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Does anyone know why in books on category theory the notation for the subobject classifier is almost everywhere the capital greek letter $\Omega$? Gérard Lang

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    $\begingroup$ According to Mac Lane [Concepts and categories in perspectives], this was the notation used in "the initial IHES edition of SGA IV, where it is noted that the set $\Omega (X)$ of all subobjects of an object $X$ in a Grothendieck topos $\mathbb{E}$ defines a sheaf for the canonical topology on $\mathbb{E}$ and so, by Giraud's theorem, is representable by some object $\Omega$." That answers the question of where the convention originates, but not why... $\endgroup$ – Zhen Lin Feb 7 '13 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe it's from the case of sheaves on a topological space, where Ω is the sheaf of open subsets (i.e., Ω(U) is the set of open subsets of U). Open starts with the letter O, which in greek is Ω. $\endgroup$ – Omar Antolín-Camarena Feb 7 '13 at 18:12
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe they had the christian 'alpha & omega' in mind. And the characteristic functions, as well as the true arrow end in omega. $\endgroup$ – Stephan Müller Feb 7 '13 at 18:54

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