@TECHREPORT{Lurie03on∞-topoi, author = {Jacob Lurie}, title = {On ∞-topoi}, institution = {}, year = {2003} }

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Abstract

Let X be a topological space and G an abelian group. There are many different definitions for the cohomology group H n (X, G); we will single out three of them for discussion here. First of all, one has the singular cohomology H n sing(X, G), which is defined as the cohomology of a complex of G-valued singular cochains. Alternatively, one may regard H n (•, G) as a representable functor on the homotopy category of topological spaces, and thereby define H n rep(X, G) to be the set of homotopy classes of maps from X into an Eilenberg-MacLane space K(G, n). A third possibility is to use the sheaf cohomology H n sheaf (X, G) of X with coefficients in the constant sheaf G on X. If X is a sufficiently nice space (for example, a CW complex), then all three of these definitions agree. In general, however, all three give different answers. The singular cohomology of X is constructed using continuous maps from simplices ∆k into X. If there are not many maps into X (for example if every path in X is constant), then we cannot expect H n sing (X, G) to tell us very much about X. Similarly, the cohomology group H n rep(X, G) is defined using maps from X into a simplicial complex, which (ultimately) relies on the existence of continuous real-valued functions on X. If X does not admit many real-valued functions, we should not expect H n rep (X, G) to be a useful invariant. However, the sheaf cohomology of X seems to be a good invariant for arbitrary spaces: it has excellent formal properties in general and sometimes yields