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

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53
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1k 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 ...
28
votes
0answers
778 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
125 views

Why would I define Alexander–Spanier cohomology?

I think I can motivate the definitions of simplicial, singular, de Rham, Čech, and sheaf (co)homology, more or less. I might want to understand bordism, and start by trying to understand ...
13
votes
0answers
195 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
553 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
181 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. ...
11
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0answers
463 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
218 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 $\pi\colon \mathbb{CP^n}\rightarrow \mathbb{CP^n/CP^k}$ induces a monomorphism $\pi^*\colon H^*(\mathbb{CP^n/CP^k},\mathbb Z)\rightarrow ...
10
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 ...
9
votes
0answers
167 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
580 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
256 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
473 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?
9
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0answers
768 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
141 views

Quotient Groups and Covering Spaces in Painting Hanging

Consider the $1$-out-of-$n$ painting hanging problem: Given $n$ nails in a wall, how can we hang a painting such that upon removal of any nail, it falls. This has a nice interpretation as a problem in ...
8
votes
0answers
201 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
204 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
259 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
164 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
287 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
77 views

How to prove this is a fibre bundle?

Let $M^{2n}$ be $2n$ dimensional toric manifold over a simple polytope $P^n$. Let $\pi : M^{2n} \longrightarrow P^n$ be the orbit map of the torus action. Let $F^k$ be a $k$ dimensional face of $P^n$. ...
7
votes
0answers
149 views

Fundamental class of the connected sum of two closed orientable manifolds

I need to find a representation of $ [M \mathbin\sharp N] \in H_n(M \mathbin\sharp N) $ in terms of the fundamental classes $[M]$ and $[N]$. My idea is that $$ [M \mathbin\sharp N] = [M]+[N]$$ ...
7
votes
0answers
169 views

Fundamental group of the complement homogeneous variety in $\mathbb{C}P^{2}$

Let $f,g:\mathbb{C}^3\to \mathbb{C}$ are two irreducible homogeneous polynomials. If there is a homeomorphism $h:\mathbb{C}^3\to \mathbb{C}^3$ such that $h(X)=Y$ and $h(0)=0$, where $X=f^{-1}(0)$ and ...
7
votes
0answers
144 views

Need help on how to compute the fundamental group of a space.

I'm studying for an oral qualifying exam and going through various past exams I find on the interwebs, including this mock exam from the University of Bath. One of the questions seems like it should ...
7
votes
0answers
172 views

Why the Steinberg idempotent is idempotent?

Consider the group $GL_n(\mathbb{F}_p)$. We have the following subgroups : -$\Sigma_n$ the symmetric group (permutation matrices) -$B_n$ the Borel subgroup (upper triangular matrices) -$U_n$ the ...
7
votes
0answers
146 views

Why use the Lefschetz Zeta function?

Given a compact, triangulable space $X$ and a continuous function $f: X\rightarrow X$, then we define the Lefschetz number $\Lambda_{f}$ by $$\Lambda_{f} = \sum_{k\geq0}(-1)^{k}Tr(f_{\ast}\vert ...
7
votes
0answers
87 views

Bousfield–Kan spectral sequence for homotopy colimits

Let $\mathcal{J}$ be a small category and let $X : \mathcal{J} \to \mathbf{sSet}$ be a diagram. We define its homotopy colimit $\newcommand{\hocolim}{\mathop{\mathrm{ho}{\varinjlim}}}\hocolim X$ ...
7
votes
0answers
98 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
107 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
338 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
124 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
155 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
171 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
177 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
124 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
258 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
101 views

Why universal G-bundles are contractible?

Let $G$ be a nice topological group and $E\to B$ a universal $G$-bundle. I'm interested in a proof of contractibility of $E$ using only the universal property of it. I also know that if there is a ...
6
votes
0answers
168 views

Hermitian Matrices with At Most Pair-wise Eigenvalue Degeneracy

Let $n\in2\mathbb{N}$ be given. Let $H\in Mat_{n\times n}(\mathbb{C})$ be a Hermitian traceless matrix such that its eigenvalues have at most pairwise degeneracy. (That is, if the eigenvalues are ...
6
votes
0answers
130 views

Embedding of two-dimensional CW complexes which induces a zero homomorphism on second homotopy groups

I am interested in the following question. How to find three two-dimensional CW complexes $K_1, K_2, K_3$ with non-trivial $\pi_2$ and injective embeddings $f:K_1\rightarrow K_2, g:K_2\rightarrow ...
6
votes
0answers
154 views

Andre-Quillen Homology of the cuspidal curve $k[x,y]/(x^2 - y^3)$

I was wondering if I am in the right track here. Let $A := k[x,y]/(x^2 - y^3)$, the cuspidal curve. Obviously this isn't etale or smooth over $k$ so its cotangent complex is not contractible. Now, I ...
6
votes
0answers
163 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
89 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, ...
6
votes
0answers
50 views

Surprising constructions in algebraic topology that facilitate one's understanding of underlying theory

I am recently come into the world of algebraic topology and find it a fascinating place with lots of beautiful constructions that challenge one's intuition. Also, understanding these constructions are ...
6
votes
0answers
72 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
73 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
67 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
134 views

Injective Resolutions in $\mathfrak{Ab}(X)$

Using right derived functors of the global sections functor, I'd like to calculate the first cohomology group of the constant sheaf $\mathbf{Z}$ on $S^1$ with its usual topology, ...
6
votes
0answers
202 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
191 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
163 views

Inverse functor in proof of Dold Kan Correspondence

I´m looking at the proof of the Dold-Kan correspondence. Let $SA$ be the category of simplicial objects in an abelian category $A$ and $CH_{\ge0}(A) $ the category of non-negative chain complexes in ...