In homological algebra, the horseshoe lemma, also called the simultaneous resolution theorem, is a statement relating resolutions of two objects and to resolutions of extensions of by . It says that if an object is an extension of by , then a resolution of can be built up inductively with the nth item in the resolution equal to the coproduct of the nth items in the resolutions of and . The name of the lemma comes from the shape of the diagram illustrating the lemma's hypothesis.
The lemma can be proved inductively. At each stage of the induction, the properties of projective objects are used to define maps in a projective resolution of . Then the snake lemma is invoked to show that the simultaneous resolution constructed so far has exact rows.
- Henri Cartan and Samuel Eilenberg Homological algebra, Princeton University Press, 1956.
- M. Scott Osborne, Basic homological algebra, Springer-Verlag, 2000.