**68**

votes

**2**answers

15k 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 ...

**61**

votes

**5**answers

8k 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 ...

**54**

votes

**8**answers

5k 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 ...

**47**

votes

**11**answers

6k 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 ...

**46**

votes

**7**answers

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 ...

**46**

votes

**2**answers

2k 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 ...

**45**

votes

**2**answers

4k 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 ...

**43**

votes

**2**answers

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.
...

**40**

votes

**0**answers

636 views

### Vector bundle $L$ admits connection if and only if degree of every direct summand of $L$ divisible by $\text{char}\,k$, intuition

Consider the following theorem of Atiyah.
Let $X$ be a connected smooth projective curve over an algebraically closed field $k$. Then a vector bundle $L$ on $X$ admits a connection if and only if ...

**39**

votes

**5**answers

6k 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 ...

**36**

votes

**10**answers

10k 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 ...

**33**

votes

**8**answers

4k 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 ...

**33**

votes

**2**answers

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 ...

**32**

votes

**3**answers

6k 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 ...

**31**

votes

**4**answers

2k 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 ...

**30**

votes

**10**answers

5k 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 ...

**25**

votes

**1**answer

781 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 ...

**24**

votes

**1**answer

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 ...

**24**

votes

**2**answers

5k 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 ...

**23**

votes

**3**answers

2k 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 ...

**22**

votes

**4**answers

3k 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. ...

**22**

votes

**4**answers

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 ...

**21**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Why should curves be two-dimensional?

In Weil cohomology, a nice curve has cohomology up to degree 2, or more generally a nice $n$-dimensional variety has cohomology up to degree $2n$.
I know that this was motivated at least in part by a ...

**20**

votes

**1**answer

265 views

### Primary obstruction to the existence of a cross-section of $V_{n - q}(\omega)$ is a cohomology class in $H^{2q+2}(B, \pi_{2q+1} V_{n - q}(F))$?

Let $V_{n - q}(\mathbb{C}^n)$ denote the complex Stiefel manifold consisting of all complex $(n - q)$-frames in $\mathbb{C}^n$, where $0 \le q < n$. This manifold is $2q$-connected, and$$\pi_{2q + ...

**20**

votes

**0**answers

667 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 $n \geq 3$ ...

**20**

votes

**0**answers

564 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 ...

**19**

votes

**6**answers

5k views

### learning crystalline cohomology

From which sources would you learn about crystalline cohomology and the de-Rham-Witt complex?

**19**

votes

**2**answers

3k 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 ...

**19**

votes

**1**answer

592 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 ...

**19**

votes

**0**answers

621 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 ...

**18**

votes

**5**answers

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

**1**answer

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

**1**answer

1k 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 ...

**18**

votes

**3**answers

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) ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

1k 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

**1**answer

672 views

### What are explicit obstructions to realizability of formal group laws as complex-oriented ring spectra?

Recall that a complex-oriented spectrum is a ring spectrum E with a map $MU \to E$.
Analogously, a ring with a (1-d commutative) formal group law is (represented by) a ring $R$ with a map $L \to R$ ...

**18**

votes

**1**answer

460 views

### Flat versus etale cohomology

Although the definition of etale ($\ell$-adic) cohomology is scary, I have at least some intuition for how it should behave: for instance, when it makes sense, I expect that it should be ``similar'' ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

676 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 ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

634 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 ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

479 views

### When did “Betti cohomology” come to be used the way it is today? (and how is it used)

This is sort of a mixture of a math and history question.
First the math part: thinking about it, I do not actually know how to properly use the term "Betti cohomology". I know I should, but I ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

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 ...

**16**

votes

**4**answers

3k 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 ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

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: ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

374 views

### A spectral sequence for computing cohomology of a space from that of its strata

Let $X$ be a smooth complex variety (not necessarily compact) and let $D$ be a normal crossings divisors with components $D_1$, $D_2$, ..., $D_N$. For a set of indices $I$, let $D_I = \bigcap_{i \in ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

348 views

### $G$-action on the integral homology of a compact surface

Let $S$ be a compact connected orientable surface, and let $G$ be a nontrivial finite group acting freely on $S$ and preserving orientation (note the the action being free is a strong condition, since ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

282 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

**2**answers

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 ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

1k 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 ...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

1k 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

**2**answers

947 views

### Are the homology and cohomology Serre spectral sequences dual to each other?

If we use homology and cohomology over a field $k$, if a space has homology and cohomology groups of finite type in each degree, then $H_\ast(X;k)$ is dual to $H^\ast(X;k)$ using the universal ...