# 1.05 Basepoint dependence

## Video

Below the video you will find accompanying notes and some pre-class questions.

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## Notes

### Change of basepoint

*(0.00)* By now, we have seen how to associate to a space \(X\) and a
basepoint \(x\) a group \(\pi_1(X,x)\) of homotopy classes of loops in
\(X\) based at \(x\). You might wonder what happens if we pick a
different basepoint \(y\in X\).

*(0.30)* Given a path \(\delta\colon[0,1]\to X\) with
\(\delta(0)=x\) and \(\delta(1)=y\) we obtain an isomorphism
\(F_\delta\colon\pi_1(X,y)\to\pi_1(X,y)\).

*(1.37)* Given a loop \(\gamma\) in \(X\) based at \(y\), we define
\(F_\delta([\gamma])\) to be the homotopy class of loops
\([\delta^{-1}\cdot\gamma\cdot\delta]\) based at \(x\).

*(3.13)*This map is well-defined: if \(\gamma_s\) is a homotopy then \(\delta^{-1}\cdot\gamma_s\cdot\delta\) is a homotopy from \(F_\delta([\gamma_0])\) to \(F_\delta([\gamma_1])\), so \(F_\delta([\gamma])\) doesn't depend on the choice of \(\gamma\) within its homotopy class.*(4.39)*\(F_\delta\) is a homomorphism: given two loops \(\alpha,\beta\) based at \(y\), we haveas required.

*(5.52)*\(F_\delta\) is invertible: we have \(F_{\delta^{-1}}(F_\delta(\gamma))=\delta\cdot\delta^{-1}\cdot\gamma\cdot\delta\cdot\delta^{-1}=\gamma\), so \(F_{\delta^{-1}}\) is an inverse for \(F_\delta\).

### Free homotopy and conjugation

*(7.20)* Given all of this, we can now say what happens if we have a
free homotopy \(\gamma_s\) connecting two loops \(\gamma_0,\gamma_1\)
based at \(x\). Let \(\delta(t)=\gamma_t(0)\) be the loop traced out
by the basepoint of the loop \(\gamma_s\) along the free
homotopy. From the theorem on changing basepoints,
\[\gamma_0=\delta^{-1}\gamma_1\delta.\] Therefore \(\gamma_0\) is
conjugate to \(\gamma_1\) in \(\pi_1(X,x)\). Different loops
\(\delta\) will give different conjugates.

*(10.40)* This implies that free homotopy classes of loops based at
\(x\) are conjugacy classes in \(\pi_1(X,x)\). This is very useful:

*(11.13)*If \(\pi_1(X,x)\) is abelian then two loops are based homotopic if and only if they are freely homotopic (conjugation does nothing in an abelian group).*(12.13)*In many geometric examples, the homotopies we construct often move the basepoint (for example, in the proof of the fundamental theorem of algebra).

## Pre-class questions

- Suppose that \(X\) is a topological space and \(x\in X\) is a basepoint with \(\pi_1(X,x)\cong S_3\), where \(S_3\) is the group of permutations of three objects. How many free homotopy classes of loops are there in \(X\)?

## Navigation

- Previous video:
**1.04 Examples and simply-connectedness**. - Next video:
**1.06 Fundamental theorem of algebra: reprise**. - Index of all lectures.