3
votes
2answers
77 views

The semidirect product as a deformation of the direct product

The way I think of the semidirect product is as a "deformation" of the direct product. Is there a way of making this intuition precise? Perhaps using some certain (co-) homology theory of groups?
37
votes
8answers
2k views

Intuitive meaning of Exact Sequence

I'm currently learning about exact sequences in grad sch Algebra I course, but I really can't get the intuitive picture of the concept and why it is important at all. Can anyone explain them for me? ...
28
votes
3answers
936 views

Intuition behind Snake Lemma

I've been struggling with this for some time. I can prove the Snake Lemma, but I don't really “understand” it. By that I mean if no one told me Snake Lemma existed, I would not even ...
9
votes
2answers
595 views

Motivation behind the ingredients of First Cohomology group $H^1$

I started reading the Cohomology theory of groups. But I am not able to get any intuition or motivation behind the following : It is concerned with the formal definitions of crossed and principal ...
15
votes
2answers
480 views

Can we think of a chain homotopy as a homotopy?

I'm taking a course in algebraic topology, which includes an introduction to (simplicial) homology, and I'm looking for a bit of intuition regarding chain homotopies. The definitions I'm using are: ...
13
votes
1answer
775 views

Intuition behind homology with general coefficients

We just went over homology with general coefficients in topology and did some of the usual examples ($\mathbb{Z}_2$ for projective space and manifolds being the big examples) which led me to wonder ...
39
votes
7answers
1k views

Algebraic Intuition for Homological Algebra and Applications to More Elementary Algebra

I am taking a course next term in homological algebra (using Weibel's classic text) and am having a hard time seeing some of the big picture of the idea behind homological algebra. Now, this sort of ...
6
votes
1answer
555 views

Signs in the tensor product and internal hom of chain complexes

Let $R$ be a commutative ring and $\text{Ch}(R)$ the category of chain complexes of $R$-modules. $\text{Ch}(R)$ is first of all an abelian category, but it can also be equipped with the structure of a ...