The homology tag has no usage guidance.

**48**

votes

**15**answers

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 ...

**42**

votes

**4**answers

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 ...

**41**

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 ...

**34**

votes

**5**answers

5k 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 ...

**30**

votes

**3**answers

4k 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 ...

**28**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Maps which induce the same homomorphism on homotopy and homology groups are homotopic

I am interested in the following question. Are maps which induce the same homomorphism on homotopy and homology groups homotopic? I am sure the answer is no, however I cannot imagine how to construct ...

**27**

votes

**10**answers

8k 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 ...

**27**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### For which spaces is homology (or cohomology) determined by the Eilenberg-Steenrod axioms

This is a spinoff of Can anyone give me a good example of two interestingly different ordinary cohomology theories? . By an ordinary homology theory, I mean a functor on topological spaces which ...

**26**

votes

**4**answers

2k 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

**3**answers

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 > ... > ...

**21**

votes

**14**answers

6k views

### “Homotopy-first” courses in algebraic topology

A first course in algebraic topology, at least the ones I'm familiar with, generally gets students to a point where they can calculate homology right away. Building the theory behind it is generally ...

**21**

votes

**9**answers

2k views

### Why localize spaces with respect to homology?

A basic construction in algebraic topology is the localization of spaces or spectra with respect to a homology theory: one formally inverts the $E$-homology isomorphisms, reflecting each space into ...

**21**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Why is homology not (co)representable?

This is in the same vein as my previous question on the representability of the cohomology ring. Why are the homology groups not corepresentable in the homotopy category of spaces?

**20**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Are fundamental groups of aspherical manifolds Hopfian?

A group $G$ is Hopfian if every epimorphism $G\to G$ is an isomorphism. A smooth manifold is aspherical if its universal cover is contractible. Are all fundamental groups of aspherical closed smooth ...

**19**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Does this approach for the Poincare conjecture work?

Several months ago a paper was posted at
http://arxiv.org/abs/1001.4164
called "Another way of answering Henri Poincare's fundamental question." The author gave a talk on it today at my institution. ...

**18**

votes

**3**answers

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 ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### What is the Hopf algebra structures in the homology of the based loop spaces of $E_7$ and $E_8$?

Since $\Omega X$ is a $H$-space, if it has homology of finite type, the homology acquires the structure of a Hopf algebra. Bott has shown that for $X=G$ a Lie group, in fact $H_*(\Omega X)$ is free ...

**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: ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

3k views

### Does homology detect chain homotopy equivalence?

Is the following true: If two chain complexes of free abelian groups have isomorphic homology modules then they are chain homotopy equivalent.

**15**

votes

**5**answers

789 views

### What fraction of n x n invertible integer matrices contain at least one unit?

The question is simple:
What fraction of matrices in $G_n = \text{GL}_n(\mathbb{Z})$ have at least one unit entry (i.e., either $\lbrace\pm 1 \rbrace$)?
I'm not sure what the correct measure ...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

796 views

### Massey Products vs. $A_\infty$-Structures

Does anyone know a good reference for a proof of the fact that given a dga $A$, an $A_\infty$-structure on $HA$ is ''the same'' as coherent choices for all of the higher Massey products of $HA$? More ...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Simple curves on non-orientable surfaces.

Given an element in the (first) homology group of a surface, I would like to know if it can be represented as a simple closed curve. For orientable surfaces, this is well-known, but I wasn't able to ...

**15**

votes

**0**answers

629 views

### Homology classes of subvarieties of toric varieties

Let $X$ be a smooth proper toric variety, $Z\subseteq X$ a smooth subvariety.
Is the fundamental class $[Z] \in H_\ast(X) = A_\ast(X)$ nonzero?
Background
If $X$ is a Kaehler variety, this is ...

**14**

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 ...

**14**

votes

**5**answers

615 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

**1**answer

439 views

### Ordinal-indexed homology theory?

Back when I was a grad student sitting in on Mike Freedman's topology seminar at UCSD, he posed the following question. Does there exist a good homology theory $H_{\alpha}(X)$ where $\alpha$ is an ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

654 views

### Are acyclic subcomplexes of finite contractible 2-complexes contractible?

Let $Y$ be a contractible finite simplicial 2-complex.
Let $X$ be an acyclic subcomplex of $Y$ (i.e. $X$ connected, $H_1(X)=0$, $H_2(X)=0$).
Is $X$ contractible? (Equivalently, is $\pi_1(X)$ ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

739 views

### Does the bordism homology theory satisfy the weak equivalence axiom?

There is an interesting and important homology theory called bordism. Briefly speaking, a singular manifold in a space $X$ is a pair $(M, f)$ where $M$ is a closed smooth manifold and $f : M \to X$ is ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

461 views

### Is the singular homology of a real algebraic set always finitely generated?

Here is a precise statement of my question:
Let $p\in \mathbb{R}[x_1, \ldots, x_n]$ be a polynomial, and let $Z(p)\subset \mathbb{R}^n$ be the set of zeros of $p$. Must the singular homology $H_i ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

726 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 ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

335 views

### Are totally degenerate chains null-homologous?

Let $X$ be a CW complex.
Suppose $\gamma\in C_n(X)$ is a cycle which is a sum of maps $\sigma:\Delta^n\to X$ which factor as $\Delta^n\to\mathbb R^{n-1}\to X$. Does it follow that $\gamma$ is ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

415 views

### Singular chains generated by manifolds with corners — does it really work?

Usually we define singular homology via the complex of singular chains:
$$C_\ast(X)=\bigoplus_{n\geq 0}\mathbb Z\langle\sigma:\Delta^n\to X\rangle$$
where the right hand side denotes the free abelian ...

**11**

votes

**7**answers

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 ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Is it true that all real projective space $RP^n$ can not be smoothly embedded in $R^{n+1}$ for n >1

So first for n even, $RP^n$ is not orientable, hence can not be embedded in $\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$.
For odd n, $RP^{n}$ is orientable, hence the normal bundle is trivial. Now using stiefel-Whitney ...

**11**

votes

**3**answers

947 views

### Computer-aided homology computations

Background
I am currently working on the homology of some moduli space and there exists a much simpler chain complex with the same homology.
It is a quotient of a bisimplicial complex by a ...

**11**

votes

**2**answers

838 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 ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

505 views

### About maps inducing bijections on homotopy classes

Let us assume that $f:X \to Y$ is a map of connected CW complexes, having the following property: if $K$ is a finite CW complex, then the induced map $f_{\ast}:[K,X] \to [K,Y]$ on \emph{free} homotopy ...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### What would be the ramifications of homotopy theory being as easy as homology theory?

Greg Muller, in a post called Rational Homotopy Theory on the blog "The Everything Seminar" wrote
"I tend to think of homotopy theory a little bit like ‘The One That Got Away’ from mathematics as a ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

572 views

### What does this naive attempt at $S^1$-equivariant homology describe?

After reading Cohen and Voronov's notes on string topology, one can find the following construction: Suppose we have a topological space $X$ with continuous action of $S^1$. This means we have a map ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

415 views

### finite complex with non-finitely generated homology with local coefficients

I am looking for an explicit example, if one exists, of a (pointed) finite connected CW-complex $X$ such that some homology group with local coefficients $H_n(X,{\mathbb Z}[\pi_1 X])$ is not a ...

**9**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### A map inducing isomorphisms on homology but not on homotopy

As a consequence of the Whitehead theorem, Spanier's Algebraic Topology book has on 7.6.25 the following theorem:
A weak homotopy equivalence induces isomorphisms of the corresponding integral ...

**9**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### CW-structures and Morse functions: a reference request

The following is probably well known, but I wasn't able to locate a reference in the literature.
Let $f$ be a Morse function on a smooth compact manifold $M$ without boundary and let $\rho$ be a ...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

206 views

### Dyer-Lashof operations and the homology of GL_n

For any ring R, $\bigsqcup_n {BGL}_n(R)$ is an $E_\infty$-space. Are there examples of rings where people have calculated $H_*(\bigsqcup_n {BGL}_n(R);\mathbb{Z}/2)$ and determined the Dyer-Lashof ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

147 views

### Do homology classes have “special” representatives?

Recall that, according to Hodge, de-Rham cohomology classes of "nice enough" manifolds have "special" representatives - namely, harmonic forms.
Now, how does one choose a "special" one among ...

**8**

votes

**3**answers

652 views

### Projective dimension of zero module

Is there any consensus on what the projective dimension of the zero module should be? Here are three statements one commonly encounters in textbooks, sometimes with or without the condition $M\neq 0$:
...

**8**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### homology with compact supports

In one of the exercises in McDuff and Salamon, they mention homology with compact supports. I know how to define *co*homology with compact supports, but I can't picture the homology version. How do ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

368 views

### Naturality of a Kunneth formula for cohomology

Let $X,Y$ be CW complexes. By Kunneth formula, we have a group isomorphim
$$ H^n(X\times Y;G) \cong \oplus_{p+q=n} H^p(X;H^q(Y;G))$$
Is there a natural map realizing this isomorphism?

**8**

votes

**1**answer

233 views

### The Image of the Mod 2 Homology of BSp in the Homology of BSO

I'm essentially trying to figure out exactly what the title asks for. I've been scouring old Seminaires Henri Cartan and books by Stong to try to see exactly how to do this, but the combination of ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

284 views

### Software for computing Thurston's unit ball

Is there any software which can be used for computing Thurston's unit ball(for second homology of 3-manifolds) of link complements? In particular can I do that with SnapPy?
PS: even a table for ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

280 views

### worked out examples in borel-moore homology

I'm trying to learn about BM homology. I've found a few references and they are all quite abstract and high-powered. I am actually familiar with derived categories and sheaves so I don't mind thinking ...