Homotopy, stable homotopy, homology and cohomology, homotopical algebra.

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6
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Necessary conditions for cofibrancy in global projective model structure on simplicial presheaves

Consider the global projective model category of simplicial presheaves on some category (the category of smooth manifolds is particularly interesting to me). In Section 9.1 of Dugger's paper “...
46
votes
11answers
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Compelling evidence that two basepoints are better than one

This question is inspired by an answer of Tim Porter. Ronnie Brown pioneered a framework for homotopy theory in which one may consider multiple basepoints. These ideas are accessibly presented in his ...
11
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2answers
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Euler characteristic of a manifold and self-intersection

This is probably quite easy, but how do you show that the Euler characteristic of a manifold M (defined for example as the alternating sum of the dimensions of integral cohomology groups) is equal to ...
51
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6answers
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third stable homotopy group of spheres via geometry?

It is ''well-known'' that the third stable homotopy group of spheres is cyclic of order $24$. It is also ''well-known'' that the quaternionic Hopf map $\nu:S^7 \to S^4$, an $S^3$-bundle, suspends to a ...
9
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1answer
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Kuenneth-formula for group cohomology with nontrivial action on the coefficient

For a trivial action on the coefficient, we have the following Kuenneth formula for group cohomology: $$ H^n(G_1 \times G_2; M) \cong [\oplus_{i= 0}^n H^i(G_1;M) \otimes_M H^{n-i}(G_2;M)] \oplus [\...
12
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6answers
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Giving $Top(X,Y)$ an appropriate topology

I am not sure if its OK to ask this question here. Let $Top$ be the category of topological spaces. Let $X,Y$ be objects in $Top$. Let $F:\mathbb{I}\rightarrow Top(X,Y)$ be a function (I will ...
27
votes
2answers
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The error in Petrovski and Landis' proof of the 16th Hilbert problem

What was the main error in the proof of the second part of the 16th Hilbert problem by Petrovski and Landis? Please see this related post and also the following post. Added : According to their ...
17
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4answers
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Fundamental groups of topological groups.

Let $G$ be a topological group, and $\pi_1(G,e)$ its fundamental group at the identity. If $G$ is the trivial group then $G \cong \pi_1(G,e)$ as abstract groups. My question is: If $G$ is a non-...
16
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7answers
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Whitehead for maps

I made the following claim over at the Secret Blogging Seminar, and now I'm not sure it's true: Let $f: X \to Y$ and $g: X \to Y$ be two maps between finite CW complexes. If f and g induce the same ...
12
votes
1answer
983 views

finite dimensional real division algebras

A celebrated theorem of Milnor and Kervaire asserts that any finite dimensional division algebra over the real numbers has dimension 1,2,4 or 8. This result is established using methods from algebraic ...
85
votes
19answers
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Occurrences of (co)homology in other disciplines and/or nature

I am curious if the setup for (co)homology theory appears outside the realm of pure mathematics. The idea of a family of groups linked by a series of arrows such that the composition of consecutive ...
85
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6answers
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Counterexamples in algebraic topology?

In this thread Books you would like to read (if somebody would just write them...), I expressed my desire for a book with the title "(Counter)examples in Algebraic Topology". My reason for doing so ...
52
votes
9answers
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What are the uses of the homotopy groups of spheres?

Pete Clark threw down the challenge in his comment to my answer on Why the heck are the homotopy groups of the sphere so damn complicated?: Have the homotopy groups of spheres ever been applied to ...
47
votes
8answers
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What is a continuous path?

I would like some help, because I am getting mad trying to answer the following Question: Let $X$ be a topological space, what is a continuous path in $X$? Well, maybe you're already getting ...
43
votes
4answers
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Torsion in homology or fundamental group of subsets of Euclidean 3-space

Here's a problem I've found entertaining. Is it possible to find a subset of 3-dimensional Euclidean space such that its homology groups (integer coefficients) or one of its fundamental groups ...
19
votes
5answers
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Computing homotopies

Oftentimes, in the standard algebraic topology books (May, Switzer, Whithead, for instance), there are tricky little proofs that depend on proving that two maps are homotopic. This is comparable to ...
18
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5answers
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How do you show that $S^{\infty}$ is contractible?

Here I mean the version with all but finitely many components zero.
32
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1answer
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Brown representability for non-connected spaces

In many places (on MO, elsewhere on the Internet, and perhaps even in some textbooks) one finds a statement of the classical Brown representability theorem that looks something like this: If $F$ ...
17
votes
2answers
837 views

Uniqueness of compactification of an end of a manifold

Let $M$ be an $n$-dimensional manifold (smooth or topological). I call $\bar{M}$ a compactification of $M$ if it is an $n$-dimensional compact manifold with boundary $\partial \bar{M}$, an $(n-1)$-...
20
votes
1answer
589 views

What is the group of pointed homotopy classes of maps from $S^3 \times S^3$ to $S^3$?

What is the group of pointed homotopy classes of maps from $S^3 \times S^3$ to $S^3$? The group structure induced by the group structure on the codomain. This question is a followup to Eric's answer ...
68
votes
10answers
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Motivation for algebraic K-theory?

I'm looking for a big-picture treatment of algebraic K-theory and why it's important. I've seen various abstract definitions (Quillen's plus and Q constructions, some spectral constructions like ...
74
votes
7answers
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Homotopy groups of Lie groups

Several times I've heard the claim that any Lie group $G$ has trivial second fundamental group $\pi_2(G)$, but I have never actually come across a proof of this fact. Is there a nice argument, ...
75
votes
6answers
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What properties make $[0,1]$ a good candidate for defining fundamental groups?

The title essentially says it all. Consider the category $\mathfrak{Top}_2$ of triples $(J,e_0,e_1)$ where $J$ is a topological space, and $e_i \in J$. There is an obvious generalization of the ...
45
votes
3answers
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Hirzebruch's motivation of the Todd class

In Prospects in Mathematics (AM-70), Hirzebruch gives a nice discussion of why the formal power series $f(x) = 1 + b_1 x + b_2 x^2 + \dots$ defining the Todd class must be what it is. In particular, ...
26
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4answers
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Mathematically mature way to think about Mayer–Vietoris

This question is short but to the point: what is the "right" abstract framework where Mayer-Vietoris is just a trivial consequence?
47
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6answers
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Cubical vs. simplicial singular homology

Singular homology is usually defined via singular simplices, but Serre in his thesis uses singular cubes, which he claims are better adapted to the study of fibre spaces. This young man (25 years old ...
18
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5answers
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What mathematical treatment is there on the renormalization group flow in a space of Lagrangians?

What mathematical treatment is there on the renormalization group flow in a space of Lagrangians?
37
votes
6answers
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Non-examples of model structures, that fail for subtle/surprising reasons?

An often-cited principle of good mathematical exposition is that a definition should always come with a few examples and a few non-examples to help the learner get an intuition for where the concept's ...
36
votes
2answers
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Are spectra really the same as cohomology theories?

Let $E \to F$ be a morphism of cohomology theories defined on finite CW complexes. Then by Brown representability, $E, F$ are represented by spectra, and the map $E \to F$ comes from a map of spectra. ...
36
votes
3answers
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Spaces with same homotopy and homology groups that are not homotopy equivalent?

A common caution about Whitehead's theorem is that you need the map between the spaces; it's easy to give examples of spaces with isomorphic homotopy groups that are not homotopy equivalent. (See Are ...
23
votes
6answers
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Failure of smoothing theory for topological 4-manifolds

Smoothing theory fails for topological 4-manifolds, in that a smooth structure on a topological 4-manifold $M$ is not equivalent to a vector bundle structure on the tangent microbundle of $M$. Is ...
37
votes
7answers
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What are the open subsets of $\mathbb{R}^n$ that are diffeomorphic to $\mathbb{R}^n$

Hello, I would like to know if there is a known necessary and sufficient property on an open subset of $\mathbb{R}^n$ such that it is diffeomorphic to $\mathbb{R}^n$ : For example : 1) Are all ...
33
votes
20answers
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Generalizations of Planar Graphs

This is a follow up to Harrison's question: why planar graphs are so exceptional. I would like to ask about (and collect answers to) various notions, in graph theory and beyond graph theory (topology; ...
23
votes
4answers
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What is a simplicial commutative ring from the point of view of homotopy theory?

Let $k$ be a field. There are two natural categories to consider: The category of simplicial commutative $k$-algebras. The category of connective $E_\infty$ $k$-algebras (i.e., chain complexes of $...
30
votes
5answers
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Fundamental groups of noncompact surfaces

I got fantastic answers to my previous question (about modern references for the fact that surfaces can be triangulated), so I thought I'd ask a related question. A basic fact about surface topology ...
9
votes
4answers
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Coboundaries and Gluing in Cech Cohomology - Intuition?

I'm trying to develop an intuition for Cech cohomology geometrically, but am currently failing. A lot of people seem to say that the groups $H^n$ measure obstructions to gluing local sections to get ...
29
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4answers
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Why the Dold-Thom theorem?

Dold-Thom Theorem: $$\pi_i(SP(X))\cong\tilde{H}_i(X)$$ It's pretty miraculous, no? I've seen its proof, where you show that the composition of the functors on the left-side satisfies the axioms of a ...
25
votes
2answers
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generalisations of the Seifert-van Kampen Theorem?

I have been reading Jacob Lurie's book "Higher Algebra", version May 8, 2011. One is grateful to him for covering such a lot of ground and for making it all so readily available. My attention was ...
20
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2answers
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Converse to Stokes' Theorem

Does satisfying Stokes' Theorem imply that a form is linear? Let $M$ be an $n$-manifold. A differential $k$-form $\omega \in \Omega^k M$ assigns to each point $x \in M$ a function $\omega_x : \Lambda^...
14
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4answers
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Relationship between the cohomology of a group and the cohomology of its associated Lie algebra.

Let $G$ be a group and let $k$ be a field (characteristic 0 if you want). Let $L$ be the graded Lie ring associated to the lower central series of $G$, that is, $L$, as a graded abelian group is $\...
10
votes
3answers
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When does the tangent bundle of a manifold admit a flat connection?

Let $M$ be a smooth manifold, and let $TM$ denote its tangent bundle. Under what conditions does $TM$ admit a flat connection $\omega$? Edit: Formerly, I asked about a flat connection on the frame ...
19
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3answers
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“Dirty” proof that Eilenberg-MacLane spaces represent cohomology?

The standard approach to proving that $H^n(X; G)$ is represented by $K(G, n)$ seems to be to prove that $\text{Hom}(X, K(G, n))$ defines a cohomology theory and then use Eilenberg-Steenrod uniqueness. ...
16
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5answers
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Maps inducing zero on homotopy groups but are not null-homotopic

Today my fellow grad student asked me a question, given a map f from X to Y, assume $f_*(\pi_i(X))=0$ in Y, when is f null-homotopic? I search the literature a little bit, D.W.Kahn http://...
18
votes
2answers
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(co)homology of symmetric groups

Let $S_n=\{\text{bijections }[n]\to[n]\}$ be the n-th symmetric group. Its (co)homology will be understood with trivial action. What are the $\mathbb{Z}$-modules $H_k(S_n;\mathbb{Z})$? Using GAP, we ...
12
votes
2answers
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Combinatorics of the Stasheff polytopes

First a little background for those unaware. The Stasheff polytopes (or associahedra) are certain convex polytopes that arise in the theory of $A_\infty$-algebras. There is one polytope for each $n\...
22
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0answers
491 views

Finding the octonionic analog of the K3 surface, via (almost) hyperkahler geometry?

The K3 manifold is an amazing object in mathematics which plays an important role in several fields ranging from the study of smooth 4-manifolds to algebraic geometry to differential geometry and ...
14
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3answers
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When are (finite) simplicial complexes (smooth) manifolds?

Hi, is there an algorithm that determines if a given simplicial complex is a.) a manifold b.) a smooth manifold c.) homotopy equivalent to a manifold d.) a real algebraic variety ?
30
votes
5answers
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Does $\mathbb C\mathbb P^\infty$ have a group structure?

Does $\mathbb C\mathbb P^\infty$ have a (commutative) group structure? More specifically, is it homeomorphic to $FS^2$, (the connected component of) the free commutative group on $S^2$? $\mathbb C\...
24
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2answers
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What are the “correct” conventions for defining Clifford algebras?

I have three related questions about conventions for defining Clifford algebras. 1) Let $(V, q)$ be a quadratic vector space. Should the Clifford algebra $\text{Cliff}(V, q)$ have defining ...
15
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3answers
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Is there Domain Invariance for Alexandrov spaces?

A colleague asked me this question recently. Every injective continuous map between manifolds of the same (finite) dimension is open - this is Brouwer's Domain Invariance Theorem. Is the same true for ...