TheInfoList

OR: In
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relat ...
, the term generator or generating set may refer to any of a number of related concepts. The underlying concept in each case is that of a smaller
set Set, The Set, SET or SETS may refer to: Science, technology, and mathematics Mathematics *Set (mathematics), a collection of elements *Category of sets, the category whose objects and morphisms are sets and total functions, respectively Electro ...
of objects, together with a set of
operation Operation or Operations may refer to: Arts, entertainment and media * ''Operation'' (game), a battery-operated board game that challenges dexterity * Operation (music), a term used in musical set theory * ''Operations'' (magazine), Multi-Ma ...
s that can be applied to it, that result in the creation of a larger collection of objects, called the generated set. The larger set is then said to be generated by the smaller set. It is commonly the case that the generating set has a simpler set of properties than the generated set, thus making it easier to discuss and examine. It is usually the case that properties of the generating set are in some way preserved by the act of generation; likewise, the properties of the generated set are often reflected in the generating set.

# List of generators

A list of examples of generating sets follow. * Generating set or spanning set of a
vector space In mathematics and physics, a vector space (also called a linear space) is a set whose elements, often called '' vectors'', may be added together and multiplied ("scaled") by numbers called '' scalars''. Scalars are often real numbers, but ...
: a set that spans the vector space *
Generating set of a group In abstract algebra, a generating set of a group is a subset of the group set such that every element of the group can be expressed as a combination (under the group operation) of finitely many elements of the subset and their inverses. In oth ...
: A subset of a
group A group is a number of persons or things that are located, gathered, or classed together. Groups of people * Cultural group, a group whose members share the same cultural identity * Ethnic group, a group whose members share the same ethnic ide ...
that is not contained in any
subgroup In group theory, a branch of mathematics, given a group ''G'' under a binary operation ∗, a subset ''H'' of ''G'' is called a subgroup of ''G'' if ''H'' also forms a group under the operation ∗. More precisely, ''H'' is a subgro ...
of the group other than the entire group * Generating set of a ring: A subset ''S'' of a ring ''A'' generates ''A'' if the only
subring In mathematics, a subring of ''R'' is a subset of a ring that is itself a ring when binary operations of addition and multiplication on ''R'' are restricted to the subset, and which shares the same multiplicative identity as ''R''. For those ...
of ''A'' containing ''S'' is ''A'' * Generating set of an ideal in a ring * Generating set of a module * A generator, in
category theory Category theory is a general theory of mathematical structures and their relations that was introduced by Samuel Eilenberg and Saunders Mac Lane in the middle of the 20th century in their foundational work on algebraic topology. Nowadays, categ ...
, is an
object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Object (abstract), an object which does not exist at any particular time or place ** Physical object, an identifiable collection of matter * Goal, an ai ...
that can be used to distinguish
morphism In mathematics, particularly in category theory, a morphism is a structure-preserving map from one mathematical structure to another one of the same type. The notion of morphism recurs in much of contemporary mathematics. In set theory, morphisms ...
s * In
topology In mathematics, topology (from the Greek words , and ) is concerned with the properties of a geometric object that are preserved under continuous deformations, such as stretching, twisting, crumpling, and bending; that is, without closin ...
, a collection of sets that generate the topology is called a subbase * Generating set of a topological algebra: ''S'' is a generating set of a topological algebra ''A'' if the smallest closed
subalgebra In mathematics, a subalgebra is a subset of an algebra, closed under all its operations, and carrying the induced operations. "Algebra", when referring to a structure, often means a vector space or module equipped with an additional bilinear opera ...
of ''A'' containing ''S'' is ''A''

# Differential equations

In the study of
differential equation In mathematics, a differential equation is an equation that relates one or more unknown functions and their derivatives. In applications, the functions generally represent physical quantities, the derivatives represent their rates of change, ...
s, and commonly those occurring in
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relat ...
, one has the idea of a set of infinitesimal displacements that can be extended to obtain a
manifold In mathematics, a manifold is a topological space that locally resembles Euclidean space near each point. More precisely, an n-dimensional manifold, or ''n-manifold'' for short, is a topological space with the property that each point has a ne ...
, or at least, a local part of it, by means of integration. The general concept is of using the exponential map to take the vectors in the
tangent space In mathematics, the tangent space of a manifold generalizes to higher dimensions the notion of '' tangent planes'' to surfaces in three dimensions and '' tangent lines'' to curves in two dimensions. In the context of physics the tangent space to ...
and extend them, as
geodesic In geometry, a geodesic () is a curve representing in some sense the shortest path ( arc) between two points in a surface, or more generally in a Riemannian manifold. The term also has meaning in any differentiable manifold with a connectio ...
s, to an open set surrounding the tangent point. In this case, it is not unusual to call the elements of the tangent space the ''generators'' of the manifold. When the manifold possesses some sort of symmetry, there is also the related notion of a ''charge'' or ''current'', which is sometimes also called the generator, although, strictly speaking, charges are not elements of the tangent space. * Elements of the
Lie algebra In mathematics, a Lie algebra (pronounced ) is a vector space \mathfrak g together with an operation called the Lie bracket, an alternating bilinear map \mathfrak g \times \mathfrak g \rightarrow \mathfrak g, that satisfies the Jacobi ident ...
to a
Lie group In mathematics, a Lie group (pronounced ) is a group that is also a differentiable manifold. A manifold is a space that locally resembles Euclidean space, whereas groups define the abstract concept of a binary operation along with the addi ...
are sometimes referred to as "generators of the group," especially by physicists. The
Lie algebra In mathematics, a Lie algebra (pronounced ) is a vector space \mathfrak g together with an operation called the Lie bracket, an alternating bilinear map \mathfrak g \times \mathfrak g \rightarrow \mathfrak g, that satisfies the Jacobi ident ...
can be thought of as the infinitesimal vectors generating the group, at least locally, by means of the exponential map, but the Lie algebra does not form a generating set in the strict sense. * In stochastic analysis, an Itō diffusion or more general
Itō process Itō may refer to: * Itō (surname), a Japanese surname * Itō, Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan * Ito District, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan See also * Itô's lemma, used in stochastic calculus * Itoh–Tsujii inversion algorithm, in field th ...
has an infinitesimal generator. * The generator of any continuous symmetry implied by
Noether's theorem Noether's theorem or Noether's first theorem states that every differentiable symmetry of the action of a physical system with conservative forces has a corresponding conservation law. The theorem was proven by mathematician Emmy Noether ...
, the generators of a
Lie group In mathematics, a Lie group (pronounced ) is a group that is also a differentiable manifold. A manifold is a space that locally resembles Euclidean space, whereas groups define the abstract concept of a binary operation along with the addi ...
being a special case. In this case, a generator is sometimes called a
charge Charge or charged may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * '' Charge, Zero Emissions/Maximum Speed'', a 2011 documentary Music * ''Charge'' (David Ford album) * ''Charge'' (Machel Montano album) * '' Charge!!'', an album by The Aq ...
or Noether charge, examples include: **
angular momentum In physics, angular momentum (rarely, moment of momentum or rotational momentum) is the rotational analog of linear momentum. It is an important physical quantity because it is a conserved quantity—the total angular momentum of a closed sy ...
as the generator of
rotation Rotation, or spin, is the circular movement of an object around a '' central axis''. A two-dimensional rotating object has only one possible central axis and can rotate in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. A three-dimensional ...
s, **
linear momentum In Newtonian mechanics, momentum (more specifically linear momentum or translational momentum) is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. It is a vector quantity, possessing a magnitude and a direction. If is an object's mass and ...
as the generator of
translation Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. The English language draws a terminological distinction (which does not exist in every language) between ''transl ...
s, **
electric charge Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes charged matter to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. Electric charge can be ''positive'' or ''negative'' (commonly carried by protons and electrons respec ...
being the generator of the
U(1) In mathematics, the circle group, denoted by \mathbb T or \mathbb S^1, is the multiplicative group of all complex numbers with absolute value 1, that is, the unit circle in the complex plane or simply the unit complex numbers. \mathbb T = \. ...
symmetry group of
electromagnetism In physics, electromagnetism is an interaction that occurs between particles with electric charge. It is the second-strongest of the four fundamental interactions, after the strong force, and it is the dominant force in the interactions o ...
, **the
color charge Color charge is a property of quarks and gluons that is related to the particles' strong interactions in the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD). The "color charge" of quarks and gluons is completely unrelated to the everyday meanings of ...
s of
quark A quark () is a type of elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. All comm ...
s are the generators of the
SU(3) In mathematics, the special unitary group of degree , denoted , is the Lie group of unitary matrices with determinant 1. The more general unitary matrices may have complex determinants with absolute value 1, rather than real 1 in the speci ...
color symmetry in
quantum chromodynamics In theoretical physics, quantum chromodynamics (QCD) is the theory of the strong interaction between quarks mediated by gluons. Quarks are fundamental particles that make up composite hadrons such as the proton, neutron and pion. QCD is a ...
, *More precisely, "charge" should apply only to the
root system In mathematics, a root system is a configuration of vectors in a Euclidean space satisfying certain geometrical properties. The concept is fundamental in the theory of Lie groups and Lie algebras, especially the classification and representati ...
of a Lie group.

*
Generating function In mathematics, a generating function is a way of encoding an infinite sequence of numbers () by treating them as the coefficients of a formal power series. This series is called the generating function of the sequence. Unlike an ordinary seri ...
* Lie theory *
Symmetry (physics) In physics, a symmetry of a physical system is a physical or mathematical feature of the system (observed or intrinsic) that is preserved or remains unchanged under some transformation. A family of particular transformations may be ''continuou ...
*
Particle physics Particle physics or high energy physics is the study of fundamental particles and forces that constitute matter and radiation. The fundamental particles in the universe are classified in the Standard Model as fermions (matter particles) a ...
*
Supersymmetry In a supersymmetric theory the equations for force and the equations for matter are identical. In theoretical and mathematical physics, any theory with this property has the principle of supersymmetry (SUSY). Dozens of supersymmetric theories ...
*
Gauge theory In physics, a gauge theory is a type of field theory in which the Lagrangian (and hence the dynamics of the system itself) does not change (is invariant) under local transformations according to certain smooth families of operations ( Lie grou ...
*
Field (physics) In physics, a field is a physical quantity, represented by a scalar, vector, or tensor, that has a value for each point in space and time. For example, on a weather map, the surface temperature is described by assigning a number to each poin ...

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