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Universal coefficient theorem
In mathematics, the universal coefficient theorem in algebraic topology establishes the relationship in homology theory between the integral homology of a topological space X, and its homology with coefficients in any abelian group A. It shows that the integral homology groups
do in a certain, definite sense determine the groups
Here H* might be the simplicial homology or more general singular homology theory: the result itself is a pure piece of homological algebra about chain complexes of free abelian groups. The form of the result is that other coefficients A may be used, at the cost of using a Tor functor.
For example it is common to take A to be Z/2Z, so that coefficients are mod 2. This becomes straightforward in the absence of 2-torsion in the homology. Quite generally, the result indicates the relationship that holds between the Betti numbers bi of X and the Betti numbers bi,F with coefficients in a field F. These can differ, but only when the characteristic of F is a prime number p for which there is some p-torsion in the homology.
The statement of the universal coefficient theorem runs as follows: consider
- Tor(Hi − 1,A).
This Tor group can therefore be described as the obstruction to ι being an isomorphism, which could be thought of as the 'expected' result.
There is also a universal coefficient theorem for cohomology, involving the Ext functor.
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