Questions about algebraic methods and invariants to study and classify topological spaces: homotopy groups, (co)-homology groups, and beyond.

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26
votes
4answers
4k views

Learning Roadmap for Algebraic Topology

I am now considering about studying algebraic topology. There are a lot of books about it, and I want to choose the most comprehensive book among them. I have a solid background in Abstract Algebra, ...
14
votes
1answer
430 views

Does $gHg^{-1}\subseteq H$ imply $gHg^{-1}= H$? [duplicate]

Let $G$ be a group, $H<G$ a subgroup and $g$ an element of $G$. Let $\lambda_g$ denote the inner automorphism which maps $x$ to $gxg^{-1}$. I wonder if $H$ can be mapped to a proper subgroup of ...
36
votes
5answers
3k views

Soft Question - Intuition of the meaning of homology groups

I'm studying homology groups and I'm looking to try and develop, if possible, a little more intuition about what they actually mean. I've only been studying homology for a short while, so if possible ...
29
votes
2answers
3k views

Which manifolds are parallelizable?

Recall that a manifold $M$ of dimension $n$ is parallelizable if there are $n$ vector fields that form a basis of the tangent space $T_x M$ at every point $x \in M$. This is equivalent to the tangent ...
9
votes
5answers
8k views

Best Algebraic Topology book/Alternative to Allen Hatcher free book?

Allen Hatcher seems impossible and this is set as the course text? So was wondering is there a better book than this? It's pretty cheap book compared to other books on amazon and is free online. ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I prove formally that the projective plane is a Hausdorff space?

I want to prove the Hausdorff property of the projective space with this definition: the sphere $S^n$ with the antipodal points identified. It's seems easy, but I can't prove formally with this ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Consequences of Degree Theory

I'm preparing a presentation on an overview of algebraic and differential topology, and my introduction includes some motivational material on Degree Theory. I have two fundamental and invaluable ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

is the group of rational numbers the fundamental group of some space?

Which path connected space has fundamental group isomorphic to the group of rationals? More generally, is every group the fundamental group of a space?
12
votes
2answers
274 views

Torsion on $\pi_1(X)$, $X$ connected and open in $\mathbb{R}^n$

Can the fundamental group of an open connected subset $X$ of $\mathbb{R}^n$ have a torsion element?
7
votes
4answers
787 views

Two CW complexes with isomorphic homotopy groups and homology, yet not homotopy equivalent

A standard example of two CW complexes which have isomorphic homotopy groups but are not homotopy equivalent is $ RP^2 \times S^3$ and $RP^3 \times S^2$. The easiest way to see that they are not ...
348
votes
6answers
66k views

Why can you turn clothing right-side-out?

My nephew was folding laundry, and turning the occasional shirt right-side-out. I showed him a "trick" where I turned it right-side-out by pulling the whole thing through a sleeve instead of the ...
31
votes
2answers
1k views

How do different definitions of “degree” coincide?

I've recently read about a number of different notions of "degree." Reading over Javier Álvarez' excellent answer for the thousandth time finally prompted me to ask this question: How exactly do ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

Roadmap to study Atiyah-Singer index theorem

I am a physics undergrad and want to pursue a PhD in Math (geometry or topology). I study it almost completely by myself, as the program in my country offers very less flexibility to take non ...
28
votes
1answer
1k views

Is this space contractible?

Let $X$ be the following topological space (with the subspace topology): Connect the rational points of $([0,1]\cap \mathbb{Q})\times \{0\}$ with the point $(0,1)$ and connect the points of ...
18
votes
2answers
570 views

Why isn't $\mathbb{CP}^2$ a covering space for any other manifold?

This is one of those perhaps rare occasions when someone takes the advice of the FAQ and asks a question to which they already know the answer. This puzzle took me a while, but I found it both simple ...
7
votes
3answers
697 views

How to compute homotopy classes of maps on the 2-torus?

Let $\mathbb T^2$ be the 2-Torus and let $X$ be a topological space. Is there any way of computing $[\mathbb T^2,X]$, the set of homotopy class of continuous maps $\mathbb T^2\to X$ if I know, for ...
8
votes
2answers
891 views

Topological group: Multiplying two loops is homotopic to linking these paths?

Let G be a topological group and let $s_1$ and $s_2$ be loops in G (both loops are based at the identity e of G). Is it true that the loop $s_1s_2$ (where the multiplication is the one of the group ...
11
votes
2answers
357 views

A comparison between the fundamental groupoid and the fundamental group

Are there two path connected topological spaces $X,Y$ such that the fundamental groupoid of $X$ is not isomorphic to the fundamental groupoid of $Y$ but the fundamental group of $X$ is isomorphic to ...
10
votes
5answers
336 views

$\varphi$ in $\operatorname{Hom}{(S^1, S^1)}$ are of the form $z^n$

I'd like to see a proof why $\varphi \in \operatorname{Hom}{(S^1, S^1)}$ looks like $z^n$ for an integer $n$. At first I thought I could argue that if I have a homomorphism that maps $e^{ix}$ to some ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Contractible vs. Deformation retract to a point.

I have a quick question about the difference between the two concepts in the title. The question is basically ex.6 (b) in Hatcher's book titled "Algebraic Topology". Let $X$ be the subspace of $R^2$ ...
8
votes
2answers
468 views

CW complexes and manifolds

What is the strongest known theorem (if any) that classify which manifolds can be built as CW complexes? Thank you guys. This is just a question I thought of during class, obviously not homework... ...
7
votes
0answers
2k views

The simply connected coverings of two homotopy equivalent spaces are homotopy equivalent

This is exercise 1.3.8 in Hatcher: Let $\tilde{X}$ and $\tilde{Y}$ be simply-connected covering spaces of path connected, locally path-connected spaces $X$ and $Y$. Show that if $X\simeq Y$ then ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Homology of surface of genus $g$

This is a homework question given to me by someone of the community here and it's a generalisation of this. I was wondering if you could have a look and tell me if it's right. Thanks for your help! ...
6
votes
2answers
313 views

Is a CW complex, homeomorphic to a regular CW complex?

Is a CW complex, homeomorphic to a regular CW complex ? Regular means that the attaching maps are homeomorphisms (1-1). In particular, an open (resp. closed) $n$-cell, is homeomorphic to an open ...
4
votes
2answers
370 views

Hatcher Ch.0 (P18) #5 Inclusion Map is Nullhomotopic

Question: Show that if a space $X$ deformation retracts to a point $x ∈ X$, then for each neighborhood $U$ of $x$ in $X$ $\exists$ a neighborhood $V ⊂ U$ of $x$ such that the inclusion map $V ...
4
votes
1answer
470 views

Spaces with equal homotopy groups but different homology groups?

Since it's fairly easy to come up with a two spaces that have different homotopy groups but the same homology groups ($S^2\times S^4$ and $\mathbb{C}\textrm{P}^3$). Are there any nice examples of ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Surface of genus $g$ does not retract to circle (Hatcher exercise)

I'm trying exercise 9 on page 53 in Hatcher but I need some help with it. The exercise is: In the surface $M_g$ of genus $g$, let $C$ be a circle that separates $M_g$ into two compact subsurfaces ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Showing that an inclusion is null homotopic

I'm trying to do exercise 5 on page 18 in Hatcher: Show that if a space $X$ deformation retracts to a point $x \in X$, then for each neighborhood $U$ of $x$ in $X$ there exists a neighborhood $V ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What algebraic topology book to read after Hatcher's?

I've currently finished chapter 2 of his book and done all the exercises of in chapter 0, 1 and 2. Was wondering when I finished reading this book what book do I read next in algebraic topology?
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Computing the homology and cohomology of connected sum

Suppose $M$ and $N$ are two connected oriented smooth manifolds of dimension $n$. Conventionally, people use $M\#N$ to denote the connecte sum of the two. (The connected sum is constructed from ...
18
votes
2answers
309 views

Failure of excision for $\pi_2$

Would anyone know an example of failure of excision for 2nd homotopy groups? Specifically, I am looking for $A,B$ open in $X$ such that $X=A\cup B$ and $A\cap B$ is connected and $\pi_2(X,A)\ne ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Fundamental group of GL(n,C) is isomorphic to Z. How to learn to prove facts like this?

I know, fundamental group of $GL(n,\mathbb{C})$ is isomorphic to $\mathbb{Z}$. It's written in Wikipedia. Actually, I've succeed in proving this, but my proof is two pages long and very technical. I ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a natural isomorphism?

I came across the adjective "natural" many times in my reading and I think this has something to do with category theory. Could someone please illustrate the idea behind this adjective to me? Many ...
12
votes
2answers
622 views

For every $k \in {\mathbb Z}$ construct a continuous map $f: S^n \to S^n$ with $\deg(f) = k$.

Suppose $S^n$ is an $n$-dimensional sphere. Definition of the degree of a map: Let $f:S^n \to S^n$ be a continuous map. Then $f$ induces a homomorphism $f_{*}:H_n(S^n) \to H_n(S^n)$ . Considering the ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Cohomology of projective plane

How I can compute cohomology de Rham of the projective plane $P^{2}(\mathbb{R})$ using Mayer vietoris or any other methods?
7
votes
2answers
927 views

Unit sphere in $\mathbb{R}^\infty$ is contractible?

Let $\mathcal{T}_{\infty}= \left\{ U \subset \mathbb{R}^{\infty}: \ U \cap \mathbb{R}^n \in \mathcal{T}_n, \text{ for } n=1,2,... \right\} $. Of course $\mathcal{T}_{\infty}$ is topology in ...
7
votes
2answers
785 views

Why is every discrete subgroup of a Hausdorff group closed?

I have just begun to learn about topological group recently and is still not familiar with combining topology and group theory together. I have read a useful property of discrete group on the ...
5
votes
1answer
363 views

composition of certain covering maps

This problem was posted before, but not the proof (because the asker knowed the answer), only a counterexample without the hypothesis of finite fibres. I want to know how to prove this proposition: ...
4
votes
1answer
913 views

Relative homology of a retract

Show that if $A$ is a retract of $X$ then for all $n \ge 0$ $$H_n(X) \simeq H_n(A) \oplus H_n(X,A)$$ So we have a retraction $r:X \to A$, which is surjective. Consider the long exact sequence ...
1
vote
3answers
653 views

connected sums of closed orientable manifold is orientable

a general version: connected sums of closed manifold is orientable iff both are orientable. I think this can be prove by using homology theory, but I don't know how.Thanks.
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Homotopy equivalence of universal cover

As part of am exam question (Q21F here), I'm trying to prove that if $X$ and $Y$ are path-connected, locally path-connected spaces with universal covers $\widetilde{X}$ and $\widetilde{Y}$, ...
2
votes
3answers
990 views

the cone is contractible

Let $X$ be a topological space. I want to show that the cone $CX$ is contractible. Here we construct a deformation retraction from $CX$ to the tip point of the cone $$H_t: CX\to CX;\; (x,t')\mapsto ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Fundamental group of $S^2$ with north and south pole identified

Consider the quotient space obtained by identifying the north and south pole of $S^2$. I think the fundamental group should be infinite cyclic, but I do not know how to prove this. If it is infinite ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Fundamental group of complement of $n$ lines through the origin in $\mathbb{R}^3$

Just a quick question to verify whether I'm right. Claim: The fundamental group of the complement of $n$ lines through the origin in $\mathbb{R}^3$ is $F_n$, the free group on $n$ generators. ...
5
votes
1answer
587 views

weak homotopy equivalence (Whitehead theorem) and the *pseudocircle*

On wikipedia, I recently read about a highly pathological finite topological space, namely the pseudocircle $$X=\{a,b,c,d\},\;\;\; \mathcal{T}=\{\emptyset,\{a\},\{b\},\{ab\},\{a,b,c\},\{a,b,d\},X\}.$$ ...
4
votes
1answer
425 views

Applications of algebra and/or topology to stochastic (or Markov) processes

Some time back I was reading a PDF about algebra or topology (or algebraic topology, I forget which) and found an extremely enlightening section about an application to stochastic processes. ...
4
votes
2answers
910 views

Why is this entangled circle not a retract of the solid torus?

I'm doing exercise 16 on page 39 in Hatcher: Show that there are no retractions $r: X \rightarrow A$ in the following cases: (a) $X = \mathbb{R}^3$ with $A$ any subspace homeomorphic to $S^1$ (b) ...
3
votes
4answers
967 views

Why this map is a covering map?

I'm trying to find the universal covering space of the Klein bottle. I know that $\mathbb R^2$ covers the Klein bottle , but I don't know how to prove, I found this proof on internet: Someone knows ...
8
votes
1answer
227 views

The complement of Jordan arc

If $A$ is the image of a Jordan arc in $S^2$, that is, $A$ is the image of an injective continuous map from $[0,1]$ to $S^2$, is $S^2-A$ necessarily a simply-connected set?
6
votes
2answers
392 views

Is the center of the fundamental group of the double torus trivial?

I know that the fundamental group of the double torus is $\pi_1(M)=\langle a,b,c,d;a^{-1}b^{-1}abc^{-1}d^{-1}cd\rangle$. How can I calculate its center subgroup $C$? Is $C$ trivial? Let $p$ be the ...