# Questions tagged [at.algebraic-topology]

Homotopy, stable homotopy, homology and cohomology, homotopical algebra.

786
questions

**69**

votes

**12**answers

10k views

### Compelling evidence that two basepoints are better than one

This question is inspired by an answer of Tim Porter.
Ronnie Brown pioneered a framework for homotopy theory in which one may consider multiple basepoints. These ideas are accessibly presented in his ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Uniqueness of compactification of an end of a manifold

Let $M$ be an $n$-dimensional manifold (smooth or topological). I call $\bar{M}$ a compactification of $M$ if it is an $n$-dimensional compact manifold with boundary $\partial \bar{M}$, an $(n-1)$-...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

838 views

### Necessary conditions for cofibrancy in global projective model structure on simplicial presheaves

Consider the global projective model category
of simplicial presheaves on some category
(the category of smooth manifolds is particularly interesting to me).
In Section 9.1 of Dugger's paper “...

**32**

votes

**2**answers

7k views

### The error in Petrovski and Landis' proof of the 16th Hilbert problem

What was the main error in the proof of the second part of the 16th Hilbert problem by Petrovski and Landis?
Please see this related post and also the following post.. For Mathematical ...

**108**

votes

**7**answers

13k views

### Homotopy groups of Lie groups

Several times I've heard the claim that any Lie group $G$ has trivial second fundamental group $\pi_2(G)$, but I have never actually come across a proof of this fact. Is there a nice argument, ...

**63**

votes

**6**answers

7k 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 ...

**27**

votes

**5**answers

8k views

### What mathematical treatment is there on the renormalization group flow in a space of Lagrangians?

What mathematical treatment is there on the renormalization group flow in a space of Lagrangians?

**51**

votes

**5**answers

5k 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 ...

**17**

votes

**3**answers

3k views

### Euler characteristic of a manifold and self-intersection

This is probably quite easy, but how do you show that the Euler characteristic of a manifold M (defined for example as the alternating sum of the dimensions of integral cohomology groups) is equal to ...

**102**

votes

**6**answers

8k views

### Counterexamples in algebraic topology?

In this thread
Books you would like to read (if somebody would just write them...),
I expressed my desire for a book with the title "(Counter)examples in Algebraic Topology".
My reason for doing so ...

**68**

votes

**7**answers

8k views

### Cubical vs. simplicial singular homology

Singular homology is usually defined via singular simplices, but Serre in his thesis uses singular cubes, which he claims are better adapted to the study of fibre spaces. This young man (25 years old ...

**38**

votes

**4**answers

4k views

### Why the Dold-Thom theorem?

Dold-Thom Theorem: $$\pi_i(SP(X))\cong\tilde{H}_i(X)$$
It's pretty miraculous, no? I've seen its proof, where you show that the composition of the functors on the left-side satisfies the axioms of a ...

**47**

votes

**9**answers

6k views

### Fundamental groups of noncompact surfaces

I got fantastic answers to my previous question (about modern references for the fact that surfaces can be triangulated), so I thought I'd ask a related question. A basic fact about surface topology ...

**47**

votes

**0**answers

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 ...

**13**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Giving $Top(X,Y)$ an appropriate topology

I am not sure if its OK to ask this question here.
Let $Top$ be the category of topological spaces. Let $X,Y$ be objects in $Top$.
Let $F:\mathbb{I}\rightarrow Top(X,Y)$ be a function (I will ...

**36**

votes

**6**answers

13k views

### How do you show that $S^{\infty}$ is contractible?

Here I mean the version with all but finitely many components zero.

**16**

votes

**3**answers

3k views

### What determines a model structure?

It is easy to prove that a model structure is determined by the following classes of maps (determined = two model structures with the mentioned classes in common are equal).
cofibrations and weak ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

4k views

### Kuenneth-formula for group cohomology with nontrivial action on the coefficient

For a trivial action on the coefficient, we have the following Kuenneth formula
for group cohomology:
$$
H^n(G_1 \times G_2; M) \cong
[\oplus_{i= 0}^n H^i(G_1;M) \otimes_M H^{n-i}(G_2;M)]
\oplus [\...

**40**

votes

**6**answers

3k views

### Does $\mathbb C\mathbb P^\infty$ have a group structure?

Does $\mathbb C\mathbb P^\infty$ have a (commutative) group structure? More specifically, is it homeomorphic to $FS^2$, (the connected component of) the free commutative group on $S^2$?
$\mathbb C\...

**29**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### What are the “correct” conventions for defining Clifford algebras?

I have three related questions about conventions for defining Clifford algebras.
1) Let $(V, q)$ be a quadratic vector space. Should the Clifford algebra $\text{Cliff}(V, q)$ have defining ...

**28**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Not all manifolds can be triangulated: In which dimensions?

I know that Ciprian Manolescu has settled the triangulation conjecture in the negative: Not all manifolds can be triangulated. I've only read secondary literature on this result, which did not detail ...

**43**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Brown representability for non-connected spaces

In many places (on MO, elsewhere on the Internet, and perhaps even in some textbooks) one finds a statement of the classical Brown representability theorem that looks something like this:
If $F$ is ...

**20**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Fundamental groups of topological groups.

Let $G$ be a topological group, and $\pi_1(G,e)$ its fundamental group at the identity. If $G$ is the trivial group then $G \cong \pi_1(G,e)$ as abstract groups. My question is:
If $G$ is a non-...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Finite dimensional real division algebras

A celebrated theorem of Milnor and Kervaire asserts that any finite dimensional (not necessarily associative, unital) division algebra over the real numbers has dimension 1,2,4 or 8. This result is ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

361 views

### $G$ cocycle split to a coboundary in $J$, via a group extension

Consider a generic nontrivial $d$-cocycle $\omega_d^G \in H^d(G,U(1))$ in the cohomology group of a group $G$ with $U(1)=\mathbb{R}/\mathbb{Z}$ coefficient. In otherwords, here the $d$-cocycle $\...

**17**

votes

**7**answers

3k views

### Whitehead for maps

I made the following claim over at the Secret Blogging Seminar, and now I'm not sure it's true:
Let $f: X \to Y$ and $g: X \to Y$ be two maps between finite CW complexes. If f and g induce the same ...

**126**

votes

**24**answers

14k views

### Occurrences of (co)homology in other disciplines and/or nature

I am curious if the setup for (co)homology theory appears outside the realm of pure mathematics. The idea of a family of groups linked by a series of arrows such that the composition of consecutive ...

**86**

votes

**10**answers

18k views

### Motivation for algebraic K-theory?

I'm looking for a big-picture treatment of algebraic K-theory and why it's important. I've seen various abstract definitions (Quillen's plus and Q constructions, some spectral constructions like ...

**51**

votes

**12**answers

21k views

### Algebraic Topology Beyond the Basics:Any Texts Bridging The Gap?

Peter May said famously that algebraic topology is a subject poorly served by its textbooks. Sadly, I have to agree. Although we have a freightcar full of excellent first-year algebraic topology texts ...

**86**

votes

**10**answers

9k 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 ...

**113**

votes

**7**answers

13k views

### Topology and the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics

I was very happy to learn that the work which led to the award of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics (shared between David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz) uses Topology. In ...

**64**

votes

**9**answers

10k 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 ...

**67**

votes

**9**answers

8k views

### What are the uses of the homotopy groups of spheres?

Pete Clark threw down the challenge in his comment to my answer on Why the heck are the homotopy groups of the sphere so damn complicated?:
Have the homotopy groups of spheres ever been applied to ...

**49**

votes

**10**answers

7k 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 ...

**38**

votes

**6**answers

9k views

### Why are local systems and representations of the fundamental group equivalent

My question: Let X be a sufficiently 'nice' topological space. Then there is an equivalence between representations of the fundamental group of X and local systems on X, i.e. sheaves on X locally ...

**32**

votes

**4**answers

7k views

### Mathematically mature way to think about Mayer–Vietoris

This question is short but to the point: what is the "right" abstract framework where Mayer-Vietoris is just a trivial consequence?

**54**

votes

**2**answers

5k 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. ...

**40**

votes

**7**answers

7k views

### Non-examples of model structures, that fail for subtle/surprising reasons?

An often-cited principle of good mathematical exposition is that a definition should always come with a few examples and a few non-examples to help the learner get an intuition for where the concept's ...

**40**

votes

**8**answers

16k views

### An “advanced beginner's” book on algebraic topology?

It has so happened that I have come this far knowing nothing on the subject of algebraic topology (as in homology theories of topological spaces and their applications). I've decided to finally read ...

**63**

votes

**9**answers

7k views

### What is a continuous path?

I would like some help, because I am getting mad trying to answer the following
Question: Let $X$ be a topological space, what is a continuous path in $X$?
Well, maybe you're already getting ...

**47**

votes

**3**answers

9k 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 ...

**39**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### The Origin(s) of Modular and Moduli

In mathematics and in physics, people use the terms "modular..." and "moduli space" very often. I was puzzled by the etymology, the origins and the similarity/equivalence/differences for these usages/...

**32**

votes

**4**answers

4k 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 $...

**27**

votes

**4**answers

4k views

### The Jouanolou trick

In Une suite exacte de Mayer-Vietoris en K-théorie algébrique (1972) Jouanolou proves that for any quasi-projective variety $X$ there is an affine variety $Y$ which maps surjectively to $X$ with ...

**35**

votes

**4**answers

3k 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 ...

**33**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### `Naturally occuring' $K(\pi, n)$ spaces, for $n \geq 2$.

[edited!] Given a group $\pi$ and an integer $n>1$, what are examples of Eilenberg-Maclane spaces $K(\pi, n)$ that can be constructed as "known" manifolds? (or if not a manifold, say some space ...

**71**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Does $\Bbb{CP}^{2n} \# \Bbb{CP}^{2n}$ ever support an almost complex structure?

This question has been crossposted from Math.SE in the hopes that it reaches a larger audience here.
$\Bbb{CP}^{2n+1} \# \Bbb{CP}^{2n+1}$ supports a complex structure: $\Bbb{CP}^{2n+1}$ has an ...

**31**

votes

**8**answers

3k views

### Why do we need model categories?

I cannot give a good answer to this question. And
2) Why this definition of model category is the right way to give a philosophy of homotopy theory? Why didn't we use any other definition?
3) Has ...

**25**

votes

**3**answers

3k views

### (co)homology of symmetric groups

Let $S_n=\{\text{bijections }[n]\to[n]\}$ be the n-th symmetric group. Its (co)homology will be understood with trivial action. What are the $\mathbb{Z}$-modules $H_k(S_n;\mathbb{Z})$? Using GAP, we ...

**24**

votes

**5**answers

7k views

### (Co)homology of the Eilenberg-MacLane spaces K(G,n)

Let $(G, n)$ be a pair such that $n$ is a natural number, $G$ is a finite group which is abelian if $n \geq 1$. It is well-known that $\pi_n(K(G,n)) = G$ and $\pi_i (K(G,n)) = 0$ if $i \neq n$.
Also ...