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

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22
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0answers
532 views

Is there a homology theory that counts connected components of a space?

It is well-known that the generators of the zeroth singular homology group $H_0(X)$ of a space $X$ correspond to the path components of $X$. I have recently learned that for Čech homology the ...
14
votes
0answers
265 views

In $n>5$, topology = algebra

During the study of the surgery theory I faced following sentence: Surgery theory works best for $n > 5$, when "topology = algebra". I don't know what is the meaning of topology=algebra. ...
14
votes
0answers
352 views

Who was Hermann Künneth?

Question as in the title: Who was Hermann Künneth? Where can I find some biographical information beyond what is available on Wikipedia? The well-known Künneth formula, for example in the form of ...
10
votes
0answers
156 views

A short question on shriek maps

This should be easy but I don't quite see it. Let $M^m, N^n, X^d$ be compact, connected and oriented smooth manifolds. Let also $f:M\rightarrow X$ and $g:N\rightarrow X$ be transverse smooth maps. ...
10
votes
0answers
374 views

A Way to make the following “proof” of the Hairy Ball Theorem rigorous?

I plan on giving a talk soon to undergraduates and I'd like to talk about the hairy ball theorem during the talk. I was trying to think of some sort of visually intuitive proof of this fact. (I ...
9
votes
0answers
119 views

Why is the Mazur swindle named so?

Often results or techniques in mathematics are called 'theorems'. Sometimes they are called 'tricks'. In no other context have I seen a result called a 'swindle'. Is there a historical reason for this ...
9
votes
0answers
273 views

Mapping cylinder is a CW complex

If you read the question entirely, it is not a duplicate. The first time I asked the question, I already gave the link to the similar question and explained why the answer is not satisfying. If you ...
8
votes
0answers
151 views

Am I reading Bott - Tu right?

Summary: I'm finding Bott - Tu to be too brief and terse. I constantly have to look elsewhere to fill in details. This is not time-efficient. Am I missing something? If not - what other books do ...
8
votes
0answers
94 views

Is there anything to be learned from the spectrum of a cohomology ring?

Given some topological space, $X$, is there any benefit to studying $Spec(H^*(X))$, or is everything we care about already available "in the algebra"? As $H^*$ is a graded ring, does this question ...
8
votes
0answers
168 views

De Rham Cohomology of $M \times \mathbb{S}^1$

Let $M$ be a closed (compact, without boundary) $m$-dimensional manifold. I want to prove that $H^{k+1}(M \times \mathbb{S}^1) = H^k(M) \oplus H^{k+1}(M)$. ($H^k$ is the $k$-th De Rham cohomology ...
8
votes
0answers
192 views

When are maps between topological manifolds automatically surjective?

Take an injective (continuous) map $T:\mathbb{S}_1\to\mathbb{S}_1$. It's an obvious fact (though I can only prove it with nontrivial facts about homotopy) that $T$ is automatically surjective. I have ...
8
votes
0answers
242 views

The status of $\mathbb{R}$ in homotopy theory.

The definition of a path as a continuous map $I \rightarrow X$ is a completely natural one. But this raises two questions in my mind. First, what properties of the interval give rise to useful ...
7
votes
0answers
74 views

Definition of bordism - gluing manifolds with structure

In general, when you have a "cobordism category" (as defined in Stong's Notes on Cobordism Theory) you define two objects $M,N$ to be bordant when there exist $U,V$ such that $M \amalg \partial U ...
7
votes
0answers
75 views

Cohomology with coefficients in a commutative ring, how are the chain groups defined?

I have been studying a course in algebraic topology that follows Hatcher's textbook on the subject. I have some queries as to how certain things are defined. The first part of the text defines the ...
7
votes
0answers
296 views

Trying to Understand Lefschetz Pencils

I'm reading on Lefschetz pencils, and I'm trying to understand condition ii) better, tho I would appreciate insights on condition i), and in general. A Lefschetz pencil on a $4$-manifold $X$ is a ...
7
votes
0answers
291 views

When is a fibration a fiber bundle?

In this question I am using Wiki's definitions for fibration and fiber bundle. I want to be general in asking my question, but I am mostly interested in smooth compact manifolds and smooth fibrations ...
7
votes
0answers
174 views

How did Chern pictured the first Chern number?

The first Chern number $\cal C$ is known to be related to various physical objects. Gauge fields are known as connections of some principle bundles. In particular, principle $U(1)$ bundle is said to ...
7
votes
0answers
143 views

Lemma 6.3 of Milnor's Lectures on the h-cobordism theorem

Milnor's statement is: "Let $M^r$ and $N^s$ be sub-manifolds of $V^{r+s}$ which are all smooth, compact, oriented and without boundary. If $p$ is a point of $M^r$ contained in an $r$-cell $U$, ...
7
votes
0answers
104 views

Continuous choice of basis for subspaces

Consider the flag variety (or flag manifold, depending on who you are) $V=\mathrm {Fl} (3,\mathbb C)$ of complete flags of subspaces of $\mathbb C^3$. That is, an element of M is a tuple (L , P) ...
7
votes
0answers
135 views

How to prove that my sum coincides with a sequence on the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences?

I have a topological space $X$ whose reduced $\bmod 2$ Betti numbers (that is to say, the dimension of the $\bmod 2$ reduced homology) I computed to be $$\small \dim \tilde{H}_t(X; {\mathbb{Z}}_2) = ...
7
votes
0answers
476 views

Cohomology ring of Grassmannians

I'm reading a paper called An Additive Basis for the Cohomology of Real Grassmannians, which begins by making the following claim (paraphrasing): Let $w=1+w_1+ \ldots + w_m$ be the total ...
7
votes
0answers
236 views

Weak Bott periodicity vs. strong Bott periodicity

Bruno Harris' proof (or I guess also Bott's original proof) of Bott periodicity (see here for instance) shows that there is a homotopy equivalence $h\colon\mathbb{Z}\times BU \rightarrow \Omega^2 ...
6
votes
0answers
85 views

Show $\mathbb{CP^2/CP^1}$ is not a retract of $\mathbb{CP^4/CP^1}$.

So I have shown that the natural projection $\pi: \mathbb{CP^n}\rightarrow \mathbb{CP^n/CP^k}$ induces a monomorphism $\pi^*:H^*(\mathbb{CP^n/CP^k},\mathbb Z)\rightarrow H^*(\mathbb{CP^n},\mathbb Z) ...
6
votes
0answers
63 views

Origins of the name “Q” and “R” for cofibrant and fibrant replacement functors.

In a model category $\mathscr M$ (in the modern sense, i.e. closed and with functorial factorizations), there is a notion of fibrant and cofibrant replacement functors. Specifically, for any object ...
6
votes
0answers
175 views

Can a division algebra over $\mathbb{R}^3$ be used to construct a counterexample to the hairy ball theorem?

Suppose (for contradiction) that there is a (if necessary associative and/or normed) division algebra over $\mathbb{R}^3$. Is there a simple way to use this to construct a nonvanishing continuous ...
6
votes
0answers
68 views

A theorem of Kan regarding fibrant replacement

Recall that there is an adjunction $$\mathrm{Sd} \dashv \mathrm{Ex} : \mathbf{sSet} \to \mathbf{sSet}$$ where $\mathrm{Sd} (\Delta^n)$ is the first barycentric subdivision of $\Delta^n$. There is a ...
6
votes
0answers
56 views

An h-cobordism problem

Im trying to understand the proof of Lemma 2.3 of Milnor and Kervaire: Groups of homotopy spheres I. Suppose we have a simply connected manifold $M$ which bounds a contractible manifold $W'$. Then ...
6
votes
0answers
60 views

Automorphism on a kahlerian variety which acts as -id on $H^2(X,\mathbb{Z})$

I've read this proposition: "there is no automorphism (biholomorphic map) of a Kahlerian complex manifold $X$ which acts on $H^2(X,\mathbb{Z})$ as $-$identity" so I tried to prove this statement and ...
6
votes
0answers
116 views

Computing the homology class of a curve using Mayer-Vietoris

I am trying to compute the homology classes of various curves on a $6$-punctured torus $X$. I can easily see that the homology group is isomorphic to $\mathbb Z^7$ by letting $X=A\cup B$ where $A$ is ...
6
votes
0answers
132 views

Existence of a map in a Hilbert space

Let $H$ be an infinite-dimensional Hilbert space, $B$ be its unit ball: $B=\{x\in H: \, \|x\|\leq 1\}$. Does there exist a continuous map $f:H\to H$ such that $f(f(x))=x$ $\forall x\in H$, $f$ has no ...
6
votes
0answers
171 views

Equivalence of two definitions of Whitehead Torsion

In their book Lecture Notes in Algebraic Topology, Davis and Kirk define the torsion of an acyclic chain complex $C$ in the following way: Since $C$ is acyclic, there exists a simple chain complexes ...
6
votes
0answers
152 views

How to classify principal bundles over a 2 dimensional surface?

I just want to how much people know about this at the moment? I thought this is elementary and may be of execrise level, but a quick google search showed serious papers written on this subject (like ...
6
votes
0answers
143 views

Poincaré duality and intersection

Let's take $X$ and $Y$ K3 surfaces and $Z\subset X\times Y$ an algebraic cycle of dimension 2. I know that the Poincarè dual of $Z$, namely $[Z]$, is in $H^4(X\times Y,\mathbb{Z})$ and by Kunneth ...
6
votes
0answers
97 views

Unicoherence of non-euclidean spaces

My question concerns the notion of unicoherence, which is a property that a topological space may or may not have. The definition (from Wikipedia) is: "A topological space $X$ is said to be ...
6
votes
0answers
128 views

Normal subgroups of the fundamental group of a non-orientable surface.

Let $N^2_g$ be a non-orientable closed genus $g\geq 2$ surface. Is there a way to explicitly list the normal subgroups of $\pi_1(N^2_g)$ in terms of generators and relations? I am interested in ...
6
votes
0answers
99 views

Identification of integration on smooth chains with ordinary integration

Let $M$ be a smooth oriented $n$-dimensional manifold and denote by $A \in H_n(M;\mathbb{Z})$ the fundamental class of $M$ (a generator of singular homology consistent with the orientation of $M$). ...
6
votes
0answers
158 views

Riemann-Hurwitz Formula Using Homology

Does someone know of any good reference for a proof of the Riemann-Hurwitz Formula (of Riemann Surfaces) that uses Spectral-Sequences and Homology ? Thanks in advance ! [ I think I know how to ...
6
votes
0answers
306 views

Mayer-Vietoris implies Excision

Assume $H_n$ is a covariant homotopy functor on the category of locally compact Hausdorff spaces which has the Mayer-Vietoris property: whenever $X$ is the union of two closed subspaces $A$ and $B$ ...
6
votes
0answers
138 views

Finding the universal cover of a matrix group

Consider the group $G = \left\{\begin{pmatrix} a & b\\ 0 & 1\end{pmatrix}: a \in \mathbb{C}^{\times}, b \in \mathbb{C}\right\} \subset GL(2, \mathbb{C})$. How does one find the universal cover ...
6
votes
0answers
257 views

Fixed Points of a Reflection

This question is about problem 2.C.5 from Allen Hatcher's Topology. The statement of the problem is as follows: Let $M$ be a closed orientable surface embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$ in such a way that ...
6
votes
0answers
348 views

Homotopy extension property vs. good pairs

I'm taking a course that uses the book "algebraic topology" by Allen Hatcher. I this book there are two different ways in which a pair (X,A) of a topological space X and a subspace A can be nice: They ...
6
votes
0answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
39 views

How to kill homotopy groups using framed cobordism

Let $M$ be an orientable manifold (with or without boundary), $N$ a framed submanifold in the interior of $M$ and assume (if necessary) that $\dim N<(\dim M)/2$. If some low-dimensional homotopy ...
5
votes
0answers
127 views

Which manifolds are zero sets of $\mathbb R^n$ valued maps

If $M$ is a smooth manifold, then any framed submanifold $N$ is the preimage $f^{-1}(y) $ for a smooth sphere-valued map $f$ transversal to $y$, with the framing of the normal bundle induced by $f$. ...
5
votes
0answers
55 views

There does not exist a map $S^2\times S^2\to \mathbb{CP}^2$ with odd degree.

The following is a problem from a topology qualifying exam I am studying for: Show there does not exist a map $S^2\times S^2\to \mathbb{CP}^2$ with odd degree. I think I am doing something wrong, ...
5
votes
0answers
180 views

Lefschetz duality for non-compact relative manifolds

I'd like to use the formulation of Lefschetz duality stated here, but I can't seem to find a reference for this particular version of it, and it doesn't seem quite right to me. The exact statement in ...
5
votes
0answers
47 views

Homotopy type vs. weak homotopy type, and repercussions for EG

This is another basic question. I'm aware that weak homotopy equivalence is strictly weaker than homotopy equivalence. For one thing, there is a weak homotopy equivalence from $S^1$ to a four-point ...
5
votes
0answers
60 views

Serre Fibration long exact sequence

I want to know if there exists something like the long exact sequence on the following case: Let $p : E\rightarrow B$ a continuous surjective map such that there exists an open dense subset $U$ of ...
5
votes
0answers
93 views

Cohomology of covering space

Let $B$ be a base space and $E$ be a covering space of $B$ what is the relation between $H^2(B,\mathbb{Z})$ and $H^2(E,\mathbb{Z})$.?
5
votes
0answers
118 views

Characterising singular homology among a more general class of cosimplicial spaces

Is there a way to characterise (up to isomorphism) the simplicial spaces $F: \Delta \to \underline{\text{Top}}$ with $F( \underline{n}) \subset \mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ compact and $F(\underline{0})$ a ...