Concept

# Homology sphere

Summary
In algebraic topology, a homology sphere is an n-manifold X having the homology groups of an n-sphere, for some integer . That is, and for all other i. Therefore X is a connected space, with one non-zero higher Betti number, namely, . It does not follow that X is simply connected, only that its fundamental group is perfect (see Hurewicz theorem). A rational homology sphere is defined similarly but using homology with rational coefficients. The Poincaré homology sphere (also known as Poincaré dodecahedral space) is a particular example of a homology sphere, first constructed by Henri Poincaré. Being a spherical 3-manifold, it is the only homology 3-sphere (besides the 3-sphere itself) with a finite fundamental group. Its fundamental group is known as the binary icosahedral group and has order 120. Since the fundamental group of the 3-sphere is trivial, this shows that there exist 3-manifolds with the same homology groups as the 3-sphere that are not homeomorphic to it. A simple construction of this space begins with a dodecahedron. Each face of the dodecahedron is identified with its opposite face, using the minimal clockwise twist to line up the faces. Gluing each pair of opposite faces together using this identification yields a closed 3-manifold. (See Seifert–Weber space for a similar construction, using more "twist", that results in a hyperbolic 3-manifold.) Alternatively, the Poincaré homology sphere can be constructed as the quotient space SO(3)/I where I is the icosahedral group (i.e., the rotational symmetry group of the regular icosahedron and dodecahedron, isomorphic to the alternating group A5). More intuitively, this means that the Poincaré homology sphere is the space of all geometrically distinguishable positions of an icosahedron (with fixed center and diameter) in Euclidean 3-space. One can also pass instead to the universal cover of SO(3) which can be realized as the group of unit quaternions and is homeomorphic to the 3-sphere.