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

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25
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0answers
654 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 ...
21
votes
0answers
411 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. ...
19
votes
0answers
403 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
161 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
396 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
128 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
352 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
2k views

deformation retract and strong deformation retract

I am trying to gain some intuition about retracts, deformation retracts and strong deformation retracts (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deformation_retract for definitions). We have that any strong ...
8
votes
0answers
102 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
190 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
374 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
162 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
181 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
206 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
149 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) = ...
8
votes
0answers
264 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
88 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
81 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
85 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
85 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
313 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
103 views

Kunneth formula on product of spheres

Kunneth formula is $$ H^\ast (S^K;{\bf Z})\otimes_{{\bf Z}} H^\ast (S^M;{\bf Z}) =H^\ast (S^K\times S^M;{\bf Z}) =\wedge_{\bf Z} [a,b]$$ where $K=2k+1<M=2m+1$, $H^\ast (S^K;{\bf Z}) = ...
7
votes
0answers
131 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
147 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
160 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
111 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
546 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
239 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
0answers
111 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
142 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 $f$. ...
6
votes
0answers
53 views

Steenrod Algebra as automorphisms of additive group

Is there a direct way to see that the subalgebra of the mod-$p$ Steenrod algebra ${\mathcal A}_p$ generated by the reduced powers is isomorphic to the dual of the Hopf algebra ${\mathcal ...
6
votes
0answers
84 views

Prove $\mathbb{R}^3$ is not the product of two identical topological spaces

I can only prove this for $\mathbb{R}$: If $\mathbb{R}\cong T\times T$, then $T$ embeds in $\mathbb{R}$ as a closed subspace (e.g. $T\times pt$). Since $\mathbb{R}$ is connected, so is $T$. So $T$ ...
6
votes
0answers
67 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
61 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
271 views

Homology of Compact Manifolds

Perhaps this is obvious and I am overlooking something, but why are the homology groups of compact manifolds finitely generated?
6
votes
0answers
187 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
169 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
102 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
141 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
103 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
163 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
319 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
143 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
308 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
374 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
160 views

Is it ever true that $\Omega^n(\bigvee_I X)\simeq\bigvee_I\Omega^n X$?

I'm curious about the following: Given a countable index set $I$, is it ever true that $\Omega^n(\bigvee_I X)\simeq\bigvee_I\Omega^n X$? What would we have to assume about $X$ (if possible) to make it ...
5
votes
0answers
189 views

Morse theory Vs degree theory

I have this paragraph from K.C. Chang Infinite dimensional Morse theory In comparison with degree theory, which has proved very useful in nonlinear analysis in proving existence and in ...
5
votes
0answers
104 views

Surgery presentations and gluing

It is well known that every closed oriented 3dimensional manifold can be obtained from a framed link in $S^3$. Let $M$ and $N$ be topological 3-manifolds with boundary such that boundaries $\partial ...
5
votes
0answers
136 views

Learning roadmap to Topological Quantum Field Theories from a mathematics perspective

I want to learn TQFT's and am looking for review articles or books. My mathematics knowledge is limited to one year of graduate course in Algebra (Groups,Rings,Fields,Categories, Modules and ...