- Tensor algebra
In

mathematics , the**tensor algebra**of avector space "V", denoted "T"("V") or "T"^{•}("V"), is the algebra oftensor s on "V" (of any rank) with multiplication being thetensor product . It is thefree algebra on "V", in the sense of beingleft adjoint to the forgetful functor from algebras to vector spaces: it is the "most general" algebra containing "V", in the sense of the correspondinguniversal property (see below).The tensor algebra also has a coalgebra structure.

"Note": In this article, all algebras are assumed to be

unital and associative.**Construction**Let "V" be a

vector space over a field "K". For any nonnegativeinteger "k", we define the**"k"**of "V" to be the^{th}tensor powertensor product of "V" with itself "k" times::$T^kV\; =\; V^\{otimes\; k\}\; =\; Votimes\; V\; otimes\; cdots\; otimes\; V.$That is, "T"^{"k"}"V" consists of all tensors on "V" of rank "k". By convention "T"^{0}"V" is the ground field "K" (as a one-dimensional vector space over itself).We then construct "T"("V") as the

direct sum of "T"^{"k"}"V" for "k" = 0,1,2,…:$T(V)=\; igoplus\_\{k=0\}^infty\; T^kV\; =\; Koplus\; V\; oplus\; (Votimes\; V)\; oplus\; (Votimes\; Votimes\; V)\; oplus\; cdots.$The multiplication in "T"("V") is determined by the canonical isomorphism:$T^kV\; otimes\; T^ell\; V\; o\; T^\{k\; +\; ell\}V$given by the tensor product, which is then extended by linearity to all of "T"("V"). This multiplication rule implies that the tensor algebra "T"("V") is naturally agraded algebra with "T"^{"k"}"V" serving as the grade-"k" subspace.The construction generalizes in straightforward manner to the tensor algebra of any module "M" over a "commutative" ring. If "R" is a non-commutative ring, one can still perform the construction for any "R"-"R"

bimodule "M". (It does not work for ordinary "R"-modules because the iterated tensor products cannot be formed.)**Adjunction and universal property**The tensor algebra "T"("V") is also called the

on the vector space "V", and is functorial. As with other free constructions, the functor "T" is left adjoint to somefree algebra forgetful functor , here the functor which sends each "K"-algebra to its underlying vector space.Explicitly, the tensor algebra satisfies the following

universal property , which formally expresses the statement that it is the most general algebra containing "V":: Anylinear transformation "f" : "V" → "A" from "V" to an algebra "A" over "K" can be uniquely extended to analgebra homomorphism from "T"("V") to "A" as indicated by the followingcommutative diagram :Here "i" is the canonical inclusion of "V" into "T"("V") (the unit of the adjunction). One can, in fact, define the tensor algebra "T"("V") as the unique algebra satisfying this property (specifically, it is unique

up to a unique isomorphism), but one must still prove that an object satisfying this property exists.The above universal property shows that the construction of the tensor algebra is "functorial" in nature. That is, "T" is a

functor from the**"K"-Vect**,category of vector spaces over "K", to**"K"-Alg**, the category of "K"-algebras. The functoriality of "T" means that any linear map from "V" to "W" extends uniquely to an algebra homomorphism from "T"("V") to "T"("W").**Non-commutative polynomials**If "V" has finite dimension "n", another way of looking at the tensor algebra is as the "algebra of polynomials over "K" in "n" non-commuting variables". If we take

basis vector s for "V", those become non-commuting variables (or "indeterminants") in "T"("V"), subject to no constraints (beyondassociativity , thedistributive law and "K"-linearity).Note that the algebra of polynomials on "V" is not $T(V)$, but rather $T(V^*)$: a (homogeneous) linear function on "V" is an element of $V^*$.

**Quotients**Because of the generality of the tensor algebra, many other algebras of interest can be constructed by starting with the tensor algebra and then imposing certain relations on the generators, i.e. by constructing certain

quotient algebra s of "T"("V"). Examples of this are theexterior algebra , thesymmetric algebra ,Clifford algebra s anduniversal enveloping algebra s.**Coalgebra structure**The

coalgebra structure on the tensor algebra is given as follows. The coproduct Δ is defined by:$Delta(v\_1\; otimes\; dots\; otimes\; v\_m\; )\; :=\; sum\_\{i=0\}^\{m\}(v\_1\; otimes\; dots\; otimes\; v\_i)\; otimes\; (v\_\{i+1\}\; otimes\; dots\; otimes\; v\_m)$extended by linearity to all of "TV". The counit is given by ε("v") = 0-graded component of "v". Note that Δ : "TV" → "TV" ⊗ "TV" respects the grading:$T^mV\; o\; igoplus\_\{i+j=m\}\; T^iV\; otimes\; T^jV$and ε is also compatible with the grading.The tensor algebra is "not" a

bialgebra with this coproduct. However, the following more complicated coproduct does yield a bialgebra::$Delta(x\_1otimesdotsotimes\; x\_m)\; =\; sum\_\{p=0\}^m\; sum\_\{sigmainmathrm\{Sh\}\_\{p,m-p\; left(v\_\{sigma(1)\}otimesdotsotimes\; v\_\{sigma(p)\}\; ight)otimesleft(v\_\{sigma(p+1)\}otimesdotsotimes\; v\_\{sigma(m)\}\; ight)$where the summation is taken over all (p,m-p)-shuffles. Finally, the tensor algebra becomes aHopf algebra with antipode given by:$S(x\_1otimesdotsotimes\; x\_m)\; =\; (-1)^mx\_motimesdotsotimes\; x\_1$extended linearly to all of "TV".**ee also***

Monoidal category

*

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