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Applications of algebra to

a problem in topology

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Joint work with

Mike Hill
and

Doug Ravenel

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Pontryagin (1930’s)

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Pontryagin (1930’s)

cobordism group of stably


framed k-manifolds

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Pontryagin (1930’s)

k=0

k=1

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Pontryagin (1930s) k=2

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Pontryagin (1930s) k=2

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Pontryagin (1930s) k=2

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Pontryagin (1930s) This defines a fuction

If genus , and so

You can always lower the genus with surgery

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Pontryagin (?)

is not linear

it’s quadratic and refines


the intersection pairing

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Pontryagin (?)

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Kervaire (1960)
(framed)

defined

quadratic refinement of the intersection pairing

showed

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Kervaire (1960)

produced a piecewise linear

with

hence has no smooth structure

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Browder (1969)

there exists
represented by

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Barratt-Jones-Mahowald (1969, 1984)

The elements exist dimensions


for

so the first open dimension is 126

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The Kervaire invariant problem

In which dimensions can

be non-zero?

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Doomsday Theorem (Hill, H., Ravenel)

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Adams-Novikov
Spectral Sequence

Something easier
to compute

Adams Spectral
Sequence

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Adams-Novikov
Spectral Sequence

Something easier
to compute

Adams Spectral
Sequence

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for supports a
non-zero differential

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Adams-Novikov
Spectral Sequence

Something easier
to compute

Adams Spectral
Sequence

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periodicity Theorem

Rochlin’s Theorem

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K-theory and reality (Atiyah, 1966)

space with a action

vector bundles with


compatible conjugate-
linear action

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slice filtration
(Dugger, Hu-Kriz, H.-Morel, Voevodsky)

Assemble K-theory
from the equivariant
chains on

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slice filtration

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periodicity

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periodicity

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level 5 topological modular forms

Like with instead of

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32
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32
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2 below the
the period
period

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2 below the
the period
period

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slice filtration

Assemble tmf(5) from


the equivariant chains
on

the 4 dimensional real


regular representation of

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-2 0

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2 below the the period
period

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gap + periodicity

differentials on the

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The actual proof

Step 1: Use and an appropriate


cohomology theory

Step 2: Show that all the choices of


are distinguished

Step 3: Prove a gap theorem (easy)

Step 4: Prove a periodicity theorem (of period 256)

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Relation to Geometry/Physics?

4 dimensional field theory?

generalization of Clifford algebras with


periodicity of
(maybe twice that)

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Question

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