Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Cohomology theories have been defined for many different objects such as topological spaces, sheaves, groups, rings, Lie algebras, and C-star algebras. The study of modern algebraic geometry would be almost unthinkable without sheaf cohomology.
Central to homological algebra is the notion of exact sequence; these can be used to perform actual calculations. A classical tool of homological algebra is that of derived functor; the most basic examples are Ext and Tor.
With a diverse set of applications in mind, it was natural to try to put the whole subject on a uniform basis. There were several attempts before the subject settled down. An approximate history can be stated as follows:
- Cartan-Eilenberg: In their 1956 book "Homological Algebra", these authors used projective and injective module resolutions.
- 'Tohoku': The approach in a celebrated paper by Alexander Grothendieck which appeared in the Second Series of the The Tohoku Mathematical Journal in 1957, using the abelian category concept (to include sheaves of abelian groups).
- The derived category of Grothendieck and Verdier . Derived categories date back to Verdier's 1967 thesis. They are examples of triangulated categories used in a number of modern theories.
These move from computability to generality.
The computational sledgehammer par excellence is the spectral sequence; these are essential in the Cartan-Eilenberg and Tohoku approaches where they are needed, for instance, to compute the derived functors of a composition of two functors. Spectral sequences are less essential in the derived category approach, but still play a role whenever concrete computations are necessary.
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