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43
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
35
votes
10answers
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 ...
36
votes
3answers
5k views

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 ...
12
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
50
votes
15answers
4k 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 ...
47
votes
11answers
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 ...
37
votes
5answers
3k views

Does homology have a coproduct?

Standard algebraic topology defines the cup product which defines a ring structure on the cohomology of a topological space. This ring structure arises because cohomology is a contravariant functor ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Geometric Interpretation of the Lower Central Series for the Fundamental Group?

For any group G we can form the lower central series of normal subgroups by taking $G_0 = G$, $G_1 = [G,G]$, $G_{i+1} = [G,G_i]$. We can check this gives a normal chain $G_0 > G_1 > ... > ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Homology theory constructed in a homotopy-invariant way

Singular homology sends homotopic morphisms on equal morphisms and weakly equivalent spaces on isomorphic objects. So singular homology is in fact defined on the homotopy category of topological ...
16
votes
2answers
959 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
672 views

Differentials in the Lyndon-Hochschild spectral sequence

The Lyndon-Hochschild(-Serre) spectral sequence applies to group extensions in a manner analogous to the Serre-Leray spectral sequence applied to a fibration. Does anyone know of a good description (...
12
votes
1answer
912 views

On the wikipedia entry for Borel-Moore homology

The wikipedia page on Borel-Moore homology claims to give several definitions of it, all of which are supposed to coincide for those spaces $X$ which are homotopy equivalent to a finite CW complex and ...
10
votes
2answers
563 views

A homology theory which satisfies Milnor's additivity axiom but not the direct limit axiom?

Let us agree on the following: a "homology theory" means a functor $h_*$ from the category of pointed CW complexes to the category of graded abelian groups, together with natural isomorphisms $h_{*+1}(...
8
votes
1answer
456 views

Is it always possible to compute the Betti numbers of a nice space with a well-chosen Lefschetz zeta function?

Let $X$ be a smooth projective variety. If I've understood correctly, the Weil conjectures imply that it is possible to compute the Betti numbers of $X(\mathbb{C})$ by computing the local zeta ...
5
votes
3answers
484 views

Reference needed: Isomorphism on pi_1 and homology gives weak equivalence

Let $f : X \to Y$ be a map between a connected space $X$ and a space $Y$. If $\pi(f) : \pi_1(X) \to \pi_1(Y)$ is an isomorphism, and $H_n(f) : H_n(X, G) \to H_n(Y, G)$ is an isomorphism for all $n \ge ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

0-homologous surface bounds

Given a map $f : S \to M^4$ from a compact closed not necessarily connected oriented surface to a compact oriented 4-manifold, such that $f_*([S])$ is zero in $H_2(M)$, is there a compact oriented 3-...
3
votes
1answer
284 views

Second betti number of compact analytic spaces

Let $V$ be a proper singular complex algebraic variety, possibly nonprojective ($dim(V)=n>0$). I would like to know: 1) if its second Betti number is non zero, 2) same question but now $V$ is a ...