## The Category of Root Systems

As with so many of the objects we study, root systems form a category. If is a root system in the inner product space , and is a root system in the inner product space , then a morphism from to will be a linear map so that if then . Further, we’ll require that for all roots .

Immediately from this, we find that the Weyl group of not only acts on itself, but on . Indeed, induces a homomorphism that sends the generator to the generator . Even better, actually intertwines these actions! That is, . Indeed, we can calculate

In particular, we can say that two root systems are isomorphic if there’s an *invertible* linear transformation sending to , and whose inverse sends back onto . In this case, the intertwining property can be written as an isomorphism of Weyl groups sending to .

Even more particularly, an automorphism of is an isomorphism from to itself. That is, it’s an invertible linear transformation from to itself that leaves invariant. And so we see that itself is a subgroup of . In fact, the Weyl group is a normal subgroup of the automorphism group. That is, given an element of and an automorphism of , the conjugation is again in the Weyl group. And this is exactly what we proved last time!

We can now revise our goal: we want to classify all possible root systems *up to isomorphism*.

I love how deep you have gotten us!

Comment by Jonathan Vos Post | January 23, 2010 |

[…] Root Systems We should also note that the category of root systems has binary (and thus finite) coproducts. They both start the same way: given root […]

Pingback by Coproduct Root Systems « The Unapologetic Mathematician | January 25, 2010 |

[…] bunch of irreducible root systems. Now all we have to do is classify the irreducible root systems (up to isomorphism) and we’re done! Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Coproduct Root SystemsDual […]

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Pingback by Properties of Irreducible Root Systems I « The Unapologetic Mathematician | February 10, 2010 |

[…] The matrix we get, depends on the particular ordering of the base we chose, of course, so the Cartan matrix isn’t quite uniquely determined by the root system. This is relatively unimportant, actually. More to the point is the other direction: the Cartan matrix determines the root system up to isomorphism! […]

Pingback by Cartan Matrices « The Unapologetic Mathematician | February 16, 2010 |

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Pingback by The Classification of (Possible) Root Systems « The Unapologetic Mathematician | February 19, 2010 |

[…] Now, just like we saw when we showed that the Cartan matrix determines the root system up to isomorphism, we can extend to a map from the root system generated by to the root system generated by . That is, a transformation of Dynkin diagrams gives rise to a morphism of root systems. […]

Pingback by Transformations of Dynkin Diagrams « The Unapologetic Mathematician | March 5, 2010 |

[…] able to determine the automorphism group of our root systems. That is, given an object in the category of root systems, the morphisms from that root system back to itself (as usual) form a group, and it’s […]

Pingback by The Automorphism Group of a Root System « The Unapologetic Mathematician | March 11, 2010 |

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Pingback by Root Systems Recap « The Unapologetic Mathematician | March 12, 2010 |