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59
votes
2answers
11k views

Why is the Hodge Conjecture so important?

The Hodge Conjecture states that every Hodge class of a non singular projective variety over $\mathbf{C}$ is a rational linear combination of cohomology classes of algebraic cycles: Even though I'm ...
52
votes
8answers
4k views

equivalence of Grothendieck-style versus Cech-style sheaf cohomology

Given a topological space $X$, we can define the sheaf cohomology of $X$ in I. the Grothendieck style (as the right derived functor of the global sections functor $\Gamma(X,-)$) or II. the Čech ...
45
votes
7answers
3k views

Can anyone give me a good example of two interestingly different ordinary cohomology theories?

An answer to the following question would clarify my understanding of what a cohomology theory is. I know it's something that satisfies the Eilenberg-Steenrod axioms, and I know that those axioms ...
45
votes
5answers
6k views

What is sheaf cohomology intuitively?

What is sheaf cohomology intuitively? For local systems it is ordinary cohomology with twisted coefficients. But what if the sheaf in question is far from being constant? Can one still understand ...
38
votes
2answers
3k views

Cohomology and fundamental classes

Let X be a real orientable compact differentiable manifold. Is the (co)homology of X generated by the fundamental classes of oriented subvarieties? And if not, what is known about the subgroup ...
38
votes
2answers
1k views

$H^4(BG,\mathbb Z)$ torsion free for $G$ a connected Lie group

Recently, prompted by considerations in conformal field theory, I was let to guess that for every compact connected Lie group $G$, the fourth cohomology group of it classifying space is torsion free. ...
35
votes
11answers
5k views

Why torsion is important in (co)homology ?

I've once been told that "torsion in homology and cohomology is regarded by topologists as a very deep and important phenomenon". I presume an analogous statement could be said in the context of ...
33
votes
0answers
777 views

“Gross-Zagier” formulae outside of number theory

The Gross-Zagier formula and various variations of it form the starting point in most of the existing results towards the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture. It relates the value at $1$ of the ...
32
votes
8answers
3k views

How should one think about pushforward in cohomology?

Suppose f:X→Y. If I decorate that first sentence with appropriate adjectives, then I get a pushforward map in cohomology H*(X)→H*(Y). For example, suppose that X and Y are oriented ...
31
votes
5answers
4k views

What is a cohomology theory (seriously)?

This question has bugged me for a long time. Is there a unifying concept behind everything that is called a "cohomology theory"? I know that there exist generalized cohomology theories, Weil ...
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 ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views

Explanation for the Chern character

The Chern character is often seen as just being a convenient way to get a ring homomorphism from K-theory to (ordinary) cohomology. The most usual definition in that case seems to just be to define ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Why should I care about topological modular forms?

There seems to be a lot of recent activity concerning topological modular forms (TMF), which I gather is an extraordinary cohomology theory constructed from the classical theory of modular forms on ...
23
votes
10answers
6k views

What is (co)homology, and how does a beginner gain intuition about it?

This question comes along with a lot of associated sub-questions, most of which would probably be answered by a sufficiently good introductory text. So a perfectly acceptable answer to this question ...
23
votes
8answers
4k views

de Rham cohomology and flat vector bundles

I was wondering whether there is some notion of "vector bundle de Rham cohomology". To be more precise: the k-th de Rham cohomology group of a manifold $H_{dR}^{k}(M)$ is defined as the set of closed ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Example Wanted: When Does Cech Cohomology Fail to be the same as Derived Functor Cohomology?

I want to know exactly how derived functor cohomology and Cech cohomology can fail to be the same. I started worrying about this from this answer to an MO question, and Brian Conrad's comments to ...
23
votes
1answer
632 views

Making $\mathbb{Q}$-cohomology integral

Let $X$ be an algebraic variety (say, smooth and projective) over $\mathbb{C}$, and fix $$\alpha\in H^i(X^{\text{an}}, \mathbb{Q})$$ with $i>0$. Does there always exist a variety $Y$ and a ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the right version of “partitions of unity implies vanishing sheaf cohomology”

There are several theorems I know of the form "Let $X$ be a locally ringed space obeying some condition like existence of partitions of unity. Let $E$ be a sheaf of $\mathcal{O}_X$ modules obeying ...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

Explanation for the Thom-Pontryagin construction (and its generalisations)

In 1950, Pontryagin showed that the n-th framed cobordism group of smooth manifolds was equal to n-th stable homotopy group of spheres: $$ \lim_{k \to \infty} \pi_{n+k}(S^k) \cong ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Visualizing how Cech cohomology detects holes

I think it's pretty intuitive how singular/simplicial cohomology detects "holes" in a space. How can we directly visualize how and in what sense the Cech cohomology of a cover does this? In ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Does the cohomology ring of a simply-connected space X determine the cohomology groups of ΩX?

One could try to apply the Eilenberg-Moore spectral sequence to the pullback diagram • → X ← •, obtaining a spectral sequence TorH•(X, R)(R, R) => H•(ΩX, R), but ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

De Rham cohomology of formal groups

Let $G$ be some (dimension $1$, to simplify) formal group over a characteristic $0$ field $K$. The law of $G$ is denoted by $\oplus$. If $w(X) \in K[[X]] dX$ is a differential form, let $F_w(X)$ be ...
18
votes
1answer
574 views

Twistings for other cohomology theories

Twistings in cohomology theories have a long history and have been used to great effect. The classical example is cohomology with local coefficients. Using this one can formulate Poincaré duality and ...
18
votes
2answers
964 views

How to Draw Complex Line Bundles

I am giving a presentation soon on the Classification of Complex Line Bundles and I would like to have some very "basic" visualizations to use as examples. Background and Context I am considering ...
18
votes
0answers
529 views

Calabi-Yau cohomology?

My question here is going to be this -- but I'll give a bit of background to explain myself in a moment: What has been done/what results are available on Calabi-Yau cohomology in degree $n \geq 3$ ...
16
votes
2answers
598 views

KK-theory as a stable infinity-category and KU Mod

The category KK of bivariant operator K-theory (or possibly its E-theory variant) ought to be the homotopy category of something at least close to a stable infinity-category; notably in that it ...
16
votes
1answer
807 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Holomorphic vector fields acting on Dolbeault cohomology

The question. Let $(X, J)$ be a complex manifold and $u$ a holomorphic vector field, i.e. $L_uJ = 0$. The holomorphicity of $u$ implies that the Lie derivative $L_u$ on forms preserves the (p,q) ...
16
votes
1answer
591 views

How are these algebraic and geometric notions of homotopy of maps between manifolds related?

Let $M$ and $N$ be smooth manifolds, and $f,g: M \to N$ smooth maps. Denote by $(\Omega^\bullet M,\mathrm d_M)$ and $(\Omega^\bullet N, \mathrm d_N)$ the cdgas of de Rham forms in each manifold, and ...
16
votes
0answers
570 views

What is classified by the (big) crystalline topos?

In his paper "Generic Galois Theory of Local Rings", G.C. Wraith states on p. 743 that the (big) crystalline topos "can be conveniently described in terms of the theory it describes". What exactly is ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a map of spectra implementing the Thom isomorphism?

A well known theorem in algebraic topology relates the (co)homology of the Thom space $X^\mu$ of a orientable vector bundle $\mu$ of dimension $n$ over a space $X$ to the (co)homology of $X$ itself: ...
15
votes
2answers
877 views

What is known about K-theory and K-homology groups of (free) loop spaces?

Calculating the homology of the loop space and the free loop space is reasonably doable. There exists the Serre spectral sequence linking the homology of the loop space and the homology of the free ...
15
votes
0answers
217 views

Elliptic $\infty$-line bundles over $B G$

Theorem 5.2 in Jacob Lurie's "Survey of Elliptic Cohomology" (pdf) states the equivalence of two maps $$ B G \longrightarrow B \mathrm{GL}_1(A) $$ for $A$ an $E_\infty$-ring carrying an oriented ...
15
votes
0answers
372 views

Combinatorics of Quantum Schubert Polynomials

Let $S_n$ be the symmetric group. Let $s_i$ denote the adjacent transposition $(i \ i+1)$. For any permutation $w\in S_n$, an expression $w=s_{i_1}s_{i_2}\cdots s_{i_p}$ of minimal possible length is ...
15
votes
0answers
396 views

Cohomological characterization of CM curves

In his 1976 classical Annals paper on $p$-adic interpolation, N. Katz uses the fact that if $E_{/K}$ is an elliptic curve with complex multiplications in the quadratic field $F$, up to a suitable ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

de Rham vs Dolbeault Cohomology

For a complex manifold $M$, one can consider (A) its de Rham cohomology, or (B) its Dolbeault cohomology. I'm looking for some motivation as to why one would bother introducing Dolbeault cohomology. ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

learning crystalline cohomology

From which sources would you learn about crystalline cohomology and the de-Rham-Witt complex?
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Intuition for Primitive Cohomology

In complex projective geometry, we have a specified Kähler class $\omega$ and we have a Lefschetz operator $L:H^i(X,\mathbb{C})\to H^{i+2}(X,\mathbb{C})$ given by $L(\eta)=\omega\wedge \eta$. We then ...
14
votes
4answers
708 views

Equivalence of ordered and unordered cech cohomology.

Given a topological space X and a finite cover X = $\cup X_i$, one can define Cech cohomology of a sheaf of abelian groups F with respect to the cover $\{X_i\}$ in two different ways: (Ordered): ...
14
votes
3answers
986 views

Cohomology of associative algebras

Let $A$ be an associative algebra over a commutative ring $k$. I've read statements saying that Hochschild (co)homology is the "right" notion of (co)homology for associative algebras. When $A$ is ...
14
votes
5answers
538 views

Take contraction wrt a vector field twice and define kernel mod image. Does that give anything interesting?

First, we make the following observation: let $X: M \rightarrow TM $ be a vector field on a smooth manifold. Taking the contraction with respect to $X$ twice gives zero, i.e. $$ i_X \circ i_{X} ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Are all Galois cohomology groups also étale cohomology groups?

Let $K$ be a field and $K^s$ a separable closure of $K$, and let $\mathcal{F}$ be a sheaf on $\mathrm{Spec}(K)$ (in the étale topology). By Grothendieck's Galois Theory, we have the isomorphism ...
14
votes
4answers
837 views

Cohomology of a sheaf of functions locally constant along a foliation

Take a smooth manifold $M^n$ with a smooth foliation $F$. Consider the sheaf $\cal F$ of $C^{\infty}$ functions on $M^n$, locally constant along the foliation $F$. What is known about Chech cohomology ...
14
votes
0answers
249 views

Computability of Brauer groups

A friend of mine and I were talking about computable algebra, and this question came up. The answer may already be known, but I couldn't find it with Google: Suppose I have a countable field, $k$. ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Does a “Chern character” exist for any generalized cohomology theory?

The Chern character is a ring homomorphism from the complex K-theory to the usual cohomology. 1) I wonder if there are "Chern character"-like ring homomorphisms from other generalized cohomology ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Singular Homology/Cohomology as a derived functor?

Hello, Learning some Alg.geometry and Sheaf theory, I got used to the notion that cohomology arises naturally as a derived functor of some sort. This has led me thinking, singular cohomology, from ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

BRST cohomology

I am reading some work on Mirror Symmetry from Physics perspective,the physicists seem to use some aspects of BRST quantization and BRST cohomology. What is BRST Quantization and BRST cohomology, in ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

A list of machineries for computing cohomology

This is not a question, but I just hope to hear more from everyone here on it. A list of ready-to-use machineries to compute the de Rham / Cech cohomology of a manifold / variety. As far as I know, I ...
13
votes
1answer
734 views

Complex orientations on homotopy

I am wondering if there is a more "geometric" formulation of complex orientations for cohomology theories than just a computation of $E^*\mathbb{C}$P$^{\infty}$ or a statement about Thom classes. It ...
13
votes
1answer
613 views

The cohomology of a product of sheaves and a plea.

The question Consider a topological space $X$ and a family of sheaves (of abelian groups, say) $\; \mathcal F_i \;(i\in I)$ on $X$. Is it true that $$H^*(X,\prod \limits_{i \in I} \mathcal ...