatenation and the identity element is the empty word. From this perspective, a language homormorphism is precisely a monoid homomorphism.We are assured that a language homomorphism ''h'' maps the empty word ''ε'' to the empty word. Since ''h''(''ε'') = ''h''(''εε'') = ''h''(''ε'')''h''(''ε''), the number ''w'' of characters in ''h''(''ε'') equals the number 2''w'' of characters in ''h''(''ε'')''h''(''ε''). Hence ''w'' = 0 and ''h''(''ε'') has null length.