 # Vector bundle

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In mathematics, a vector bundle is a topological construction that makes precise the idea of a family of vector spaces parameterized by another space $X$ (for example $X$ could be a topological space, a manifold, or an algebraic variety): to every point $x$ of the space $X$ we associate (or "attach") a vector space $V(x)$ in such a way that these vector spaces fit together to form another space of the same kind as $X$ (e.g. a topological space, manifold, or algebraic variety), which is then called a vector bundle over $X$ .
The simplest example is the case that the family of vector spaces is constant, i.e., there is a fixed vector space $V$ such that $V(x)=V$ for all $x$ in $X$ : in this case there is a copy of $V$ for each $x$ in $X$ and these copies fit together to form the vector bundle $X\times V$ over $X$ . Such vector bundles are said to be trivial. A more complicated (and prototypical) class of examples are the tangent bundles of smooth (or differentiable) manifolds: to every point of such a manifold we attach the tangent space to the manifold at that point. Tangent bundles are not, in general, trivial bundles. For example, the tangent bundle of the sphere is non-trivial by the hairy ball theorem. In general, a manifold is said to be parallelizable if, and only if, its tangent bundle is trivial.