Images and Kernels
A nice quick one today. Let’s take two –modules and . We’ll write for the vector space of intertwinors from to . This is pretty appropriate because these are the morphisms in the category of -modules. It turns out that this category has kernels and has images. Those two references are pretty technical, so we’ll talk in more down-to-earth terms.
Any intertwinor is first and foremost a linear map . And as usual the kernel of is the subspace of vectors for which . I say that this isn’t just a subspace of , but it’s a submodule as well. That is, is an invariant subspace of . Indeed, we check that if and is any element of , then , so as well.
Similarly, as usual the image of is the subspace of vectors for which there’s some with . And again I say that this is an invariant subspace. Indeed, if and is any element of , then as well.
Thus these images and kernels are not just subspaces of the vector spaces and , but submodules to boot. That is, they can act as images and kernels in the category of -modules just like they do in the category of complex vector spaces.