Bijection

Overview

**bijection**is a function

Function (mathematics)

In mathematics, a function associates one quantity, the argument of the function, also known as the input, with another quantity, the value of the function, also known as the output. A function assigns exactly one output to each input. The argument and the value may be real numbers, but they can...

giving an

*exact*pairing of the elements of two sets. A bijection from the set

*X*to the set

*Y*has an inverse function

Inverse function

In mathematics, an inverse function is a function that undoes another function: If an input x into the function ƒ produces an output y, then putting y into the inverse function g produces the output x, and vice versa. i.e., ƒ=y, and g=x...

from

*Y*to

*X*. If

*X*and

*Y*are finite sets, then the existence of a bijection means they have the same number of elements. For infinite sets the picture is more complex, leading to the concept of cardinal number

Cardinal number

In mathematics, cardinal numbers, or cardinals for short, are a generalization of the natural numbers used to measure the cardinality of sets. The cardinality of a finite set is a natural number – the number of elements in the set. The transfinite cardinal numbers describe the sizes of infinite...

, a way to distinguish the various sizes of infinite sets.

A bijective function from a set to itself is also called a

*permutation*

.

Permutation

In mathematics, the notion of permutation is used with several slightly different meanings, all related to the act of permuting objects or values. Informally, a permutation of a set of objects is an arrangement of those objects into a particular order...

Bijective functions are essential to many areas of mathematics including the definitions of isomorphism

Isomorphism

In abstract algebra, an isomorphism is a mapping between objects that shows a relationship between two properties or operations. If there exists an isomorphism between two structures, the two structures are said to be isomorphic. In a certain sense, isomorphic structures are...

, homeomorphism

Homeomorphism

In the mathematical field of topology, a homeomorphism or topological isomorphism or bicontinuous function is a continuous function between topological spaces that has a continuous inverse function. Homeomorphisms are the isomorphisms in the category of topological spaces—that is, they are...

, diffeomorphism

Diffeomorphism

In mathematics, a diffeomorphism is an isomorphism in the category of smooth manifolds. It is an invertible function that maps one differentiable manifold to another, such that both the function and its inverse are smooth.- Definition :...

, permutation group

Permutation group

In mathematics, a permutation group is a group G whose elements are permutations of a given set M, and whose group operation is the composition of permutations in G ; the relationship is often written as...

, and projective map.

To have an exact pairing between

*X*and

*Y*(where

*Y*need not be different from

*X*), four properties must hold:

- each element of
*X*must be paired with at least one element of*Y*, - no element of
*X*may be paired with more than one element of*Y*, - each element of
*Y*must be paired with at least one element of*X*, and - no element of
*Y*may be paired with more than one element of*X*.

Satisfying properties (1) and (2) means that a bijection is a function

Function (mathematics)

In mathematics, a function associates one quantity, the argument of the function, also known as the input, with another quantity, the value of the function, also known as the output. A function assigns exactly one output to each input. The argument and the value may be real numbers, but they can...

with domain

*X*.

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