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Title: Equivariant k-theory
Author: Segal, Graeme
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1966
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The purpose of this thesis is to present a fairly complete account of equivariant K-theory on compact spaces. Equivariant K-theory is a generalisation of K-theory, a rather well-known cohomology theory arising from consideration of the vector-bundles on a space. Equivariant K-theory, or KG-theory, is defined not on a space but on G-spaces, i.e. pairs (X,α), where X is a space and α is an action of a fixed group G on X, and it arises from consideration of G-vector-bundles on X, i.e. vector-bundles on whose total space G acts in a suitable way (of 3.1). In this thesis G will always be a compact group. But KG-theory does not appear in the first three chapters, which are introductory. Chapter 1 consists of preliminary discussions of little relevance to the sequel, but which permit me to make a few propositions in the later chapters shorter or more elegant. It was intended to be amusing, and the reader may prefer to omit it. Chapter 2 is devoted to the representation-theory of compact groups. When X is a point a G-vector-bundle on X is just a representation-module for G, so the representation-ring, or character-ring, R(G) plays a fundamental role in KG-theory. In chapter 2 I investigate its algebraic structure, and in particular when G is a compact Lie group I determine completely its prime ideals. To do this I have to discuss first the space of conjugacy-classes of a compact Lie group, and outline an induced-representation construction for obtaining finite-dimensional modules for G from modules for suitable subgroups not of finite index. Chapter 3 is a rather full collection of technical results concerning G-vector-bundles: they are all essentially well-known, but have not been stated in the equivariant case. Chapter 4 presents basic equivariant K-theory. I show that it can be defined in three ways: by G-vector-bundles, by complexes of G-vector-bundles, and by Fredholm complexes of infinite-dimensional G-vector-bundles. This chapter also treats the continuity of KG with respect to inverse limits of G-spaces, the Thorn homomorphism for a G-vector-bundle and the periodicity-isomorphism, and the question of extending KG to non-compact spaces. In chapter 5 I obtain for KG(X) a filtration and spectral sequence generalising those of [6], but without dissecting the space X. My method is based on a Cech approach: for each open covering of X I construct an auxiliary space homotopy-equivalent to X which has the natural filtration that X lacks. Also in chapter 5 I prove the localisation-theorem (5.3), which, together with the theory of chapter 6, is one of the most important tools in applied KG-theory. KG(X) is a module over the character-ring R(G), so one can localise it at the prime ideals of R(G), which I have determined in 2.5. The simplest and most important case of the localisation-theorem states that, if β is the prime ideal of characters of G vanishing at a conjugacy-class γ, and if Xγ is the part of X where elements in γ have fixed-points, then the natural restriction-map KG(X) → KG(Xγ) induces an isomorphism when localised at β. In chapter 6 I show how to associate to certain maps f : X → Y of (G-spaces a homomorphism f! : KG(X) → KG(Y). It is the analogue of the Gysin homomorphism in ordinary cohomology-theory; but it can also be regarded as a generalisation of the induced-representation construction of 2.4. In the important special case when f is a fibration whose fibre is a rational algebraic variety I prove that f! is left-inverse to the natural map f! : KG(Y) → KG(X); and I apply that to obtain the general Thom isomorphism theorem. Finally in chapter 7 I prove the theorem towards which my thesis was originally directed. Just as a G-module defines a vector-bundle on the classifying-space BG for G (of [1]), so a G~vector-bundle on X defines a vector-bundle on the space XG fibred over BG with fibre X. Thus one gets a homomorphism α : KG(X) → K(XG). I prove that if KG(X) and K(XG) are given suitable topologies then in certain circumstances K(XG)is complete and α induces an isomorphism of the completion of KG(X) with K(XG). This generalises the theorem of Atiyah-Hirsebruch that R(G)^ ≅ K(BG).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available