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

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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 ...
14
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3answers
2k views

finite generated group realized as fundamental group of manifolds

This is discussed in the standard textbooks on algebraic topology. Pick a presentation of the group $G = \langle g_1,g_2,...,g_n|r_1,r_2,...r_m \rangle$ where $g_i$ are generators and $r_j$ are ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

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 ...
73
votes
6answers
4k views

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 ...
44
votes
8answers
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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 ...
27
votes
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 ...
16
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6answers
5k views

How do you show that $S^{\infty}$ is contractible?

Here I mean the version with all but finitely many components zero.
25
votes
1answer
839 views

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 $F$ ...
59
votes
10answers
10k views

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 ...
69
votes
17answers
6k views

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 ...
52
votes
7answers
6k views

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, ...
43
votes
8answers
4k views

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 ...
32
votes
11answers
3k views

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 ...
29
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; ...
15
votes
2answers
874 views

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 : ...
27
votes
4answers
1k views

Integral cohomology (stable) operations

There have been a couple questions on MO, and elsewhere, that have made me curious about integral or rational cohomology operations. I feel pretty familiar with the classical Steenrod algebra and its ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ?
15
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Smooth classifying spaces?

Take G to be a group. I care about discrete groups, but the answer in general would be welcome too. There are the various ways to construct the classifying space of G, bar construction, cellular ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Points on a sphere

Wonder whether you know where the following pearl of Topology first appeared: Prove that at any instant of time you can find three isothermal points on the surface of the Earth that correspond to ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I think about delooping?

When talking about the Eilenberg-Maclane space $K(G,n)$, we usually restrict our attention to the situation where $G$ is abelian. In that case, we get $\Omega K(G,n)=K(G,n-1)$, so we can call ...
6
votes
1answer
837 views

Homotopy pullbacks of simplicial spaces, and Bousfield-Friedlander

Let $X_\bullet \longrightarrow Y_\bullet \longleftarrow Z_\bullet$ be a diagram of simplicial spaces (=bisimplicial sets, if you like). On p. 14-9 of these notes there is an example which shows that ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Infinity-categories vs Kan complexes

Hi all, It is known (cf. Lurie's book "Higher Topos Theory", for instance) that higher ($\infty$-) category, in particular topological higher ($\infty$-) groupoids are "better" defined as weak Kan ...
4
votes
2answers
598 views

Connections between Standard, Hodge and Tate conjectures on algebraic cycles?

What implications would a solution of the Standard Conjectures have on the Hodge and Tate Conjectures and reverse?
12
votes
1answer
747 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
465 views

Relations between Stiefel-Whitney classes

I need to know all relations between Stiefel-Whitney classes for closed manifolds of dimensions 3 and 4. Unfortunately, I found the literature on the subject quite confusing. The answer for all ...
9
votes
1answer
401 views

Sheaves on Contractible Analytic Spaces

Let $(X,\mathcal{O}_X)$ be a contractible complex analytic space. Suppose that $\mathcal{F}$ is a coherent sheaf of $\mathcal{O}_X$-modules. Can we invoke the fact that $X$ is contractible to ...
5
votes
1answer
682 views

A problem on infinite dimensional metric space

Let $(X_{n},d_{n})_{n \in \mathbb{N}}$ be a sequence of complete geodesic metric spaces such that: $X_{n}$ is a regular$^1$ CW-complex of constant local dimension$^3$ $n$, it is of finite ...
16
votes
1answer
833 views

For which varieties is the natural map from the Chow ring to integral cohomology an isomorphism?

My apologies if this question is too naive. Let $X$ be a smooth projective complex variety. There is a natural map $A^{\bullet}(X) \to H^{2\bullet}(X)$ of graded rings from the Chow ring of $X$ to ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
410 views

Equivariant Stratifications of a Variety

Let $X$ be a complex variety acted upon algebraically by a complex torus $T$. Suppose that $\{X_{\beta}\}_{\beta\in S}$ is a finite $T$-equivariant stratification of $X$, so that the $X_{\beta}$ are ...
6
votes
2answers
470 views

Homotopy problem for infinite dimensional topological space II

This post here is a specification of this post. Let $(X_{n},d_{n})_{n \in \mathbb{N}}$ be a sequence of intrinsic metric spaces verifying : $X_{n}$ have topological dimension $n$. $X_{n+1}$ is ...
4
votes
3answers
565 views

Uniquely geodesic and CAT(0) spaces?

Improvement after J-M Schlenker's comment below : This post has been divided into two parts, the second part is here. Question : Is a finite dimensional metric space, uniquely geodesic if and only ...
12
votes
3answers
594 views

Is every paracompact, Hausdorff, locally contractible space homotopy equivalent to a CW complex?

Milnor proved that any paracompact Hausdorff space which is equi-locally convex (and hence in particular locally contractible) is homotopy equivalent to a CW complex. However, unlike being paracompact ...
-1
votes
1answer
160 views

A closed manifold with a subset with the same ring cohomology

Is there an example of a closed manifold $M$ with a proper subset $A\subset M$ such the inclusion $i:A \to M$ gives a ring isomorphism $i^{*}$ between $\mathbb{Z}$-cohomologies? In this question ...
46
votes
11answers
5k views

What is Quantization ?

I would like to know what quantization is, I mean I would like to have some elementary examples, some soft nontechnical definition, some explanation about what do mathematicians quantize?, can we ...
79
votes
11answers
5k views

Spectral sequences: opening the black box slowly with an example

My friend and I are attempting to learn about spectral sequences at the moment, and we've noticed a common theme in books about spectral sequences: no one seems to like talking about differentials. ...
26
votes
11answers
10k views

Algebraic Topology Beyond the Basics:Any Texts Bridging The Gap?

Peter May said famously that algebraic topology is a subject poorly served by it's textbooks. Sadly,I have to agree. Although we have a frieghtcar full of excellent first-year algebraic topology ...
47
votes
15answers
3k views

Teaching homology via everyday examples

What stories, puzzles, games, paradoxes, toys, etc from everyday life are better understood after learning homology theory? To be more precise, I am teaching a short course on homology, from ...
56
votes
16answers
7k views

Are there examples of non-orientable manifolds in nature?

Whilst browsing through Marcel Berger's book "A Panoramic View of Riemannian Geometry" and thinking about the Klein bottle, I came across the sentence: "The unorientable surfaces are never discussed ...
56
votes
4answers
4k views

Algorithm or theory of diagram chasing

One of the standard parts of homological algebra is "diagram chasing", or equivalent arguments with universal properties in abelian categories. Is there a rigorous theory of diagram chasing, and ...
66
votes
6answers
3k views

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 ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

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?
39
votes
2answers
4k views

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, ...
35
votes
2answers
2k views

What arithmetic information is contained in the algebraic K-theory of the integers

I'm always looking for applications of homotopy theory to other fields, mostly as a way to make my talks more interesting or to motivate the field to non-specialists. It seems like most talks about ...
28
votes
1answer
2k views

Flatness in Algebraic Geometry vs. Fibration in Topology

I am currently trying to get my head around flatness in algebraic geometry. In particular, I'm trying to relate the notion of flatness in algebraic geometry to the notion of fibration in algebraic ...
19
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6answers
4k views

Why are local systems and representations of the fundamental group equivalent

My question: Let X be a sufficiently 'nice' topological space. Then there is an equivalence between representations of the fundamental group of X and local systems on X, i.e. sheaves on X locally ...
30
votes
4answers
2k views

Chain homotopy: Why du+ud and not du+vd?

When one wants to prove that a morphism $f_*$ between two chain complexes $\left(C_*\right)$ and $\left(D_*\right)$ is zero in homology, one of the standard approaches is to look for a chain homotopy, ...