The stable-homotopy tag has no usage guidance.

**83**

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### What do the stable homotopy groups of spheres say about the combinatorics of finite sets?

The Barratt-Priddy-Quillen(-Segal) theorem says that the following spaces are homotopy equivalent in an (essentially) canonical way:
$\Omega^\infty S^\infty:=\varinjlim~ \Omega^nS^n$
...

**48**

votes

**6**answers

5k views

### third stable homotopy group of spheres via geometry?

It is ''well-known'' that the third stable homotopy group of spheres is cyclic of order $24$. It is also ''well-known'' that the quaternionic Hopf map $\nu:S^7 \to S^4$, an $S^3$-bundle, suspends to a ...

**38**

votes

**9**answers

5k views

### understanding Steenrod squares

There is a function on $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$-cohomology called Steenrod squaring: $Sq^i:H^k(X,\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}) \to H^{k+i}(X,\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z})$. (Coefficient group suppressed from ...

**37**

votes

**1**answer

619 views

### Is there an octonionic analog of the K3 surface, with implications for stable homotopy groups of spheres?

The infamous K3 surface has many constructions in many fields ranging from algebraic geometry to algebraic topology. Its many properties are well known. For this question I am really interested in the ...

**34**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Are spectra really the same as cohomology theories?

Let $E \to F$ be a morphism of cohomology theories defined on finite CW complexes. Then by Brown representability, $E, F$ are represented by spectra, and the map $E \to F$ comes from a map of spectra. ...

**34**

votes

**3**answers

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### Lambda-operations on stable homotopy groups of spheres

The Barratt-Quillen-Priddy theorem says in one interpretation that there is a weak equivalence of spectra $K(FinSet) \simeq \mathbb{S}^0$. In other words K-theory groups of finite sets are the stable ...

**33**

votes

**2**answers

979 views

### What is an infinite prime in algebraic topology?

The links between algebraic topology (stable homotopy theory in particular) and number theory are nowadays abundant and fruitful. In one direction, there is chromatic homotopy theory, exploiting the ...

**30**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### What is known about the sum x^{n^2}/n?

It follows from a general theorem of Honda that the formal group with the logarithm
$$
x+x^{2^s}/2+x^{3^s}/3+x^{4^s}/4+\cdots
$$
has integer coefficients. I became interested in it because its ...

**29**

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 ...

**26**

votes

**1**answer

806 views

### Early stabilization in the homotopy groups of spheres

Thanks to Freudenthal we know that $\pi_{n+k}(S^n)$ is independent of $n$ as soon as $n \ge k+2$. However, I was looking at the table on Wikipedia of some of the homotopy groups of spheres and noticed ...

**26**

votes

**1**answer

506 views

### Nilpotence of the stable Hopf map via framed cobordism

The Pontryagin-Thom construction shows that the stable homotopy groups of spheres are the same as the groups of stably framed manifolds up to cobordism. Specifically the Hopf map corresponds to the ...

**24**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### What (if anything) unifies stable homotopy theory and Grothendieck's six functors formalism?

I know of two very general frameworks for describing generalizations of what a "cohomology theory" should be: Grothendieck's "six functors", and the theory of spectra.
In the former, one assigns to ...

**24**

votes

**1**answer

925 views

### K(r)-localization and monochromatic layers in the chromatic spectral sequence

While preparing some lecture notes, I had a basic point of confusion come up that I haven't been able to settle.
The $BP$-Adams spectral sequence (or $p$-local Adams-Novikov spectral sequence) for ...

**23**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### What is a simplicial commutative ring from the point of view of homotopy theory?

Let $k$ be a field. There are two natural categories to consider:
The category of simplicial commutative $k$-algebras.
The category of connective $E_\infty$ $k$-algebras (i.e., chain complexes of ...

**23**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Why not a Roadmap for Homotopy Theory and Spectra?

MO has seen plenty of roadmap questions but oddly enough I haven't seen one for homotopy theory. As an algebraic geometer who's fond of derived categories I would like some guidance on how to build up ...

**23**

votes

**1**answer

778 views

### From the perspective of bordism categories, where does the ring structure on Thom spectra come from?

To fix ideas, let's consider the Thom spectrum of framed bordism $M$, the spectrum whose homotopy groups are the framed bordism groups. $M$ has a ring spectrum structure inducing the product of ...

**22**

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**3**answers

2k views

### Modern Source for Spectra (including Ring Spectra)

I am looking for a modern introduction to Spectra that improves on the treatment by Adams in his "Stable Homotopy and Generalized Homology" notes (by improves I mean taking into account what has been ...

**21**

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**1**answer

938 views

### What is to tmf as KR is to KO?

The $E_\infty$-ring spectrum $KU$ of complex K-theory carries a canonical involution induced from complex conjugation of complex vector bundles. The homotopy fixed points of this $\mathbb{Z}_2$-action ...

**20**

votes

**4**answers

688 views

### Fibrations and Cofibrations of spectra are “the same”

My question refers to a folklore statement that I have now seen a couple of times, but never really precise. One avatar is:
"For spectra every cofibration is equivalent to a fibration" (e.g. in the ...

**20**

votes

**0**answers

633 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 $n \geq 3$ ...

**19**

votes

**2**answers

3k views

### Open Problems in Algebraic Topology and Homotopy Theory

Some time ago (I see it was initially written before 1999?) Mark Hovey assembled a list of open problems in algebraic topology. The list can be found here. Some of the problems I know about have been ...

**17**

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**2**answers

659 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

**2**answers

674 views

### Homotopy type of tensors of Moore spectra

I would like to hear what's known about the homotopy type of smash products of mod-$p^j$ Moore spectra, for $p$ an odd prime.
First, here is what I'm specifically interested in: there is a short ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### The cell structure of Thom spectra

I would like to understand the cell structure of integrally oriented Thom spectra. A Thom spectrum over a space $X$ is something you can build from a stable spherical bundle, which is classified by a ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

514 views

### stable homotopy groups and zeta function

I have heard during a discussion that there is a well known relation between the stable homotopy groups of a sphere (more precisely the order of stable homotopy groups of localized sphere spectrum ...

**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

**2**answers

705 views

### Conceptual explanation for the relationship between Clifford algebras and KO

Recall the following table of Clifford algebras:
$$\begin{array}{ccc}
n & Cl_n & M_n/i^{*}M_{n+1}\\
1 & \mathbb{C} & \mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z} \\
2 & \mathbb{H} & ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

396 views

### Is the 4-line of the E_2 term of the classical Adams spectral sequence known?

In other words:
What is $\mathrm{Ext}_{\mathcal{A}}^{4,t}(\mathbb{Z}/2,\mathbb{Z}/2)$?
If the 4-line is not known, how much is known about it?
Here, $\mathcal{A}$ is the 2-primary Steenrod ...

**15**

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300 views

### Chromatic Spectra and Cobordism

I apologize in advance, if some of the things I've written are incorrect.
The cobordism hypothesis states that $\mathbf{Bord}^\mathrm{fr}_n$ is the free symmetric monoidal $(\infty,n)$-category with ...

**14**

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**2**answers

975 views

### Are $G$-spectra the same as modules over a “group ring spectrum”?

Let $G$ be a finite group (maybe this will also work when $G$ is compact, or something, but to be safe we'll let it be finite). I imagine it's quite natural to ask: is the category of $G$-spectra ...

**14**

votes

**3**answers

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### What are the best known results for the stable homotopy groups of spheres?

There are a number of proposed ways to compute the stable homotopy groups of spheres. One can rather peculiarly consider stable (co)homotopy of an Eilenberg Maclane spectrum as a generalised ...

**14**

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**2**answers

612 views

### Must a weak homotopy equivalence induce an isomorphism between stable homotopy groups?

I'm confused by the following question:
$f:X\to Y$ is a weak homotopy equivalence, that is $f_*:\pi_*(X)\to \pi_*(Y)$ is an isomorphism for any dimensional homotopy groups. However, for the stable ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

314 views

### Anything between vector bundles and sphere bundles?

There are two extremities: on the "easy end" one has vector bundles which are classified by maps to the (more or less) well understood spaces like Grassmanians; on the "hard end" there are spherical ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

887 views

### Exotic spheres and stable homotopy in all large dimensions?

Given that the kervaire invariant one problem has been solved in (almost) all dimensions....my question is whether there exists an exotic sphere in all sufficently lagre dimensions? Given the ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

598 views

### Is there an algebro-geometric description of $\nu$?

Motivation: According to the "chromatic" picture of stable homotopy, we should think of the moduli stack $M_{FG}$ of formal groups as a "good approximation" to the stable homotopy category (more ...

**14**

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**0**answers

385 views

### Refinement of concept of support of a module

My rings are commutative and noetherian.
The support of a module is usually defined to be the set of prime ideals of the ring such that localization at that prime does not make the module zero. This ...

**13**

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**2**answers

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### Finiteness of stable homotopy groups of spheres

Since the work of Serre in the early 50's on homotopy groups of spheres, it is known that the homotopy group $\pi_k(S^n)$ is finite, except when $k=n$ (in which case the group is $\mathbb{Z}$), or ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

792 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

**1**answer

585 views

### Geometric interpretation of families in the stable homotopy groups of spheres

There are infinite families in the stable homotopy groups of spheres; many of these can be seen by looking for "periodicity" phenomena in the Adams-Novikov spectral sequence. An example is the image ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

674 views

### Stable ∞-categories as spectral categories

Let C be a stable ∞-category in the sense of Lurie's DAG I. (In particular I do not assume that C has all colimits.) Then C does have all finite colimits, the suspension functor on C is an ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Stable homotopy category and the moduli space of formal groups

The usual disclaimer applies: I'm new to all this stuff, so be gentle.
It seems like the spectrum, as defined by Balmer, of the stable homotopy category of finite complexes is something like ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### complex cobordism from formal group laws?

Reading Ravenel's "green book", I wonder about his question on p.15 "that the spectrum MU may be constructed somehow using formal group law theory without using complex manifolds or vector bundles. ...

**12**

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**3**answers

838 views

### Isomorphism between two universal p-typical formal group laws

EDIT: I've tried to alter the question so that its basic nature is clearer, as it's been unclear to a number of people now.
At any prime p, there is a graded polynomial ring $V \cong {\mathbb ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

407 views

### Truncations of E_infinity algebras

In section 4.1 of Lurie's DAG VIII, he implies the existence of an $E_\infty$-ring spectrum $A$ such that the coconnective truncation $\tau_{\leq 0} (A)$ does not admit the structure of an ...

**12**

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**1**answer

335 views

### localizing subcategories of $HF_p$-local spectra

This entire question takes place in the $HF_p$-local category of $p$-local spectra, i.e. the essential image of $HF_p$-localization on the stable homotopy category. $HF_p$ itself is in there, and of ...

**12**

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**1**answer

316 views

### Fibrant-cofibrant models of Eilenberg-MacLane spectra

There are many models for spectra, by which I mean a model category whose homotopy category is triangulated-equivalent to the stable homotopy category. In each model, there are ways to construct ...

**12**

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**1**answer

341 views

### Does the signature admit a homotopy coherent refinement?

Cobordism genera can often be refined to $E_\infty$-orientations in the sense of Ando-Blumberg-Gepner-Hopkins-Rezk:
1) the mod 2 Euler characteristic $MO\to H\mathbb{F}_2$;
2) the $\widehat A$-genus ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

355 views

### How to see the quaternionic hopf map generates the stable 3-stem?

I am looking for a direct proof that the quaternionic hopf map generates (after suspension) the 3rd stable homotopy group of spheres. There are some related MO questions, for example:
...

**11**

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**3**answers

883 views

### Classifying triangulated structures on a graded category

I know of several results to the effect that two triangulated categories are equivalent categories (usually one coming from algebra and one coming from topology). However, it's never been clear to me ...

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**2**answers

689 views

### Are generalized cohomology theories a homotopy category of some category of invariants?

I was taught to think of generalized cohomology theories as the homotopy category of (symmetric) spectra. But is there also a category of 'invariants', that is, some category of contravariant functors ...