Questions tagged [homological-algebra]

Homological algebra studies homology and cohomology groups in a general algebraic setting, that of chains of vector spaces or modules with composable maps which compose to zero. These groups furnish useful invariants of the original chains.

A chain complex is a sequence of abelian groups, vector spaces, or modules, with linear maps connecting them which compose to zero.

Homological algebra is the study of chain complexes and their homology groups.

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Intuitive meaning of Exact Sequence

I'm currently learning about exact sequences in grad sch Algebra I course, but I really can't get the intuitive picture of the concept and why it is important at all. Can anyone explain them for me? Thanks in advance.
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What is the Tor functor?

I'm doing the exercises in "Introduction to commutive algebra" by Atiyah&MacDonald. In chapter two, exercises 24-26 assume knowledge of the Tor functor. I have tried Googling the term, but I don't find any readable sources. Wikipedia's explanation…
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Algebraic Intuition for Homological Algebra and Applications to More Elementary Algebra

I am taking a course next term in homological algebra (using Weibel's classic text) and am having a hard time seeing some of the big picture of the idea behind homological algebra. Now, this sort of question has been asked many times on forums such…
Alex Youcis
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Proving that the tensor product is right exact

Let $A\stackrel{\alpha}{\rightarrow}B\stackrel{\beta}{\rightarrow}C\rightarrow 0$ a exact sequence of left $R$-modules and $M$ a left $R$-module ($R$ any ring). I am trying to prove that the induced sequence $$A\otimes_R…
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Algebraic Topology Challenge: Homology of an Infinite Wedge of Spheres

So the following comes to me from an old algebraic topology final that got the best of me. I wasn't able to prove it due to a lack of technical confidence, and my topology has only deteriorated since then. But, I'm hoping maybe someone can figure…
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Abstract nonsense proof of snake lemma

During my studies, I always wanted to see a "purely category-theoretical" proof of the Snake Lemma, i.e. a proof that constructs all morphisms (including the snake) and proves exactness via universal properties. It was an interest little shared by…
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Intuition behind Snake Lemma

I've been struggling with this for some time. I can prove the Snake Lemma, but I don't really “understand” it. By that I mean if no one told me Snake Lemma existed, I would not even attempt to prove it. I believe I am missing some important…
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What are exact sequences, metaphysically speaking?

Why is it natural or useful to organize objects (of some appropriate category) into exact sequences? Exact sequences are ubiquitous - and I've encountered them enough to know that they can provide a very useful and efficient framework to work…
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Cokernels - how to explain or get a good intuition of what they are or might be

When I think about kernels, I have many well-worked examples from group theory, rings and modules - in the earliest stages of dealing with abstract mathematical objects they seem to come up all over the place, whenever I see a homomorphism. BUT…
Mark Bennet
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Proving the snake lemma without a diagram chase

Suppose we have two short exact sequences in an abelian category $$0 \to A \mathrel{\overset{f}{\to}} B \mathrel{\overset{g}{\to}} C \to 0 $$ $$0 \to A' \mathrel{\overset{f'}{\to}} B' \mathrel{\overset{g'}{\to}} C' \to 0 $$ and morphisms $a : A \to…
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Why do universal $\delta$-functors annihilate injectives?

Let $\mathcal{A}$ and $\mathcal{B}$ be abelian categories. Suppose $\mathcal{A}$ has enough injectives, and consider a universal (cohomological) $\delta$-functor $T^\bullet$ from $\mathcal{A}$ to $\mathcal{B}$. By the theory of derived functors, we…
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How to define Homology Functor in an arbitrary Abelian Category?

In the Category of Modules over a Ring, the i-th Homology of a Chain Complex is defined as the Quotient Ker d / Im d where d as usual denotes the differentials, indexes skipped for simplicity. How can this be generalized to a general Abelian…
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A Geometric Description of Injective Modules

I've found that when studying commutative algebra, thinking of things in terms of their algebro-geometric interpretation helps them stick as well as motivates otherwise odd and abstract concepts. (For example, thinking of localization as referring…
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Can it happen that the image of a functor is not a category?

On Hilton and Stammbach's homological algebra book, end of chap. 2, they wrote in general $F(\mathfrak{C})$ is not a category at all in general. But I don't quite get it. I checked the axioms of a category for the image, and I think they are all…
Anonymous Coward
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Good introductory books on homological algebra

Which books would you recommend, for self-studying homological algebra, to a beginning graduate (or advanced undergraduate) student who has background in ring theory, modules, basic commutative algebra (some of Atiyah & Macdonald's book) and some…
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