In mathematics, **pointless topology** (also called **point-free** or **pointfree topology**, or **locale theory**) is an approach to topology that avoids mentioning points, and in which the lattices of open sets are the primitive notions.^{ [1] }

- Intuitively
- Formally
- Relation to point-set topology
- The theory of frames and locales
- See also
- Citations
- Bibliography

This revolutionary idea suggests that constructing *topologically interesting* spaces from purely algebraic data is possible.^{ [2] } The first approaches to topology were geometrical, one started from Euclidean space and patched things together. But Stone's work showed that topology can be viewed from algebraic point of view (lattice-theoretic). Apart from Stone, Henry Wallman was the first person to exploit this idea. Others continued this path till Charles Ehresmann and his student Jean Bénabou (and simultaneously others), made the next fundamental step in the late fifties. Their insights arose from the study of "topological" and "differentiable" categories.^{ [2] }

Ehresmann's approach involved using a category whose objects were complete lattices which satisfied a distributive law and whose morphisms were maps which preserved finite meets and arbitrary joins. He called such lattices "local lattices", others like Dowker called them "frames" to avoid ambiguity with other notions in lattice theory.^{ [3] }

Traditionally, a topological space consists of a set of points together with a *topology*, a system of subsets called open sets that with the operations of intersection and union forms a lattice with certain properties. Point-free topology is based on the concept of a "realistic spot" instead of a point without extent. Spots can be joined (forming a complete lattice) and if a spot meets a join of others it has to meet some of the constituents, which, roughly speaking, leads to the distributive law

.

The basic concept is that of a **frame**, a complete lattice satisfying the distributive law above; frame homomorphisms respect all joins (in particular, the least element of the lattice) and finite meets (in particular, the greatest element of the lattice).

Frames, together with frame homomorphisms, form a category.

In classical topology, represented on a set by the system of open sets, (partially ordered by inclusion) is a frame, and if is a continuous map, defined by is a frame homomorphism. For sober spaces such are precisely the frame homomorphisms . Hence is a full embedding of the category of sober spaces into the dual of the category of frames (usually called of the category of locales). This justifies thinking of frames (locales) as of generalized topological spaces. A frame is *spatial* if it is isomorphic to a . There are plenty of non-spatial ones and this fact turned out to be helpful in several problems.

The theory of frames and locales in the contemporary sense was initiated in the late 1950s (Charles Ehresmann, Jean Bénabou, Hugh Dowker, Dona Papert) and developed through the following decades (John Isbell, Peter Johnstone, Harold Simmons, Bernhard Banaschewski, Aleš Pultr, Till Plewe, Japie Vermeulen, Steve Vickers) into a lively branch of topology, with application in various fields, in particular also in theoretical computer science. For more on the history of locale theory see.^{ [4] }

It is possible to translate most concepts of point-set topology into the context of locales, and prove analogous theorems. Regarding the advantages of the point-free approach let us point out, for example, the fact that some important facts of classical topology depending on choice principles become choice-free (that is, constructive, which is, in particular, appealing for computer science). Thus for instance, products of compact locales are compact constructively, or completions of uniform locales are constructive. This can be useful if one works in a topos that does not have the axiom of choice. Other advantages include the much better behaviour of paracompactness, or the fact that subgroups of localic groups are always closed.

Another point where locale theory and topology diverge strongly is the concepts of subspaces versus sublocales: by Isbell's density theorem, every locale has a smallest dense sublocale. This has absolutely no equivalent in the realm of topological spaces.

- Heyting algebra. A frame is a complete Heyting algebra.
- Complete Boolean algebra. Any complete Boolean algebra is a frame (it is a spatial frame if and only if it is atomic).
- Details on the relationship between the category of topological spaces and the category of locales, including the explicit construction of the duality between sober spaces and spatial locales, are to be found in the article on Stone duality.
- Point-free geometry.

- ↑ Johnstone 1983, p. 41.
- 1 2 Johnstone 1983, p. 42.
- ↑ Johnstone 1983, p. 43.
- ↑ Peter T. Johnstone, Elements of the history of locale theory, in: Handbook of the History of General Topology, vol. 3, pp. 835-851, Springer, ISBN 978-0-7923-6970-7, 2001.

A general introduction to pointless topology is

- Johnstone, Peter T. (1983). "The point of pointless topology".
*Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society*. New Series.**8**(1): 41–53. doi:10.1090/S0273-0979-1983-15080-2. ISSN 0273-0979 . Retrieved 2016-05-09.

This is, in its own words, to be read as the trailer for Johnstone's excellent monograph (which appeared already in 1982 and can still be used for basic reference):

- Johnstone, Peter T. (1982). Stone Spaces. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-33779-3.

There is a recent monograph

- Picado, Jorge, Pultr, Aleš (2012). Frames and locales: Topology without points. Frontiers in Mathematics, vol. 28, Springer, Basel.

where one also finds a more extensive bibliography.

For relations with logic:

- Vickers, Steven (1996). Topology via Logic. Cambridge Tracts in Theoretical Computer Science, Cambridge University Press.

For a more concise account see the respective chapters in:

- Pedicchio, Maria Cristina, Tholen, Walter (Eds.). Categorical Foundations - Special Topics in Order, Topology, Algebra and Sheaf Theory. Encyclopedia of Mathematics and its Applications, Vol. 97, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 49–101.
- Hazewinkel, Michiel (Ed.). Handbook of Algebra. Vol. 3, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 2003, pp. 791–857.
- Grätzer, George, Wehrung, Friedrich (Eds.). Lattice Theory: Special Topics and Applications. Vol. 1, Springer, Basel, 2014, pp. 55–88.

In mathematics, specifically category theory, a **functor** is a mapping between categories. Functors were first considered in algebraic topology, where algebraic objects are associated to topological spaces, and maps between these algebraic objects are associated to continuous maps between spaces. Nowadays, functors are used throughout modern mathematics to relate various categories. Thus, functors are important in all areas within mathematics to which category theory is applied.

In mathematics, a **complete lattice** is a partially ordered set in which *all* subsets have both a supremum (join) and an infimum (meet). Specifically, every non-empty finite lattice is complete. Complete lattices appear in many applications in mathematics and computer science. Being a special instance of lattices, they are studied both in order theory and universal algebra.

In mathematics, an **algebraic structure** consists of a nonempty set *A*, a collection of operations on *A* of finite arity, and a finite set of identities, known as axioms, that these operations must satisfy.

In mathematics, a **Heyting algebra** is a bounded lattice equipped with a binary operation *a* → *b* of *implication* such that ≤ *b* is equivalent to *c* ≤. From a logical standpoint, *A* → *B* is by this definition the weakest proposition for which modus ponens, the inference rule *A* → *B*, *A* ⊢ *B*, is sound. Like Boolean algebras, Heyting algebras form a variety axiomatizable with finitely many equations. Heyting algebras were introduced by Arend Heyting (1930) to formalize intuitionistic logic.

In mathematics, there is an ample supply of categorical dualities between certain categories of topological spaces and categories of partially ordered sets. Today, these dualities are usually collected under the label **Stone duality**, since they form a natural generalization of Stone's representation theorem for Boolean algebras. These concepts are named in honor of Marshall Stone. Stone-type dualities also provide the foundation for pointless topology and are exploited in theoretical computer science for the study of formal semantics.

This is a glossary of some terms used in various branches of mathematics that are related to the fields of order, lattice, and domain theory. Note that there is a structured list of order topics available as well. Other helpful resources might be the following overview articles:

A **lattice** is an abstract structure studied in the mathematical subdisciplines of order theory and abstract algebra. It consists of a partially ordered set in which every two elements have a unique supremum and a unique infimum. An example is given by the natural numbers, partially ordered by divisibility, for which the unique supremum is the least common multiple and the unique infimum is the greatest common divisor.

In the mathematical area of order theory, one often speaks about functions that **preserve** certain limits, i.e. certain suprema or infima. Roughly speaking, these functions map the supremum/infimum of a set to the supremum/infimum of the image of the set. Depending on the type of sets for which a function satisfies this property, it may preserve finite, directed, non-empty, or just arbitrary suprema or infima. Each of these requirements appears naturally and frequently in many areas of order theory and there are various important relationships among these concepts and other notions such as monotonicity. If the implication of limit preservation is inverted, such that the existence of limits in the range of a function implies the existence of limits in the domain, then one obtains functions that are **limit-reflecting**.

In topology, an **Alexandrov topology** is a topology in which the intersection of any family of open sets is open. It is an axiom of topology that the intersection of any *finite* family of open sets is open; in Alexandrov topologies the finite restriction is dropped.

In mathematics, a **spectral space** is a topological space that is homeomorphic to the spectrum of a commutative ring. It is sometimes also called a **coherent space** because of the connection to coherent topos.

In the mathematical area of order theory, there are various notions of the common concept of distributivity, applied to the formation of suprema and infima. Most of these apply to partially ordered sets that are at least lattices, but the concept can in fact reasonably be generalized to semilattices as well.

In mathematics, especially in order theory, a **complete Heyting algebra** is a Heyting algebra that is complete as a lattice. Complete Heyting algebras are the objects of three different categories; the category **CHey**, the category **Loc** of **locales**, and its opposite, the category **Frm** of frames. Although these three categories contain the same objects, they differ in their morphisms, and thus get distinct names. Only the morphisms of **CHey** are homomorphisms of complete Heyting algebras.

In mathematics, **quantales** are certain partially ordered algebraic structures that generalize locales as well as various multiplicative lattices of ideals from ring theory and functional analysis. Quantales are sometimes referred to as *complete residuated semigroups*.

In mathematics, a **join-semilattice** is a partially ordered set that has a join for any nonempty finite subset. Dually, a **meet-semilattice** is a partially ordered set which has a meet for any nonempty finite subset. Every join-semilattice is a meet-semilattice in the inverse order and vice versa.

In mathematics, a **pointed space** is a topological space with a distinguished point, the **basepoint**. The distinguished point is just simply one particular point, picked out from the space, and given a name, such as that remains unchanged during subsequent discussion, and is kept track of during all operations.

In mathematics, the **congruence lattice problem** asks whether every algebraic distributive lattice is isomorphic to the congruence lattice of some other lattice. The problem was posed by Robert P. Dilworth, and for many years it was one of the most famous and long-standing open problems in lattice theory; it had a deep impact on the development of lattice theory itself. The conjecture that every distributive lattice is a congruence lattice is true for all distributive lattices with at most ℵ_{1} compact elements, but F. Wehrung provided a counterexample for distributive lattices with ℵ_{2} compact elements using a construction based on Kuratowski's free set theorem.

In mathematics, especially in the area of topology known as algebraic topology, an **induced homomorphism** is a homomorphism derived in a canonical way from another map. For example, a continuous map from a topological space *X* to a space *Y* induces a group homomorphism from the fundamental group of *X* to the fundamental group of *Y*.

In mathematics, **Birkhoff's representation theorem** for distributive lattices states that the elements of any finite distributive lattice can be represented as finite sets, in such a way that the lattice operations correspond to unions and intersections of sets. The theorem can be interpreted as providing a one-to-one correspondence between distributive lattices and partial orders, between quasi-ordinal knowledge spaces and preorders, or between finite topological spaces and preorders. It is named after Garrett Birkhoff, who published a proof of it in 1937.

In mathematics, **duality theory for distributive lattices** provides three different representations of bounded distributive lattices via Priestley spaces, spectral spaces, and pairwise Stone spaces. This duality, which is originally also due to Marshall H. Stone, generalizes the well-known Stone duality between Stone spaces and Boolean algebras.

This is a glossary for the terminology in a mathematical field of functional analysis.

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