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

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82
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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 ...
33
votes
0answers
386 views

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

This question has now been crossposted to MathOverflow, in the hopes that it reaches a larger audience there. $\Bbb{CP}^{2n+1} \mathbin{\#} \Bbb{CP}^{2n+1}$ supports a complex structure: ...
18
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0answers
568 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 ...
16
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0answers
259 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 ...
15
votes
0answers
777 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 ...
13
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152 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 ...
13
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0answers
201 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
256 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 ...
11
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0answers
201 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
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790 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
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0answers
238 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 ...
11
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0answers
1k 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 ...
10
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0answers
181 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
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0answers
209 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
141 views

Is every topological group the topological fundamental group of an space?

The fundamental group $\pi_{1}(X)$ of a path connected topological space $X$ is the image of $Hom(S^{1},X)$. So the fundamental group can be topologized with quotient topology where ...
9
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0answers
153 views

Codimension $1$ Embedding into $\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$

I am trying to determine which homotopy types can be realized by $n$-manifolds that have codimension one embeddings into $\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$. Suppose I have $X^n \subset \mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ and an ...
9
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0answers
110 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 ...
9
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161 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
145 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
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0answers
155 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
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0answers
110 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
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198 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 $$ [M \mathbin\sharp N] = [M]+[N]$$ ...
9
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215 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
179 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 ...
9
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0answers
313 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
224 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
313 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
208 views

Why is Lemma 6.3 of Milnor's Lectures on the h-cobordism Theorem True?

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 ...
9
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173 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
143 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 $\newcommand{\hocolim}{\mathop{\mathrm{ho}{\varinjlim}}}\hocolim X$ ...
8
votes
0answers
304 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
117 views

cohomology ring of a configuration space

Consider the following configuration space of triples of points. $C = \left\lbrace (z_1,z_2,z_3) \in (\mathbb C^*)^3, z_1 \ne z_2, z_1 \ne z_3, z_2 \ne z_3\right\rbrace - \left\lbrace (z_1,z_2,z_3) ...
7
votes
0answers
122 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
150 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
186 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
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0answers
143 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
192 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
144 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
69 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 $\dim N<(\dim M)/2$. 1. If some low-dimensional ...
7
votes
0answers
120 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
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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
365 views

Trying to Understand Lefschetz Pencils

I'm reading on Lefschetz pencils, and I'm trying to understand the following condition ii) better, although I would appreciate insights on condition i), and in general. A Lefschetz pencil on a ...
7
votes
0answers
163 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
84 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
72 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
143 views

Homological definition of orientation at a boundary point?

For a topological manifold $M^m$, an orientation at a point $x \in M$ can be defined as a choice of generator for $H_m (M, M-x)$. For a topological manifold with boundary this definition still makes ...
7
votes
0answers
192 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
527 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, $S^3\setminus B$ where $B$ is the Borromean rings) I know there should be three generators, but ...
7
votes
0answers
135 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
282 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 ...