**Are you an EPFL student looking for a semester project?**

Work with us on data science and visualisation projects, and deploy your project as an app on top of GraphSearch.

Publication# Characteristic classes as complete obstructions

Abstract

In the first part of this paper, we propose a uniform interpretation of characteristic classes as obstructions to the reduction of the structure group and to the existence of an equivariant extension of a certain homomorphism defined a priori only on a single fiber of the bundle. Afterwards, we define a family of invariants of principal bundles that detect the number of group reductions that a principal bundle admits. We prove that they fit into a long exact sequence of abelian groups, together with the cohomology of the base space and the cohomology of the classifying space of the structure group.

Official source

This page is automatically generated and may contain information that is not correct, complete, up-to-date, or relevant to your search query. The same applies to every other page on this website. Please make sure to verify the information with EPFL's official sources.

Related concepts

Loading

Related publications

Loading

Related publications (2)

Loading

Loading

Related concepts (12)

Abelian group

In mathematics, an abelian group, also called a commutative group, is a group in which the result of applying the group operation to two group elements does not depend on the order in which they are

Classifying space

In mathematics, specifically in homotopy theory, a classifying space BG of a topological group G is the quotient of a weakly contractible space EG (i.e., a topological space all of whose homotopy gro

Principal bundle

In mathematics, a principal bundle is a mathematical object that formalizes some of the essential features of the Cartesian product X \times G of a space X with a group

This thesis is concerned with the algebraic theory of hermitian forms. It is organized in two parts. The first, consisting of the first two chapters, deals with some descent properties of unimodular hermitian forms over central simple algebras with involution. The second, which consists of the last two chapters, generalizes several classical properties of unimodular hermitian forms over rings with involution to the setting of sesquilinear forms in hermitian categories. The original results established in this thesis are joint work with Professor Eva Bayer-Fluckiger. The first chapter contains an introduction to the algebraic theory of unimodular ε-hermitian forms over fields with involution. One knows that if L/K is an extension of odd degree (where char(K) ≠ 2) then the restriction map rL/K : W(K) →W(L) is injective. In addition, if the extension is purely inseparable then the map rL/K is bijective. In the second chapter we first introduce the basic notions and techniques of the theory of unimodular ε-hermitian forms over algebras with involution, in particular the technique of Morita equivalence. Let L/K be a finite field extension, τ an involution on L and A a finite-dimensional K-algebra endowed with an involution α such that αœK = τœK. E. Bayer-Fluckiger and H.W. Lenstra proved that if L/K is of odd degree and αœK = idK then the restriction map rL/Kε : Wε(A, α) → Wε(A ⊗K L, α ⊗ τ) is injective for any ε = ±1. This holds also if αœK ≠ idK. We prove that if, in addition, L/K is purely inseparable and A is a central simple K-algebra, then the above map is actually bijective. The proof proceeds via induction on the degree of the algebra and uses in an essential way an exact sequence of Witt groups due to R. Parimala, R. Sridharan and V. Suresh, later extended by N. Gernier-Boley and M.G. Mahmoudi. The third chapter contains a survey of the theory of hermitian and quadratic forms in hermitian categories. In particular, we cover the transfer between two hermitian categories, the reduction by an ideal, the transfer into the endomorphism ring of an object, as well as the Krull-Schmidt-Azumaya theorem and some of its applications. In the fourth chapter we prove, adapting the ideas developed by E. Bayer-Fluckiger and L. Fainsilber, that the category of sesquilinear forms in a hermitian category ℳ is equivalent to the category of unimodular hermitian forms in the category of double arrows of ℳ. In order to obtain this equivalence of categories we associate to a sesquilinear form the double arrow consisting of its two adjoints, equipped with a canonical unimodular hermitian form. This equivalence of categories allows us to define a notion of Witt group for sesquilinear forms in hermitian categories. This generalizes the classical notion of a Witt group of unimodular hermitian forms over rings with involution. Using the above equivalence of categories we deduce analogues of the Witt cancellation theorem and Springer's theorem for sesquilinear forms over certain algebras with involution. We also extend some finiteness results due to E. Bayer-Fluckiger, C. Kearton and S.M. J. Wilson. In addition, we study the weak Hasse-Minkowski principle for sesquilinear forms over skew fields with involution over global fields. We prove that this principle holds for systems of sesquilinear forms over a skew field over a global field and endowed with a unitary involution. Two systems of sesquilinear forms are hence isometric if and only if they are isometric over all the completions of the base field. This result has already been known for unimodular hermitian and skew-hermitian forms over rings with involution, under the same hypothesis. Finally, we study the behaviour of the Witt group of a linear hermitian category under extension of scalars. Let K be a field of characteristic different from 2, L a finite extension of K and ℳ a K-linear hermitian category. We define the extension of ℳ to L as being the category with the same objects as ℳ and with morphisms given by the morphisms of ℳ extended to L. We obtain an L-linear hermitian category, denoted by ℳL. The canonical functor of scalar extension ℛL/K : ℳ → ℳL induces for any ε = ±1 a group homomorphism Wε(ℳ) →Wε(ℳL). We prove that if all the idempotents of the category ℳ split and the extension L/K is of odd degree then this homomorphism is injective. This result has already been known in the case when ℳ is the category of finite-dimensional K-vector spaces.

We investigate the theory of principal bundles from a homotopical point of view. In the first part of the thesis, we prove a classification of principal bundles over a fixed base space, dual to the well-known classification of bundles with a fixed structure group. This leads to an adjointness property in a homotopical context between the classifying space and the loop space. We then focus on characteristic classes, which are invariants for principal bundles that take values in the cohomology of the base space. Each characteristic class captures different geo- metric features of principal bundles. We propose a uniform treatment to interpret most of known characteristic classes as obstructions to group reduction and to the extension of a universal cocycle. By plugging in the correct parameters, the method recovers several classical theorems. Afterwards, we construct a long exact sequence of abelian groups for any principal bundle. This sequence involves the cohomology of the base space and the group cohomology of the structure group. Moreover the connecting map is deeply related with the characteristic classes of the bundle.