## TORSION INVARIANTS FOR TRIANGULATED CATEGORIES

### BibTeX

@MISC{Schwede_torsioninvariants,

author = {Stefan Schwede},

title = {TORSION INVARIANTS FOR TRIANGULATED CATEGORIES},

year = {}

}

### OpenURL

### Abstract

The most commonly known triangulated categories arise from chain complexes in an abelian category by passing to chain homotopy classes or inverting quasi-isomorphisms. Such examples are called ‘algebraic ’ because they have underlying abelian (or at least additive) categories. Stable homotopy theory produces examples of triangulated categories by quite different means, and in this context the underlying categories are usually very ‘non-additive ’ before passing to homotopy classes of morphisms. We call such triangulated categories topological, compare Definition 3.1; this class includes the algebraic triangulated categories. The purpose of this paper is to explain some systematic differences between these two kinds of triangulated categories. There are certain properties – defined entirely in terms of the triangulated structure – which hold in all algebraic examples, but which can fail in general. These differences are all torsion phenomena, and rationally every topological triangulated category is algebraic (at least under mild size restrictions). Our main tool is a new numerical invariant, the n-order of an object in a triangulated category, for n a natural number (see Definition 1.1). The n-order is a nonnegative integer (or infinity), and an object Y has positive n-order if and only if n · Y = 0; the n-order can be thought of