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

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38
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0answers
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 ...
25
votes
0answers
634 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. ...
13
votes
0answers
98 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
180 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
444 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
196 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
490 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
175 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
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
154 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
530 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
241 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
134 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
400 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?
8
votes
0answers
194 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
193 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
246 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
157 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
686 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
282 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
65 views

Is a compact, simply-connected 3-manifold necessarily $S^3$ with $B^3$'s removed?

Let $M$ be a compact, simply-connected 3-manifold (which is also smooth and connected). Is $M$ diffeomorphic to $S^3$ with a finite number of $B^3$'s removed? This seems like a handy fact, but I ...
7
votes
0answers
79 views

Vector space identity from Chow's “You Could Have Invented Spectral Sequences”

In Chow's You Could Have Invented Spectral Sequences (3rd page, left column) appears the following isomorphism of vector spaces: $$\frac{Z_d}{B_d}\cong \frac{Z_d+C_{d,1}}{B_d+C_{d,1}}\oplus ...
7
votes
0answers
118 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
169 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
138 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
74 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
95 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
103 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
332 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
117 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
144 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
162 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
169 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
123 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
250 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
126 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
151 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
157 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
79 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
48 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
68 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
72 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
66 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
118 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
196 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
186 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
157 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
106 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
156 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
106 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 $M$). ...