Questions tagged [at.algebraic-topology]

Homotopy theory, homological algebra, algebraic treatments of manifolds.

1,798 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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131
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11k views

Grothendieck-Teichmuller conjecture

(1) In "Esquisse d'un programme", Grothendieck conjectures Grothendieck-Teichmuller conjecture: the morphism $$ G_{\mathbb{Q}} \longrightarrow Aut(\widehat{T}) $$ is an isomorphism. Here $G_{\...
54
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Are there periodicity phenomena in manifold topology with odd period?

The study of $n$-manifolds has some well-known periodicities in $n$ with period a power of $2$: $n \bmod 2$ is important. Poincaré duality implies that odd-dimensional compact oriented manifolds ...
50
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11k views

Atiyah's paper on complex structures on $S^6$

M. Atiyah has posted a preprint on arXiv on the non-existence of complex structure on the sphere $S^6$. https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.09366 It relies on the topological $K$-theory $KR$ and in ...
46
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What is the current understanding regarding complex structures on the 6-sphere?

In October 2016, Atiyah famously posted a preprint to the arXiv, "The Non-Existent Complex 6-Sphere" containing a very brief proof $S^6$ admits no complex structure, which I immediately read and ...
44
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760 views

Which abelian groups aren't homotopy groups of spheres?

Someone asked me if all finite abelian groups arise as homotopy groups of spheres. I strongly doubted it, and I bet ten bucks that $\mathbb{Z}_5$ is not $\pi_k(S^n)$ for any $n,k$. But I don't know ...
44
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What is the "real" meaning of the $\hat A$ class (or the Todd class)?

In the Atiyah-Singer index theorem as well as in the Grothendieck-Riemann-Roch theorem, one encounters either the $\hat A$-class or the Todd class, depending on the context. I want to focus on the ...
38
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1k views

Is there anything to the obvious analogy between Joyal's combinatorial species and Goodwillie calculus?

Combinatorial species and calculus of functors both take the viewpoint that many interesting functors can be expanded in a kind of Taylor series. Many operations familiar from actual calculus can be ...
38
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1k views

Homotopy type of TOP(4)/PL(4)

It is known (e.g. the Kirby-Siebenmann book) that $\mathrm{TOP}(n)/\mathrm{PL}(n)\simeq K({\mathbb Z}/2,3)$ for $n>4$. I believe it is also known (Freedman-Quinn) that $\mathrm{TOP}(4)/\mathrm{PL}(...
36
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Functor that maps to both $KO^n$ and $KO^{-n}$

(my question is also meaningful for complex K-theory, but since Kn(X) is always isomorphic to K-n(X), it's less interesting) I start by recalling the analytic definition of KO-theory: The following ...
32
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2k views

Is there a (discrete) monoid M injecting into its group completion G for which BM is not homotopy equivalent to BG?

For a (discrete) monoid $M$, the classifying space $BM$ is the geometric realization of the nerve of the one object category whose hom-set is $M$. (This definition gives the usual classfiying space ...
32
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2k views

Microlocal geometry - A theorem of Verdier

(1) In "Geometrie Microlocale", Verdier states the following theorem. Theorem: Let $E$ be a vector space and $F$ a constructible complex on $E$. Then for $\ell$ a linear form on $E$, we have a ...
30
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645 views

The central insight in the proof of the existence of a class of Kervaire invariant one in dimension 126

I understand from a helpful earlier MO question that the techniques leading to the celebrated resolution of the Kervaire invariant one problem in the other candidate dimensions yield no insight on ...
30
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2k views

Why do Clifford algebras determine $KO$ (and $K$-)-theory?

In the paper "Clifford modules" by Atiyah-Bott-Shapiro, they construct a family of Clifford algebras $C_k$ over the real numbers, so that $C_k$ is the algebra associated to a negative definite form on ...
30
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Is there software to compute the cohomology of an affine variety?

I have some affine varieties whose cohomology (topological, with $\mathbb{C}$ coefficients) I would like to know. They are very nice, they are all of the form $\mathbb{A}^n \setminus \{ f=0 \}$ for ...
29
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1answer
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When is a compact topological 4-manifold a CW complex?

Freedman's $E_8$-manifold is nontriangulable, as proved on page (xvi) of the Akbulut-McCarthy 1990 Princeton Mathematical Notes "Casson's invariant for oriented homology 3-spheres". Kirby showed that ...
27
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On the (derived) dual to the James construction.

Background If $X$ is a based space then the James construction on $X$ is the space $J(X)$ given by $$ X \quad \cup \quad X^{\times 2} \quad \cup \quad X^{\times 3} \quad \cup \quad \cdots $$ in ...
26
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Computational complexity of topological K-theory

I am a novice with K-theory trying to understand what is and what is not possible. Given a finite simplicial complex $X$, there of course elementary ways to quickly compute the cohomology of $X$ with ...
25
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903 views

Spectral sequences as deformation theory

I believe that running the spectral sequence of a filtered complex / spectrum $ \cdots \to F_n \to F_{n+1} \to \cdots$ can be viewed as doing deformation theory in some very primitive "derived ...
25
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899 views

Need for support and guidance for my near future as a PhD student (or: has stable homotopy theory become an overly algebraic theory ?)

The question in brackets in the title is my main mathematical question, but does not reflect my initial motivation for writing this post. It is in fact above all for personal reasons that I'm ...
25
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793 views

Does the Tate construction (defined with direct sums) have a derived interpretation?

Any abelian group M with an action of a finite group $G$ has a Tate cohomology object $\hat H(G;M)$ in the derived category of chain complexes. There are several ways to define this. One is as the ...
25
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749 views

Why are quasitopological spaces needed in sheaf theoretic approaches to the h-principle?

Recently I have been learning more about the h-principle and in particular the methods of "continuous sheaves". In many treatments of this I see people using "quasi-topological spaces" and I am trying ...
25
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Why do polytopes pop up in Lagrange inversion?

I'd be interested in hearing people's viewpoints on this. Looking for an intuitive perspective. See Wikipedia for descriptions of polytopes and the Lagrange inversion theorem/formula (LIF) for ...
24
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629 views

Are there "chain complexes" and "homology groups" taking values in pairs of topological spaces?

Throughout this question, notation of the form $(X,A)$ denotes a sufficiently nice pair of topological spaces. I think for most of what I'm saying here, it is enough to assume that the inclusion $A \...
23
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510 views

Todd class as an Euler class

Let $X$ be a relatively nice scheme or topological space. In various physics papers I've come accross, the Todd class $\text{Td}(T_X)$ is viewed as the Euler class of the normal bundle to $X\to LX$. ...
23
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414 views

Topological loops vs. algebro-geometric suspension in Hochschild homology

Let $k$ be a base commutative ring, and let $A$ be a (unital but not necessarily commutative) $k$-algebra. The cone on $A$ is the ring $CA$ of infinite matrices $(a_{ij})_{i,j \geq 1}$ that are ...
23
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1k views

p-Adic String Theory and the String-orientation of Topological Modular Forms (tmf)

I am going to ask a question, at the end below, on whether anyone has tried to make more explicit what should be, it seems to me, a close relation between p-adic string theory and the refinement of ...
22
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512 views

What is the symmetric monoidal functor from Clifford algebras to invertible K-module spectra?

There ought to be a symmetric monoidal functor from the symmetric monoidal $2$-groupoid whose objects are Morita-invertible real superalgebras (precisely the Clifford algebras), morphisms are ...
22
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357 views

Unoriented bordism and homology, reference?

The following has undoubtedly been known to the experts for years, but I only noticed it the other day. Can anyone give a reference? One can prove Thom's theorem to the effect that every mod $2$ ...
22
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760 views

Bar construction vs. twisted tensor product

One may study the cohomology of a space $E$ expressed as a homotopy pullback of $X$ and $Y$ over $Z$ using either the Eilenberg-Moore spectral sequence or the Serre spectral sequence for the fibration ...
22
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2k views

Is the equivariant cohomology an equivariant cohomology?

Suppose a finite group $G$ acts piecewise linearly on a polyhedron $X$. Then there are two kinds of equivariant cohomology (or homology). $\bullet$ With coefficients in a $\Bbb Z G$-module $M$. A ...
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594 views

Is the mapping class group of $\Bbb{CP}^n$ known?

In his paper "Concordance spaces, higher simple homotopy theory, and applications", Hatcher calcuates the smooth, PL, and topological mapping class groups of the $n$-torus $T^n$. This requires an ...
21
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644 views

If $X\times Y$ is homotopy equivalent to a finite-dimensional CW Complex, are $X$ and $Y$ as well?

Is there a space $X$ that is not homotopy equivalent to a finite-dimensional CW complex for which there exists a space $Y$ such that the product space $X\times Y$ is homotopy equivalent to a finite-...
21
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922 views

Can we describe equivariant vector bundles of free group action in terms of descent theory (Barr-Beck theorem)?

It is well known that for a compact topological group $G$ acts (say, from the right) freely on a compact space $X$. Then the category of equivariant complex vector bundles on $X$, $\text{Vect}_G(X)$, ...
21
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679 views

Characteristic Classes for $E_8$ Bundles

Given a principal $E_8$ bundle $P\rightarrow X$ one can take the adjoint representation $\rho :E_8\rightarrow SU(\mathbb C^{248})$ and form the associated vector bundle $V=P\times_{\rho}\mathbb C^{248}...
21
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1k views

What is the current knowledge of equivariant cohomology operations?

In Caruso's paper, "Operations in equivariant $Z/p$-cohomology," http://www.ams.org/mathscinet-getitem?mr=1684248, he shows that the integer-graded stable cohomology operations in $RO(\mathbb{Z}/p)$-...
21
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890 views

Poincaré-Hopf and Mathai-Quillen for Chern classes?

One. The Poincaré-Hopf theorem is usually stated as a formula for the Euler characteristic of the tangent bundle TM. Is there a version for Euler classes, of oriented real vector bundles? It seems ...
20
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393 views

Which classes in $\mathrm{H}^4(B\mathrm{Exceptional}; \mathbb{Z})$ are classical characteristic classes?

Let $G$ be a compact connected Lie group. Recall that $\mathrm{H}^4(\mathrm{B}G;\mathbb{Z})$ is then a free abelian group of finite rank. Let us say that a class $c \in \mathrm{H}^4(\mathrm{B}G;\...
20
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0answers
712 views

Is the determinant of cohomology a TQFT?

If $M$ is an oriented $d$-manifold, let $D(M)$ denote the top exterior power of $H^*(M,\mathbf{C})$. Then $D(M_1 \amalg M_2) = D(M_1) \otimes D(M_2)$. Is there a good recipe for a map $D(M) \to D(N)$...
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599 views

On a homological finiteness condition

Assumption: $X$ is a connected CW complex, and $H_{\ast}(X;\mathbb{Z})=\bigoplus_{n \geq 0} H_n (X; \mathbb{Z})$ is finitely generated. Question: does there exist a finite CW complex $Y$ and a map $f:...
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3k views

Origins of the Nerve Theorem

Recently, I've read two papers which have cited the Nerve Theorem, one crediting Borsuk with the result and another Leray. Here is the question: Who was the first to prove the Nerve Theorem?
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480 views

Other examples of computations using transfer of structure from the chains to the homology?

There is a `long' history of transfer (up to homotopy!) of algebraic structure from a dg _ algebra A to its homology H(A) (e.g. Kadeishvili for the associative case and Heubschmann for the Lie case). ...
18
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1k views

What is the strongest nerve lemma?

The most basic nerve lemma can be found as Corollary 4G.3 in Hatcher's Algebraic Topology: If $\mathcal U$ is an open cover of a paracompact space $X$ such that every nonempty intersection of ...
18
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254 views

are there high-dimensional knots with non-trivial normal bundle?

Does there exist a smooth embedding $\varphi\colon S^k\to S^n$ such that $\varphi(S^k)$ has non-trivial normal bundle? I looked at some of the old papers by Kervaire, Haefliger, Massey, Levine but I ...
18
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0answers
159 views

Which homotopy 2-types are H-spaces?

Let $X$ be a connected CW-complex with $\pi_k(X)$ trivial for $k >2$. Is it known under which circumstances $X$ is an $H$-group? I have been able only to deduce the necessary condition that $\pi_1(...
18
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297 views

Orientation-reversing homotopy equivalence

If there is an orientation-reversing homotopy equivalence on a closed simply-connected orientable manifold is there an orientation-reversing homeomorphism? It is not true, for instance, that if there ...
18
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0answers
436 views

Homotopy type of the affine Grassmannian and of the Beilinson-Drinfeld Grassmannian

The affine Grassmannian of a complex reductive group $G$ (for simplicity one can assume $G=GL_n$) admits the structure of a complex topological space. More precisely, the functor $$X\mapsto |X^{an}|$$ ...
18
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0answers
547 views

If $A, B$ are abelian groups such that $\mathrm{Hom}(A, G) \cong \mathrm{Hom}(B, G)$ for all abelian groups $G$, must $A$ and $B$ be isomorphic?

The question is in the title. If the isomorphism $\mathrm{Hom}(A, G) \cong \mathrm{Hom}(B, G)$ is natural in $G$ then this is just the Yoneda Lemma. If $A$ and $B$ are finitely generated this is also ...
18
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0answers
534 views

Are simplicial finite CW complexes and simplicial finite simplicial sets equivalent?

Edit Originally the question was whether an arbitrary diagram of finite CW complexes can be approximated by a diagram of finite simplicial sets. In view of Tyler's comment, this was clearly asking for ...
18
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0answers
453 views

A curious switch in infinite dimensions

Let $V$ be a finite dimensional real vector space. Let $GL(V)$ be the set of invertible linear transformations, and $\Phi(V)$ be the set of all linear transformations. We can also characterize $\Phi(V)...
18
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612 views

Homotopy groups of spheres and differential forms

The only infinite homotopy groups of spheres are $\pi_n(\mathbb{S}^n)$ and $\pi_{4n-1}(\mathbb{S}^{2n})$. This is a well known result of Serre. In both cases the nontriviality of these groups can be ...

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