Mathematical structure
Encyclopedia
In mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, a structure on a set, or more generally a type
Intuitionistic type theory
Intuitionistic type theory, or constructive type theory, or Martin-Löf type theory or just Type Theory is a logical system and a set theory based on the principles of mathematical constructivism. Intuitionistic type theory was introduced by Per Martin-Löf, a Swedish mathematician and philosopher,...

, consists of additional mathematical object
Mathematical object
In mathematics and the philosophy of mathematics, a mathematical object is an abstract object arising in mathematics.Commonly encountered mathematical objects include numbers, permutations, partitions, matrices, sets, functions, and relations...

s that in some manner attach (or relate) to the set, making it easier to visualize or work with, or endowing the collection with meaning or significance.

A partial list of possible structures are measures, algebraic structure
Algebraic structure
In abstract algebra, an algebraic structure consists of one or more sets, called underlying sets or carriers or sorts, closed under one or more operations, satisfying some axioms. Abstract algebra is primarily the study of algebraic structures and their properties...

s (group
Group (mathematics)
In mathematics, a group is an algebraic structure consisting of a set together with an operation that combines any two of its elements to form a third element. To qualify as a group, the set and the operation must satisfy a few conditions called group axioms, namely closure, associativity, identity...

s, field
Field (mathematics)
In abstract algebra, a field is a commutative ring whose nonzero elements form a group under multiplication. As such it is an algebraic structure with notions of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, satisfying certain axioms...

s, etc.), topologies
Topology
Topology is a major area of mathematics concerned with properties that are preserved under continuous deformations of objects, such as deformations that involve stretching, but no tearing or gluing...

, metric structures
Metric space
In mathematics, a metric space is a set where a notion of distance between elements of the set is defined.The metric space which most closely corresponds to our intuitive understanding of space is the 3-dimensional Euclidean space...

(geometries
Geometry
Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of pre-modern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers ....

), orders
Order theory
Order theory is a branch of mathematics which investigates our intuitive notion of order using binary relations. It provides a formal framework for describing statements such as "this is less than that" or "this precedes that". This article introduces the field and gives some basic definitions...

, equivalence relation
Equivalence relation
In mathematics, an equivalence relation is a relation that, loosely speaking, partitions a set so that every element of the set is a member of one and only one cell of the partition. Two elements of the set are considered equivalent if and only if they are elements of the same cell...

s, differential structure
Differential structure
In mathematics, an n-dimensional differential structure on a set M makes M into an n-dimensional differential manifold, which is a topological manifold with some additional structure that allows us to do differential calculus on the manifold...

s, and categories.

Sometimes, a set is endowed with more than one structure simultaneously; this enables mathematicians to study it more richly. For example, an order induces a topology. As another example, if a set both has a topology and is a group, and the two structures are related in a certain way, the set becomes a topological group
Topological group
In mathematics, a topological group is a group G together with a topology on G such that the group's binary operation and the group's inverse function are continuous functions with respect to the topology. A topological group is a mathematical object with both an algebraic structure and a...

.

Mappings
Map (mathematics)
In most of mathematics and in some related technical fields, the term mapping, usually shortened to map, is either a synonym for function, or denotes a particular kind of function which is important in that branch, or denotes something conceptually similar to a function.In graph theory, a map is a...

between sets which preserve structures (so that structures in the domain are mapped to equivalent structures in the codomain) are of special interest in many fields of mathematics. Examples are homomorphism
Homomorphism
In abstract algebra, a homomorphism is a structure-preserving map between two algebraic structures . The word homomorphism comes from the Greek language: ὁμός meaning "same" and μορφή meaning "shape".- Definition :The definition of homomorphism depends on the type of algebraic structure under...

s, which preserve algebraic structures; 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...

s, which preserve topological structures; and 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 :...

s, which preserve differential structures.

N. Bourbaki
Nicolas Bourbaki
Nicolas Bourbaki is the collective pseudonym under which a group of 20th-century mathematicians wrote a series of books presenting an exposition of modern advanced mathematics, beginning in 1935. With the goal of founding all of mathematics on set theory, the group strove for rigour and generality...

suggested an explication of the concept "mathematical structure" in their book "Theory of Sets" (Chapter 4. Structures) and then defined on that base, in particular, a very general concept of isomorphism.

## Example: the real numbers

The set of real number
Real number
In mathematics, a real number is a value that represents a quantity along a continuum, such as -5 , 4/3 , 8.6 , √2 and π...

s has several standard structures:
• an order: each number is either less or more than every other number.
• algebraic structure: there are operations of multiplication and addition that make it into a field
Field (mathematics)
In abstract algebra, a field is a commutative ring whose nonzero elements form a group under multiplication. As such it is an algebraic structure with notions of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, satisfying certain axioms...

.
• a measure: intervals along the real line have a certain length
Length
In geometric measurements, length most commonly refers to the longest dimension of an object.In certain contexts, the term "length" is reserved for a certain dimension of an object along which the length is measured. For example it is possible to cut a length of a wire which is shorter than wire...

, which can be extended to the Lebesgue measure
Lebesgue measure
In measure theory, the Lebesgue measure, named after French mathematician Henri Lebesgue, is the standard way of assigning a measure to subsets of n-dimensional Euclidean space. For n = 1, 2, or 3, it coincides with the standard measure of length, area, or volume. In general, it is also called...

on many of its subsets.
• a metric: there is a notion of distance
Metric (mathematics)
In mathematics, a metric or distance function is a function which defines a distance between elements of a set. A set with a metric is called a metric space. A metric induces a topology on a set but not all topologies can be generated by a metric...

between points.
• a geometry: it is equipped with a metric
Metric (mathematics)
In mathematics, a metric or distance function is a function which defines a distance between elements of a set. A set with a metric is called a metric space. A metric induces a topology on a set but not all topologies can be generated by a metric...

and is flat
Flatness (mathematics)
In mathematics, the flatness of a surface is the degree to which it approximates a mathematical plane. The term is generalized for higher-dimensional manifolds to describe the degree to which they approximate the Euclidean space of the same dimensionality...

.
• a topology: there is a notion of open sets.

There are interfaces among these:
• Its order and, independently, its metric structure induce its topology.
• Its order and algebraic structure make it into an ordered field
Ordered field
In mathematics, an ordered field is a field together with a total ordering of its elements that is compatible with the field operations. Historically, the axiomatization of an ordered field was abstracted gradually from the real numbers, by mathematicians including David Hilbert, Otto Hölder and...

.
• Its algebraic structure and topology make it into a Lie group
Lie group
In mathematics, a Lie group is a group which is also a differentiable manifold, with the property that the group operations are compatible with the smooth structure...

, a type of topological group
Topological group
In mathematics, a topological group is a group G together with a topology on G such that the group's binary operation and the group's inverse function are continuous functions with respect to the topology. A topological group is a mathematical object with both an algebraic structure and a...

.

• Structure (mathematical logic)
Structure (mathematical logic)
In universal algebra and in model theory, a structure consists of a set along with a collection of finitary operations and relations which are defined on it....

• Abstract algebra
Abstract algebra
Abstract algebra is the subject area of mathematics that studies algebraic structures, such as groups, rings, fields, modules, vector spaces, and algebras...

• Abstract structure
Abstract structure
An abstract structure in mathematics is a formal object that is defined by a set of laws, properties, and relationships in a way that is logically if not always historically independent of the structure of contingent experiences, for example, those involving physical objects...

• Algebraic structure
Algebraic structure
In abstract algebra, an algebraic structure consists of one or more sets, called underlying sets or carriers or sorts, closed under one or more operations, satisfying some axioms. Abstract algebra is primarily the study of algebraic structures and their properties...