Speaker: Justin Moore (Cornell University)
Title: Homology, higher derived limits, and set theory
Abstract: Singular homology has a number of well-known defects when used to study spaces such as the Hawaiian earring and solenoids. It may not reflect the “shape” of the space and can give counterintuitive information about its dimension. One remedy of this is to develop a homology theory based on approximating spaces by polyhedra, computing their homologies, and then taking a limit. This is the approach taken by Steenrod-Sitnikov homology and Lisica and Mardesic’s strong homology. Even within the class of locally compact second countable spaces though, the properties of these homology theories — and the higher derived limits which underly them — are dependent on axioms of set theory beyond ZFC. Recently it was shown that it is consistent with (and therefore independent of) ZFC that strong homology and Steenrod Sitnikov homology coincide in the class of locally compact second countable spaces — and therefore each of these homology theories enjoys the desirable properties of the other. These results also point to how we might develop variants of these homology theories which enjoy their desirable properties, but which are less sensitive to set theory. This is joint work with Nathaniel Bannister, Jeff Bergfalk, and Stevo Todorcevic.