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

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72
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0answers
2k 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 ...
48
votes
0answers
1k 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. ...
30
votes
0answers
320 views

Does $\Bbb{CP}^{2n} \# \Bbb{CP}^{2n}$ ever support an almost complex structure?

This question has now been crossposted to MathOverflow, in the hopes that it reaches a larger audience there. $\Bbb{CP}^{2n+1} \# \Bbb{CP}^{2n+1}$ supports a complex structure: $\Bbb{CP}^{2n+1}$ has ...
13
votes
0answers
227 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 ...
13
votes
0answers
696 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 ...
12
votes
0answers
192 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. ...
12
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0answers
500 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
127 views

Getting the most general form of Mayer-Vietoris from the axioms of homology

I'd like to derive the most general form of the Mayer-Vietoris sequence from the Eilenberg-Steenrod axioms for homology (in particular: I do not want to use the definition of $H_\ast(X)$ in terms of ...
11
votes
0answers
191 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
716 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
229 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
171 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
246 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
953 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
136 views

Explicit examples of (co)limit arguments in other fields

Over the past weeks, I have noticed that high level lecture notes in subjects like algebraic geometry, algebra, and algebraic topology often sketch proofs in the following form: Proof sketch ...
9
votes
0answers
149 views

Algebraic methods to compute the cohomology ring of the complex topology of a variety?

Suppose $V$ is an affine (resp. projective) subvariety of the affine (resp. projective) space $\mathbb A_\mathbb C^n$ (resp. $\mathbb P_\mathbb C^n$) with vanishing ideal $I\subseteq\mathbb ...
9
votes
0answers
103 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 $P^n$. ...
9
votes
0answers
301 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
75 views

Proving the Leray-Hirsch theorem using the Serre spectral sequence

Let$$F \overset{i}{\to} X \overset{p}{\to} B$$be a fibration with $B$ path-connected. The Leray-Hirsch theorem, proved in §4.D of Hatcher's Algebraic Topology without using spectral sequences, asserts ...
8
votes
0answers
132 views

Prerequisites for studying Perelman's proof of the Geometrization Conjecture

I want to set a course toward understanding Perelman's proof of the Geometrization Conjecture. I realize this will be a lengthy undertaking, but hopefully only on the order of one to two years. I am ...
8
votes
0answers
181 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 $$ [M \mathbin\sharp N] = [M]+[N]$$ ...
8
votes
0answers
171 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
185 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
219 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
297 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
197 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 $U$, ...
8
votes
0answers
172 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
301 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
106 views

Open questions in Topological K-Theory

I am interested in knowing about current research in the Topological K-Theory, especially its interactions with String Theory. About one and a half decade back, there were some papers by Physicists ...
7
votes
0answers
140 views

Galois cohomologies of an elliptic curve

I am studying basic theory of elliptic curves. I encountered Galois cohomology. But two introductory textbooks I read used only $H^0$ and $H^1$. I am curious why higher cohomologies did not appear. I ...
7
votes
0answers
184 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
180 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
142 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
185 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
126 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
128 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
115 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, ...
7
votes
0answers
117 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
350 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
151 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
181 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
459 views

Fundamental group of the complement of Borromean rings

I got a homework asking me to show the fundamental group of the complement of the Borromean rings (say, $R^3/B$) I know there should be three generators, but I had a hard time to find the relations; I ...
7
votes
0answers
132 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
273 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
336 views

Steenrod Algebra - Converting between Milnor to Serre-Cartan basis'

I have been studying the mod 2 Steenrod Algebra (denoted $\mathcal{A}$), using Mosher & Tangora. We have the Serre-Cartan (or Adem basis): Let $I = \{i_1,i_2,\ldots,i_n\}$ be a sequence of ...
6
votes
0answers
49 views

Constructing $\mathbb{P^n}$ “bundle” with different $n$

Can we find a complex/smooth manifold and map $f\colon X\to\mathbb{C}^3$ such that it is a $\mathbb{P}_\mathbb{C}^m$ bundle over linear subspace $\mathbb{C}^1$ and $\mathbb{P}_\mathbb{C}^n$ bundle ...
6
votes
0answers
83 views

Is there an irreducible projective hypersurface such that its complement has zero Euler characteristic?

We know that, if $f=X_0X_1...X_n \in \mathbb{C}[X_0,...,X_n]$ and $Z(f)\subset \mathbb{CP}^n$, then the Euler characteristic of its complement is zero, i.e. $$ \chi(\mathbb{CP}^n\setminus Z(f))=0. $$ ...
6
votes
0answers
82 views

Algebraic topology needed for knot theory

Both Rolfsens Knots and Links and Lickorish knot theory require some knowledge of algebraic topology, what is a resource that covers the bare minimum I need to get through either of these? I am not ...
6
votes
0answers
97 views

Does a group homomorphism up to homotopy induce a map between classifying spaces?

Let $H$ and $G$ be topological groups and denote by $BH$ and $BG$ their classifying spaces. If $$f\colon H\rightarrow G$$ is a continuous group homomorphism, we get an induced map of spaces ...
6
votes
0answers
140 views

When should one learn about $(\infty,1)$-categories?

I've been doing a lot of reading on homotopy theory. I'm very drawn to this subject as it seems to unify a lot of topology under simple principles. The problem seems to be that the deeper I go the ...