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

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13
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5answers
10k 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. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
43
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
31
votes
4answers
5k 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, ...
31
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
489 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
861 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... ...
8
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 ...
27
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 ...
27
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
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
377 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?
11
votes
5answers
364 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
418 views

If a covering map has a section, is it a $1$-fold cover?

If $q: E\rightarrow X$ is a covering map that has a section $(i.e. f: X\rightarrow E, q\circ f=Id_X)$ does that imply that $E$ is a 1-fold cover?
376
votes
6answers
68k 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 ...
36
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

$\pi_{1}({\mathbb R}^{2} - {\mathbb Q}^{2})$ is uncountable

Question: Show that $\pi_{1}({\mathbb R}^{2} - {\mathbb Q}^{2})$ is uncountable. Motivation: This is one of those problems that I saw in Hatcher and felt I should be able to do, but couldn't quite ...
20
votes
2answers
621 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 ...
29
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
815 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
4k 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! ...
1
vote
3answers
816 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.
11
votes
2answers
399 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 ...
12
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 $R^2$ ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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 $\widetilde{Y}$, ...
8
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 ...
7
votes
0answers
2k views

The simply connected coverings of two homotopy equivalent spaces are homotopy equivalent [duplicate]

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
445 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
834 views

contractible and simply connected

Every contractible space X is simply connected because X is homotopy equivalent to a point. Is there a direct proof of this fact? There obviously is a (free) homotopy between any loop and the trivial ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
464 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
616 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

$T^2$ with $n$ points removed - Question from Basener

Question 5.33 from "Topology and its Applications" by Baesner is to compute the fundamental group of the torus ($T^2$) with $n$ points removed. I can "see" in my mind that if we remove one point we ...
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?
20
votes
1answer
2k 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?
19
votes
2answers
354 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k 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
3k 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
738 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
378 views

Intuitive Approach to de Rham Cohomology

The intuition behind homology may be summarized in a sentence: to find objects without boundary which are not the boundary of an object. This has geometric meaning and explains the algebraic boundary ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

The homology groups of $T^2$ by Mayer-Vietoris

If I choose two open sets $A$ and $B$ as depicted on Wikipedia here: then I have an isomorphism between $H_n(A \cap B)$ and $H_n(A) \oplus H_n(B)$ because the two tubes in $A \cap B$ are disjoint. ...
7
votes
2answers
934 views

map of arbitrary degree from compact oriented manifold into sphere

This is a question from a qualifying exam. Let $X$ be a compact, oriented $n$-dimensional manifold. Show that for any $k \in \mathbb{Z}$, there exists a continuous map $f: X \to S^n$ of degree $k$. I ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

If $p:E\to B$ is a covering space and $p^{-1}(x)$ is finite for all $x \in B$, show that $E$ is compact and Hausdorff iff $B$ is compact and Hausdorff

I can show that if $E$ is compact and Hausdorff $B$ has the same properties, also I can show that if $B$ is compact and Hausdorff $E$ is Hausdorff, but I have troubles trying to prove that $E$ is also ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
583 views

Eckmann-Hilton and higher homotopy groups

How does the Eckmann-Hilton argument show that higher homotopy groups are commutative? I can easily follow the proof on Wikipedia, but I have no good mental picture of the higher homotopy ...