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You are on page 1of 18

LOOP

SPACE

THEORY

REVISITED

by J. P. May

Just space with there theory little

over two years [37].

ago I wrote there work

a summary seemed

of infinite

loop

At the time, promising done

to be a lull

in activity, out,

immediately so much

in progress. that

As it turns

has been

in the

interim

an update

of the sum-

mary may be useful. The with space ogical initial survey was divided into four chapters, dealing loop

additive theory,

infinite

loop space analysis loop

theory,

multiplicative loop

infinite

descriptive

of infinite

spaces, devote

and homolto

analysis

of infinite

spaces.

We shall

a section a

developments section

in each of these general evolving

areas

and shall

also devote space

to the newly

equivariant

infinite hardly that

loop

theory. on here

Two of the b i g g e s t however. I ended

developments with

will

be touched

the old survey

the hope

"much new inforstructures in stable

m a t i o n will described homotopy different

come when we learn how can e f f e c t i v e l y This hope

the rich space

level

here

be e x p l o i t e d

for c a l c u l a t i o n s by work

theory."

is being

realized

in two quite

directions. in [37, §4], the a p p r o x i m a t i o n theorem to the

As d i s c u s s e d effect space that that ~nznx CnX plays

is a group

completion

of the simple theory.

combinatorial I stated there

a central

role

in the general

"homotopical This

exploitation longer

of the a p p r o x i m a t i o n

t h e o r e m has b a r e l y is now one of having and I plan

begun." the more

is no

the case.

Such e x p l o i t a t i o n recent

active

areas

of homotopy Brown

theory,

contributions Sanderson

been made by Mahowald, Koschorke, Caruso

and Peterson, and F. Cohen,

R. Cohen, Taylor, [42],

and Waner,

and myself. and will

to summarize

the p r e s e n t a remark

state of the art in in section theorem of E

content myof the

self here w i t h equivariant

two and a brief in s e c t i o n five.

discussion

approximation the n o t i o n

Second, led to a simpler is really p a r t rather

ring

spectrum ring

discussed spectrum.

in

[37,

§ii]

homotopical

notion

of H

This

concept

of stable

homotopy

theory

as u n d e r s t o o d theory,

classically, to be basic based in

than part of infinite

loop space

and seems

to that subject. on this the not able concept

An i n t r o d u c t i o n are given future in [39].

and p a r t i a l A complete

summary

of results will

treatment

appear

too distant

[5]; meanwhile,

the main

results

are avail[28], and

in the theses [44].

of Bruner

[4], S t e i n b e r g e r

[60], Lewis

McClure

626

I must end the i n t r o d u c t i o n this short report, I shall errors, have both

on a less

sanguine

note.

Even large

in

to m e n t i o n

a disconcertingly

n u m b e r of p u b l i s h e d mine and those

theoretical

and calculational, to ascribe human

both this blind-

of many

others.

I do not know w h e t h e r of the subject,

to carelessness, ness. Certainly

the c o m p l e x i t y the lesson

or simple of extreme

is that an attitude difficult

skepticism

is w a r r a n t e d by total theories

towards

any really pertains

piece of work not s u p p o r t e d to some of the e m b r y o n i c

detail. discussed

This

particularly two and five.

in sections

§i.

Additive infinite

The first

loop space t h e o r y

to be c e l e b r a t e d to make a truly is in the state of the art to beginAnyone approaches

change

of exposition. ners,

In an attempt has w r i t t e n

the subject delightful

accessible tract [i].

Frank Adams a painless

wishing

introduction, principle, survey,

in p a r t i c u l a r

to the various

to the r e c o g n i t i o n In Adams' tion between spreading structing ferent these

is urged to read it. is a little of the flavor of competithe w o r s t offender in

there

approaches,

and I was perhaps is that data

this

atmosphere.

The p o i n t level

the black boxes

for condif-

spectra it was spectra

out of space far

looked

so d r a s t i c a l l y

that

from obvious

to me that they w o u l d p r o d u c e

equivalent

from the same data. in the last two years There ways is only one is that we now have loop such

A major a uniqueness but there

advance

theorem.

infinite it. sort

space machine,

are various

to c o n s t r u c t

The [12], who K-theory. the p a i r i n g [13] fails

first uniqueness

theorem of this from rings

is due to F i e d o r o w i c z of a l g e b r a i c getting in 165

axiomatized (Actually, he needs

the p a s s a g e there

to the spectra associated

are lim I problems

with

on the G e r s t e n - W a g o n e r substantive

spectra; reason

the a r g u m e n t that n on page

is wrong,

for the silly but

to be a n a t u r a l simple,

transformation.) but e x t r e m e l y level namely

Fiedorowicz'

idea is b a s e d on which is at be-

the f o l l o w i n g the h e a r t low.

fruitful, uniqueness a sequence Then

observation theorems

of all the s p e c t r u m

discussed Xi =

Let X be a bispectrum, of spectra

of spectra the Here

{Xi, j} X0 =

and e q u i v a l e n c e s

X i + ~Xi+ I.

0th s p e c t r u m spectra

{X0, j} is e q u i v a l e n t least ~-spectra; working in

to the s p e c t r u m

{Xi,0}.

are at one is

one has v a r i a n t s A].

depending

on w h a t

category

[43, App.

Thomason

and I used this

idea to a x i o m a t i z e

infinite

loop

space

627

m ach i n e s precisely

[43], what

and I want

to say just enough is. categories

about

our work

to explain

such a gadget topological Let

Consider n = {0,1,...,n}.

w i t h objects of finite

the b a s e d sets; take

sets its ob0 to 0. and at

F be the category

based

jects Inside

are the n and its m o r p h i s m s F, we have the s u b c a t e g o r y namely

are all functions K consisting

which

of the injections that f-l(j) has

projections,

those m o r p h i s m s

f:m + n such

most one element ators

for 1 < j < n. K and maps

**We say that G is a category to F; we say that G is an E Let T be the c a t e g o r y n ÷ X
**

-n

of opercategory

if it contains

if the map to F is an equivalence. spaces. that A G-space is a functor

of b a s e d such

G ÷ T, w r i t t e n

on objects,

the n p r o j e c t i o n s

~ + ! induce

an e q u i v a l e n c e

X n ÷ X n for n > 0 1

(and a t e c h n i c a l

cofibration

condition

is satisfied). E is an E category a natural group G and a group comto is

An i n f i n i t e

loop space m a c h i n e to s p e c t r a

functor E from G - s p a c e s pletion t:X 1 ÷ E0X. ~0Xl and,

t o g et h e r w i t h

Thus

~0E0 x is the u n i v e r s a l

associated H,E0X

the m o n o i d obtained

for any c o m m u t a t i v e ring H,X 1 by

coefficient localizing that

ring,

from the P o n t r y a g i n With just

at ~0Xl ~ H 0 x I. infinite loop

this one axiom,

we p r o v e

any two

space m a c h i n e s we p r o v e

defined on G - s p a c e s theorem for

are n a t u r a l l y F-spaces

equivalent.

Actually,

the u n i q u e n e s s

and deduce suitably

it for G - s p a c e s inverse to the by

by use of a functor pullback comparing operad machine equal functor

from G-spaces

to F-spaces The p ro o f

the other way.

for F-spaces machine G.

proceeds [50]. May's

any given m a c h i n e [37, §2])

to Segal's rise

original

An E original

(as in [35,36]

gives

to an E~ c a t e g o r y

was only

defined

on those G - s p a c e s

with

Xn actually

to X n I.

We g e n e r a l i z e that the May really

its domain

of d e f i n i t i o n

to all G-spaces Any

and so conclude othe r m a c h i n e I have of infinite p oin t such being

and Segal m a c h i n e s

are equivalent.

which

is a m a c h i n e an a d d e n d u m

must be e q u i v a l e n t asserting

to these.

also given

[40]

the uniqueness categories, of p a s s i n g loop the from

loop space m a c h i n e s that there

defined quite

on p e r m u t a t i v e d i f f e r e n t ways

are several data

categories

to the domain

(G-spaces)

of infinite

space

theory. Due to work of T h o m a s o n standing of this passage, [64], we now have with a much better class under-

together

a more general

of m o r p h -

isms to w h i c h rive

it can be applied. is harmless; I for one (A,D,*,c), see

(On objects, [37, §8].)

restriction

to p e r m u t a may be a perprofirst is to

categories

Some

discussion

worthwhile, mutative duct w i t h attempt

since

find the ideas so that D : A x A commutativity

illuminating.

Given

category unit

~ A is an a s s o c i a t i v e isomorphism c, one's

* and n a t u r a l

to get into the domain

of an i nf i n i t e

loop space m a c h i n e

628

try

to w r i t e

down

a functor

F + Cat with

th n-- category defines

precisely

An .

In

detail,

for a m o r p h i s m

f : m ÷ n in F, one =

a functor

f,:A m ÷ A n b y

f , ( A 1 ..... Am) on objects define and morphisms. F ÷ Cat,

(B 1 ..... Bn) , B k = to p e r m u t a t i o n s , it is a s i m p l e

[] Aj, f(j)=k these functors fail to

Due but

a functor

matter

t o use c to w r i t e Upon writing that one has and have hence the out the

down natural formal

transformations satisfied theorists

c(f,g) : (fg), ÷ f,g,. by t h e s e have data, one sees

properties category

a sort called term

of s y s t e m a lax op-lax

known

about

for y e a r s ,

functor in

(up to o p p o s i t e Ross Street

conventions

on the c(f,g), not just

[64]).

[63] p r o v i d e s functor

one but way, upon

of c o n s t r u c t i n g category of t h e functor [63]

an a s s o c i a t e d

F ÷ Cat.

Either

two ways th the n--

is e q u i v a l e n t

to A n a n d w e 1 functor [50] of B.

obtain

an F - s p a c e

application such a

classifying is due

space

A third way

of g e t t i n g in

to S e g a l a notion that

and explained

in d e t a i l

[40].

Street lax

developed

lax n a t u r a l things

transformation actual

between

functors tions deduce allows FA~FB

and showed either

such

induce

natural

transformaof B, w e This

under that

o f his

constructions.

Upon induce

application maps of

lax n a t u r a l

transformations coherent

F-spaces.

morphisms ÷ F(A~B)

F:A + B with

natural

transformations neither Segal's conis

which

n e e d n o t be

isomorphisms;

struction functorial

nor my passage with respect

from permutative to s u c h these

categories

to E

spaces

lax m o r p h i s m s . observations are n o t being the m a i n to s h o w thrust that B

I should of Thomason's converts colimits has since

add that in

work

[64],

his primary of

purpose

homotopy of

colimits

categories,

suitably study [65]

defined, o f this later

to h o m o t o p y comparison this re-

spaces. given its

(A d e t a i l e d by Gray spectrum

categorical Thomason version,

been

[18].) level

used

sult, esting tive

or rather spectral

to d e d u c e

some very

inter-

sequences

involving

the algebraic

K-theory

of p e r m u t a -

categories. Before leaving the a d d i t i v e The theory, first I want to s a y a bit about ways

two more of

uniqueness at t h e

theorems.

reconciles

two natural

looking

stable

classifying

spaces

of g e o m e t r i c

topology. is g e n e r a l . L is t h e one can

Consider One can

Top

for d e f i n i t e n e s s ;

needless This §7].

to say, is an On

the argument where hand, two

form BTop isometries KTop(n) in as

= lim BTop(n). operad; see [37,

L-space, the o t h e r There

linear regard

a permutative that the

category. is in

result

spectra, cover of

and I proved the s e c o n d . technical

[41]

first

fact

the connected the

While

this m a y

seem plausible the linear

enough,

lack of obvious and the

relationship

between

isometries

data

629

p e r m u t a t i v e data makes ject.

the proof one of the more difficult in the subthe foundations seem to be complete; any two

W i t h this result,

m a c h i n e - b u i l t spectra w h i c h ought to be e q u i v a l e n t are equivalent. The last uniqueness t h e o r e m I w a n t to mention concerns A spaces In (see [35, §3]) rather than E spaces and is due to T h o m a s o n for c o n s t r u c t i n g a c l a s s i f y i n g operad. [66].

[35, p. 134], I gave two machines or delooping,

space,

functor on C-spaces X, w h e r e C is an A

One can either form a bar construction B(SI,cxCI,X) X by an e q u i v a l e n t m o n o i d B(M,C,X) space of the latter.

directly or replace

and take the classical c l a s s i f y i n g

The second approach is more or less obviously for A spaces of B o a r d m a n and V o g t space by

e q u i v a l e n t to the d e l o o p i n g machines [3] and Segal [50]. When X is an E

space r e g a r d e d as an A

n e g l e c t of structure, Segal machines

one is looking at first deloopings

in the May and

respectively, theorem.

hence the two are e q u i v a l e n t by the s p e c t r u m the total lack of c o m m u t a t i v i t y

level uniqueness

In general,

in the situation, w i t h the c o n c o m i t a n t lack of the simple group completion notion, makes the consistency m u c h harder. quite ingenious proof that these two deloopings Thomason has given a are always equivalent.

The result gains interest from w o r k to be m e n t i o n e d in the next section.

§2.

Multiplicative infinite

loop space theory

Here the most s i g n i f i c a n t d e v e l o p m e n t has been that m e n t i o n e d in the introduction, As d i s c u s s e d in tions by an E the i n v e n t i o n and e x p l o i t a t i o n of H ring spectra.

[37, §ii], E

ring spectra are defined in terms of acH ring spectra are defined in the but are really given in While H ring spectra

o p e r a d G on spectra.

stable category, w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e to operads, terms of actions up to h o m o t o p y by E operads.

are much more amenable to h o m o t o p i c a l analysis, E

ring spectra are of for

course still e s s e n t i a l to the infinite loop space level applications w h i c h they were d e s i g n e d no H E (see [37, §10-14]). In particular, there is

analog of the r e c o g n i t i o n p r i n c i p l e w h i c h allows one to construct ring spaces. (I m u s t report that the passage ring spaces in [36, VI §4], despite

ring spectra from E

from b i p e r m u t a t i v e

categories to E

being i n t u i t i v e l y obvious, be given in [5].)

is b l a t a n t l y wrong;

a correct treatment w i l l

A n o t h e r s i g n i f i c a n t d e v e l o p m e n t has been the appearance of int e r e s t i n g examples of E n and H n ring spectra and of E n ring spaces 1 ~ n < ~. The definitional framework is exactly the same as w h e n o p e r a d but an E n operad, so that n = ~, e x c e p t that now G is not an E for

630

th its 3-- space has space of j-tuples Lewis

the Z . - e q u i v a r i a n t 3 of d i s t i n c t points has shown

homotopy of R n.

type of the c o n f i g u r a t i o n

[5, 28]

that if X is an n - f o l d then the resulting by BF, one

loop space

and Mf is

f:X + BO is an n - f o l d an E n ring spectrum; ring spectrum. E n ring spaces tion w i t h ized James the analysis maps

loop map,

Thom spectrum at least gets

if BO is r e p l a c e d

an H n

have

appeared,

totally

unexpectedly, properties

in connec-

of the m u l t i p l i c a t i v e

of the g e n e r a l -

jq:CnX ~ Q(Cn,q

used by Cohen, Taylor and m y s e l f

+

^Z

q

X

(q)

)

split CnX. and the map The p r o d u c t j with com-

[9] to stably space,

over q ~ 0 of the targets ponents

is an E n ring in the sense

jq is "exponential"

that it carries E n action

the additive

E n action

on CnX to the new m u l t i p l i c a t i v e this completely determines about

on the product. behavior of

In principle,

the h o m o l o g i c a l this in [42], but

the James maps. some time before Another spaces

I shall details recent

say more appear.

it w i l l be

development above.

concerns

A

ring

spaces,

or E 1 ring coher-

in the language

These

are rings

up to all h i g h e r K-theory

ence homotopies. ring space

I have

constructed [38] (modulo

the algebraic some annoying

of an A necesform down

R as follows

corrections in [5]). We

sary in the combinatories, the space M n R of the o r d i n a r y invo l v e d

w h i c h will be s u p p l i e d with coefficients

(n×n)-matrices product,

in R.

Writing

matrix

but w i t h

the additions actions,

and m u l t i p l i c a t i o n s we c o n s t r u c t an A

parametrized

by the given

operad

operad H n which

acts on MnR. the usual

We then c o n s t r u c t inclusion

morphisms

of operads

Hn+ 1 ÷ H n such that of H -spaces n

MnR + Mn+IR We next

is an Hn+l-ma p, diagrams

wher e M n R is an H n + l - s p a c e

by pullback.

form p u l l b a c k

FM R n

~M R n

GL ( n , 7roR)---*Mn (~0 R) .

Thus F M n R is the space of invertible space functor components in MnR. We have a

1

t

classifying cussed

B n on Hn-Spaces a choice

for each n

(indeed,

as disWe

in the p r e v i o u s

section,

of e q u i v a l e n t

functors).

let KR be the plus and define [38];

construction Various

on the telescope basic p r o p e r t i e s

of the spaces

BnFMnR in

K , R = ~,KR.

of KR are p r o v e n the

for example,

if FR = F M I R is the unit space of R, then

631

inclusion

of m o n o m i a l + KR.

matrices

in FMnR yields

a natural

map

Q0(BIFR~{0}) t opo l o g i c a l infinite

If R is a discrete ring,

ring,

this

is Ouillen's [67].

K,R.

If R is a KR is an

it is W a l d h a u s e n ' s [38, 10.12].

In these more

cases,

loop

space

I have

several

or less rigorous but I could

unpublished easily write loop space Steiner yet deep

proofs

that KR is always

a first

loop space,

a disquisition The

on how not latter

to prove

that KR is an infinite

in general.

failures

are joint w o r k with idea that has

and Thomason,

but Steiner Certainly

still has one p r o m i s i n g deloopability

to be shot down. theorem While

the infinite

of KR is a

if it is true. various other A work ring [67] spaces are known, the m o t i v a t i o n groups for

comes

from W a l d h a u s e n ' s

connecting K-theory.

the W h i t e h e a d

stable PL c o n c o r d a n c e Q(~X~{0}) is an A

to a l g e b r a i c space

For a b a s e d space X, this beK-theory is

ring

and we define AX = KQ(~X~{0}), definitions of the algebraic

ing one of W a l d h a u s e n ' s of a space.

proposed

We also define A(X;Z) Abelian group

= KN(~X~{0}), generated

w h e r e N(~X~{0})

the free t o p o l o g i c a l the r e a l i z a t i o n

by ~X or,

equivalently, loop a

IZ[GSX] I of the singular

integral of X.

group ring In [38],

of the Kan

group on the total rational

complex

I constructed

equivalence Waldhausen

AX + A(X;Z). [68] c o n s t r u c t e d fibration another functor, total call it WX, and fibre (As and

established a homology

a natural theory

sequence

with

space WXXZ,

(as a functor

of X) , and base

space whPL(x).

far as I know, others have

proofs

are not yet available.

However, in

Steinberger

checked

out the indications The connection [19], with

of proof

[68]

and in W a l d depends is ason

hausen's

lectures.

concordance

groups

a stability definitely

c l a i m of H a t c h e r incorrect; there Hatcher

the p u b l i s h e d

proof

of w h i c h

and Igusa

(and I am told Burghelea) claim, but no proof equivalence

sure us that been given.)

is an adequate

correct

has yet

Waldhausen

also claims

a rational

WX ÷ A(X;Z) , applications of and

and it is on the basis proceed. proof.

of this

claim that

all c a l c u l a t i o n a l

I have not yet seen or h e a r d Clearly it suffices

any c o n v i n c i n g

indications

to show that WX and AX are equivalent, theorem even if an a l t e r n a t i v e towards this

this w o u l d be a deep and s a t i s f y i n g argument and seems were available.

Steinberger close

is w o r k i n g

result

to be reasonably

to a proof. recent development of c o n s i d e r a b l e of parts of multo His

There interest. tiplicative a theory

has been one other has g i v e n

Woolfson infinite

a Segal

style

treatment

loop space

theory.

His p a p e r summarized

[72] is d e v o t e d in [37, §12].

analogous

to the E

ring theory

632

paper

[73] is devoted to a r e f o r m u l a t i o n

in his context of the o r i e n t a -

tion theory d i s c u s s e d in [37, §14] and to a proof of N i s h i d a ' s nilpotency theorem along lines p r o p o s e d by Segal [72] or the first half of ticular b i p e r m u t a t i v e is u n f o r t u n a t e l y [52]. (I have not read

[73] for details, but the passage from parto hyper F-spaces my sketched in [72]

categories

just as b l a t a n t l y w r o n g as ring spaces in

passage from b i p e r m u t a a correct [73]

tive categories to E

[36]; as stated before, [5].

treatment of this point w i l l appear in cannot be recommended; a r g u m e n t as a w h o l e

The second half of

the proof of T h e o r e m 2.2 is incorrect,

and the

is much harder than that based on the simpler ring s p e c t r u m [5, 39].)

h o m o t o p i c a l notion of an H This theory raises

further uniqueness questions of the sort and these have been c o n s i d e r e d by

d i s c u s s e d in the first section, Thomason.

The conclusion seems to be that there p r o b a b l y exists an that it

appropriate theory but that the details w o u l d be so h o r r e n d o u s w o u l d not be w o r t h d e v e l o p i n g unless a c o m m a n d i n g need arose. Incidentally,

a Segal type approach to the c o n s t r u c t i o n and

infinite delooping of KR was one of the failures m e n t i o n e d above.

§3.

Descriptive analysis of i n f i n i t e

loop spaces

The deepest new result under this heading is the proof of the infinite loop version of the complex Adams conjecture. r away from r, the composite BU ~ -I~Bu J ~BSF is not just null h o m o t o p i c That is, the This was Their proposed as a map of spaces but as a map of infinite loop spaces. a s s o c i a t e d composite map of spectra is null homotopic. o r i g i n a l l y a n n o u n c e d by F r i e d l a n d e r and Seymour proofs p r o c e e d e d along wholly different based on Snaith's assertion model lines. [17]. When localized

That of Seymour was

[56, 4.1] that Seymour's bundle t h e o r e t i c a l

[54] for the fibre JU(r) of ~r-i could be c o n s t r u c t e d in a more Snaith's a s s e r t i o n is now known to be false~ (The error also makes [56, §4-7] and this and [57]

economical way.

line of proof is moribund. much less interesting.) proof.

I have been carefully checking F r i e d l a n d e r ' s and I am

It is an enormously impressive piece of mathematics, It will appear in

c o n v i n c e d that it is correct.

[16], in due course.

The infinite loop Adams conjecture, when c o m b i n e d w i t h earlier results and the uniqueness t h e o r e m for the stable c l a s s i f y i n g spaces of g e o m e t r i c topology d i s c u s s e d in section one, largely completes the The

p r o g r a m of analyzing these infinite loop spaces at odd primes. grand c o n c l u s i o n is stated in the introduction of * See Seymour and Snaith, these Proceedings. [41].

One e s s e n t i a l

633

ingredient was the w o r k of Madsen,

Snaith,

and Tornehave

[32], and [i, §6].

complete new proofs of their results have been given by Adams here remain interesting p r o b l e m s at p = 2.

Here no lifting An

~:BSO ÷ F/O of ~r-I:BSO ÷ BSO, r ~ ±3 mod 8, can even be an H-map.

analysis of the h o m o l o g i c a l b e h a v i o r of one choice of ~ has been given by B r u m f i e l and Madsen [6] and the deviation from additivity of another [67]. A provocative

choice has been studied in detail by T o r n e h a v e

formulation of a p o s s i b l e 2-primary infinite loop version of the real Adams conjecture has been given by M i l l e r and Priddy [46], although we

have not the slightest idea of how their conjectures might be proven. Similarly, M a d s e n about the infinite [31, 2.9] has made some very i n t e r e s t i n g conjectures loop structure of F/Top at p = 2, but again there

are no proofs in sight. One very s a t i s f y i n g result along these lines has been given by Priddy [47]. Using the transfer and h o m o l o g y calculations, he has in

shown that, at the prime 2, SF is a direct factor QB(Z2/Z 2) and F/O is a direct factor in QBO(2).

(up to homotopy)

The first assertion their

is a deeper m u l t i p l i c a t i v e analog of the K a h n - P r i d d y theorem, proof of which has just recently a p p e a r e d that, [24,25].

T h a t result gave It is natural for p > 2.

at any p r i m e p, Q0 S0 is a direct factor in QBZp.

to conjecture

that SF is also a direct factor in QB(Zp/Zp)

However, because of the problems e x p l a i n e d in Priddy's lines w o u l d be much more difficult.

[8, II §6], a proof along There are three other Segal [49]

splittings of this general nature that should be mentioned. p r o v e d that BU is a direct factor in QBU(1) and B e c k e r

[2] p r o v e d that

BSp is a direct factor in QBSp(1) Snaith

and BO is a direct factor in QBO(2). and used them to deduce

[59] r e d e r i v e d these last splittings

stable d e c o m p o s i t i o n s of the c l a s s i f y i n g spaces BG for G = U(n) , Sp(n) , or O(2n). In my original survey, [51]. I n e g l e c t e d to mention Segal's paper Then and special

Let A = {Aql q ~ 0} be a graded c o m m u t a t i v e ring. is a ring space w i t h unit space A0x( × K(A,q). q~l Steiner x K(A,q)) q~l

X K(Aq,q) q!0 unit space

Segal p r o v e d that these unit spaces are infinite [61,62] later gave an i m p r o v e d argument w h i c h

loop spaces.

showed that these infinite loop structures are functorial in A and used the f u n c t o r i a l i t y to prove certain splittings of these infinite loop spaces in case A is p-local, by Segal. Snaith such splittings having been c o n j e c t u r e d (I find the earlier of Steiner's proofs the more convincing.) and Chern classes

[58] showed that the total S t i e f e l - W h i t n e y and Z c :BU ~ x K(Z,2q) q~l q q~l

w :BO ÷ x K(Z2,q) q~l q q~l

fail to commute w i t h

634

transfer. 293] about

However, these

this does not disprove Segal was quite if the map extends

Segal's careful ÷

conjecture

[51, p. trans-

classes. by asking

to avoid such

fer p a t h o l o g i e s fied by

~ BO(n) n!0

( x K(Z2,q))xZ q!l

speci÷

( Z w )x{n} qhl q

on BO(n)

to an infinite

loop map BOxZ

(q~l z 2 ' q ) ) x z l K( and s i m i l a r l y proven

for a suitable for the Chern

infinite

loop structure (I am told [36, Remarks

on the target,

classes. See

that this has now been VIII.I.4], interpreting

by a student

of Segal's. rather

the remarks

additively

than m u l t i p l i c a t i v e l y , for BOxZ least, to that

for a d i s c u s s i o n for BO = BOx{0}.) to be reand P r i d d y groups of

of the r e l a t i o n s h i p The ported last, area

of the t r a n s f e r but by no means is the complete loop spaces

piece

of progress

in this

analysis

by F i e d o r o w i c z to the classical

[15] of the finite

infinite

associated

fields

and their

relationship + BG'

to the image of J spaces classical groups

obtained

as fibres Whil e this

of maps

~r-I:BG

for stable rich

G and G' the grand by repIn a

is an e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y is that there

area of m a t h e m a t i c s , correspondence, lifting loop

conclusion infinite

is a o n e - t o - o n e coming

realized

loop equivalences between these

from B r a u e r

of m o d u l a r spaces.

resentations, sequel,

two kinds

of infinite

Fiedorowicz

[14]

considers

the uniqueness JG(r)

of the l o c a l i z a t i o n s obtained w i t h G = G' interest, satisif

at p prime above

to r of the infinite

loop spaces

being O, U, or Sp. is not hard

In p a r t i c u l a r [56, §3], but

cases of g e o m e t r i c answer

the p r o b l e m factory: and only

the general

is most

JG(r)p

and JH(S)p

are e q u i v a l e n t

as infinite homotopy

loop spaces groups.

if they have

abstractly

isomorphic

§4.

Homological analysis of i n f i n i t e

Probably the b i g g e s t

loop spaces

under this h e a d i n g They is again an ex-

development [15]

the work h aus t i v e

of F i e d o r o w i c z analysis

and P r i d d y

just cited.

give

of the homologies,

with

their h o m o l o g y

operations, useful 2,

of the various formulae, are w h o l l y Their work homology

image of J. spaces. for the real without

Amusingly, image

some of the most

in p a r t i c u l a r inaccessible also includes

of J spaces with

at the prime groups.

the c o n n e c t i o n information

finite

complete

on the h o m o l o g y of finite

and co(away

of all of the various

classical

groups

fields

from the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c ) . In stein [8, II §13], sequences I used in the these calculations sequence to study the Bock-

spectral

fibration

B Coker J ÷ BSF + BJ8

635

at p = 2. should

I would

like x(i,i)

to record

one i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l

error;

[8, II.13.7] the line term of

read ~2i+2 being

~ x ( 2 i + l , 2 i + l ) mod

#-decomposables, to the m i d d l e term

of proof

as i n d i c a t e d formula.

but w i t h due regard In [8, II.13.8],

the m i x e d Cartan Q4i~,~(2i,2i_l No in further

the error

) should

therefore

be d , Y ( 4 i _ l , 4 i _ l ) rather inconsequential

than

zero.

changes

are needed.

(Another

error occurs in [7,

[8, III App] ; Cohen has p u b l i s h e d

the r e q u i r e d

corrections

App].) Incidentally, without [8, II theorem proof, §13]. Madsen's assertion [31, 3.5], w h i c h is stated of

can be read off i m m e d i a t e l y This result plays a key role

from the c a l c u l a t i o n s in M a d s e n ' s very

interesting a

that a k 0 - o r i e n t a b l e reduction

spherical

fibration

~ over X admits

topological Ti(~)

if and only zero.

if certain

characteristic

classes to k0away

e H 2 1 - 1 ( X ; Z 2 ) are

In other words,

the o b s t r u c t i o n to r e d u c i b i l i t y

orientability from 2

is not only in

the sole o b s t r u c t i o n and 18]),

(as d i s c u s s e d

[37,§§14

it is also

a large part of

the o b s t r u c t i o n

at p = 2. survey, I did not do justice to the w o r k of loop geo-

In my o r i g i n a l Hodgkin spaces metric and Snaith in general interest

[22,55]

on the mod p K - t h e o r y infinite In [37, loop §17],

of infinite

and of those

spaces

of g r e a t e s t

in particular.

I did sketch

their p r o o f a

of the key very

fact that K , ( C o k e r account

J) = 0, and they have and r e l a t e d

since p u b l i s h e d

readable

[23] of this

calculations. A

I should m e n t i o n reasonably to z,MSTop and L i g a a r d spectively Ligaard's good

one s u b t e r r a n e a n of the Adams

set of calculations. spectral sequence

understanding

converging [33] re-

at p > 2 now exists. and m y s e l f on H thesis

Two preprints,

by Mann

and M i l g r a m information

[30], gave p a r t i a l as an A-module.

and complete

(MSTop;Zp) [29],

This m a t e r i a l

is also in

and he did much

further work w i t h me on the complete information of

calculation on E 2, w i t h

of E 2.

In my archives,

I have nearly products

descriptions

as m a t r i c M a s s e y a thorough

of all g e n e r a t o r s

E~ 't- for s > 0. coming of

I also have

analysis

of the d i f f e r e n t i a l s spectral sequence

from ~,MSO + ~,MSTop J [8, II.10.7],

and from the B o c k s t e i n this b e i n g

BCoker

an e l a b o r a t i o n by Mann

of e x p l o r a t o r y Mann seof in

calculations has

in an u n d i s t r i b u t e d a calculation

preprint

and Milgram. of the s p e c t r a l

**in his archives from these
**

,

of a key piece However,

quence

differentials.

a complete in E 0,* 2

calculation M i l g r a m has

all of E s' little

for s > 0 is out of reach over the huge amount

algebraically,

and we have very

r control

of noise argument

his archives noise does

a very nice

geometrical to E .

to show that some of this though, we are very far

in fact survive

Altogether

636

from a complete d e t e r m i n a t i o n of ~,MSTop, parties seems to have flagged.

and the interest of all four

The w o r k r e p o r t e d so far was already w e l l under way when my earlier survey was written. developments to report. There are two major later h o m o l o g i c a l In

The first is both n e g a t i v e and positive.

[i0] , Curtis claimed to prove that the mod 2 H u r e w i c z h o m o m o r p h i s m for QS 0 a n n i h i l a t e d all elements of ~ present, the Arf invariant maps. careful analysis except the Hopf maps and, where The assertion may or may not be true, [71] makes clear that we are very far On the p o s i t i v e side, W e l l i n g t o n ' s

but W e l l i n g t o n ' s

from a proof by any known techniques.

w o r k gives a good hold on the global structure of the cohomology of i t e r a t e d loop spaces. the h o m o l o g y H,(~znX;Zp) In principal, this is a d u a l i z a t i o n p r o b l e m from The latter give formu[37,

calculations of Cohen

[8, III].

e x p l i c i t l y as an algebra and with p r e c i s e r e c u r s i v e (see

lae for the c o p r o d u c t and action by the S t e e n r o d algebra A §24]). W e l l i n g t o n proves that H * ( ~ n X ; Z p ) _

is isomorphic as an algebra

to the universal e n v e l o p i n g algebra of a certain A b e l i a n r e s t r i c t e d Lie algebra MnX. While MnX admits an A - a c t i o n with respect to w h i c h its the i s o m o r p h i s m does not pre-

e n v e l o p i n g algebra is a free A-algebra, serve the A - m o d u l e structures.

With this as his starting point, Wel-

lington gives a detailed analysis of the p r o b l e m of d e t e r m i n i n g the Anzn a n n i h i l a t e d p r i m i t i v e elements in H,(~ 0 X;Zp) , the main technique being a m e t h o d for c o m p u t i n g S t e e n r o d o p e r a t i o n s d i f f e r e n t i a l structure of the A-algebra. The last h o m o l o g i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t I w i s h to report concerns the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the h o m o l o g y of infinite loop spaces and the homolth ogy of spectra. Let X = E 0 be the z e r o - - space of a s p e c t r u m E = {Ei}. In [35, p. 155-156], I p o i n t e d out that my t w o - s i d e d bar c o n s t r u c t i o n {iErx} such that iE2X is a w e l l - d e f i n e d comgave s p e c t r a l sequences putable in MnX by use of the

functor of the R - a l g e b r a H,X, w h e r e R is the D y e r - L a s h o f algebra, I s p e c i f i c a l l y asked for a p r e c i s e functor of X, but I never pur-

and {iErx} converges to H,E i.

d e s c r i p t i o n of iE2X as some h o m o l o g i c a l sued the point. Much later, but independently, techniques

Miller

[45] used r e s o l u t i o n

to construct a s p e c t r a l s e q u e n c e

{ErX} c o n v e r g i n g from a More i m p o r t a n t l y he

suitable functor of the R - a l g e b r a H,X to H,E. d e v e l o p e d techniques

a l l o w i n g e x p l i c i t c o m p u t a t i o n of E2X in favorable in the spec-

cases and studied the b e h a v i o r of the S t e e n r o d o p e r a t i o n s tral sequence. collapses In particular, for E = K(Z,0).

he showed that the spectral sequence

A little later, Kraines i n d e p e n d e n t l y r e d i s c o v e r e d this spec-

637

tral sequence. on this subject,

I shall only say a little about his joint w o r k with Lada since their paper also appears in this volume [26].

They give a very pretty s p e c t r u m - l e v e l version of my two-sided bar construction, of Miller's thus o b t a i n i n g a most s a t i s f a c t o r y g e o m e t r i c c o n s t r u c t i o n A m o n g other things, the close

algebraic spectral sequence.

connection w i t h the g e o m e t r y allows them to use the spectral sequence to disprove the long d i s c r e d i t e d conjecture that a r e p r e s e n t a b l e w i t h a transfer extends to a cohomology theory. surely appear, be profitable. functor

More applications will

and further study of this spectral sequence is b o u n d to

§5.

**Equivariant i n f i n i t e loop space theory
**

One of the m o s t fashionable activities in m o d e r n topology is to

take one's favorite theory, put an action of a compact Lie group G on all spaces in sight, and ask how m u c h of the theory remains valid. one might r e s t r i c t G to be finite. the first thing one wants is a This we now have in the full gener-

Much less ambitiously,

For the h o m o t o p y theorist, thorough study of G-CW complexes. ality of compact Lie groups, by M a t u m o t a

the relevant theory h a v i n g been i n i t i a t e d [69]. Any G-space is weakly

[34] and c o m p l e t e d by W a n e r

G - e q u i v a l e n t to a G-CW complex and a w e a k G - e q u i v a l e n c e between G-CW complexes is a G-equivalence. d e v e l o p e d properly, difficulty. Actually, once o r d i n a r y CW-theory is little

these and other s t a n d a r d results present

Much more deeply,

all of M i l n o r ' s basic theorems about

spaces of the h o m o t o p y type of C W - c o m p l e x e s g e n e r a l i z e to G - C W complexes; see W a n e r [69].

The next thing one wants is a good theory of G-bundles and Gfibrations case), (with some other s t r u c t u r a l group, A say, in the bundle

i n c l u d i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n theorems

for bundles or fibrations

over G-CW complexes. compact Lie groups, [48], T o m Dieck

This too we now have in the full g e n e r a l i t y of the bundle theory h a v i n g been s u p p l i e d by Segal [27] and the fibration [69], w i t h addenda by H a u s c h i l d

[ii], and Lashof and R o t h e n b e r g

theory h a v i n g been s u p p l i e d by W a n e r [21].

One is then led to ask if the r e s u l t i n g stable K - t h e o r i e s extend to cohomology theories. In the bundle case, as Segal has e x p l a i n e d In the fibration case, and

[48], one can g e n e r a l i z e Bott periodicity.

in the case of t o p o l o g i c a l rather than linear bundles, led to develop G - i n f i n i t e loop space theory.

one is inexorably

638

I am quite precisely will parallel

confident the

that

the e v e n t u a l in the

state first

of the art w i l l section. namely There a

situation

sketched

be two main machine

approaches

to the r e c o g n i t i o n

principle,

G-Segal theorem between

and a G-May machine, loop

and there will be a uniqueness which ensures is still an e q u i v a l e n c e in its infancy, to

on G - i n f i n i t e them.

space m a c h i n es in this

However,

work

direction

and full details restrict

are not y e t in place. groups,

It may well

be n e c e s s a r y

to finite

and we do so in the is this.

following

discussion. of three [70],

The p r e s e n t unpublished all of w h i c h 1978). little give

situation

I am in p o s s e s s i o n [21],

manuscripts,

by Segal

[53], H a u s c h i l d

and W a n e r

I received within first, Segal

a month

of the p r e s e n t w r i t i n g machine, in.

[October

In the doubt

sketches details latter

a G-Segal

and I have The o t h e r two

that any m i s s i n g In the

can be filled approach,

a G-May machine. authors, modulo

as I long ago e x p l a i n e d turn out to be a to reduce the

to both

a few t e c h n i c a l

points w h i c h

bit tricky

but not p a r t i c u l a r l y principle

difficult,

it is formal

G-recognition

to the stable

G-approximation theorem asserts

theorem. the e x i s t e n c e X,

Unstably, of a n a t u r a l where

the G - a p p r o x i m a t i o n completion"

"G-group

C(V,X)

÷ ~V~Vx

for b a s e d G-spaces

V is a G - r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , to the o n e - p o i n t unordered

~V and zV are the loops of V,

and s u s p e n s i o n is the

associated G-space cisely,

compactification subsets of V with

and C(V,X) in X.

of finite C(V,X) =

labels

M o r e pre-

~ F(V,j)xz xJ/(=) , w h e r e j~0 3 of d i s t i n c t points

F(V,j)

is the c o n f i g u r a t i o n relation takes con[20]

space of j-tuples encodes colimits tains basepoint

of V and the e q u i v a l e n c e In the stable version, one

identifications.

over G - r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s irreducible

V contained

in a G-space often.

R~ which Hauschild

each

representation

infinitely

has p u b l i s h e d an a r g u m e n t for the stable t h e o r e m in the special case 0 X = S , and Segal's m a n u s c r i p t [53] sketches an a r g u m e n t for the s h a r p e r u nst a b l e result, also for X = S 0. of the stable [21] The bulk of W a n e r ' s theorem for general manuscript [70]

is d e v o t e d

to a p r o o f

X and the main of the uncomplicaany of [20]

p a r t of H a u s c h i l d ' s stable result

manuscript X.

is d e v o t e d

to a p r o o f

for general

The various

arguments

are quite

ted and, them.

at this writing,

I cannot

c l a im to fully

understand

However, [70]

I am r e a s o n a b l y does include

sure that the union

of H a u s c h i l d

and W a n e r

a complete

p r o o f of the stable

theorem. theorem, we

In any case, have the G - r e c o g n i t i o n

granting

the stable G - a p p r o x i m a t i o n in a form a p p l i c a b l e spaces Thus for stable

principle

to G - E

spaces G-

and can apply fibrations extend

it to the c l a s s i f y i n g

spherical

and t o p o l o g i c a l

G-bundles.

the r e l e v a n t

K-theories this will

to G - c o h o m o l o g y

theories.

It is to be e x p e c t e d

that

639

be a p o w e r f u l

tool for the study of the e q u i v a r i a n t Adams conjecture,

this a p p l i c a t i o n being w o r k in progress by Waner. In connection with the G - a p p r o x i m a t i o n r e m a r k i n g that the p a p e r by Cohen, Taylor, theorem, it is w o r t h

and myself

[9] on the split-

ting of spaces of the same general form as C(V,X) ally v e r b a t i m w i t h G-actions put in ever~4here. notions of G - c o e f f i c i e n t

above applies virtuThere are evident

systems C, G-~ spaces X, and a r e s u l t i n g [9, §1-2]. The maps for the approxican be used

general c o n s t r u c t i o n of CX as in mation theorem, p r e c i s e l y as in

but not the a p p r o x i m a t i o n

theorem itself,

[9] to obtain stable splittings

of such G-spaces CX,

p r o v i d e d only that each C. is Z -free. That is, the s u s p e n s i o n G3 3 s p e c t r u m of CX is weakly G - e q u i v a l e n t to the wedge of the suspension G - s p e c t r a of the successive In fact, a r g u m e n t of filtration quotients C+~. jz

x (J)

the whole

as we intend to make precise elsewhere,

[9] is so formal that it can be carried out in an axiomatic categories w i t h suitable extra structure.

setting of general t o p o l o g i c a l Indeed,

the whole framework of definitions e x p l o i t e d in the study of and it can be

i t e r a t e d loop spaces can be set up in such a setting, e x p e c t e d that the r e s u l t i n g theory will

find many future applications.

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