Stiefel-Whitney characteristic classes
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1 Definition
Let be a compact smooth -manifold (possibly with boundary). Denote by the PoincarÃ© duality isomorphism. Here for non-orientable the coefficients in cohomology are twisted (by the orientation double covering) and the coefficients in homology are non-twisted. Let be if either or is odd, and if either or is even.
Stiefel defined the homology Stiefel-Whitney class of to be the homology class of a degeneracy subset of a general position collection of tangent vector fields on . Let be the reduction of modulo 2.
Whitney defined the homology normal Stiefel-Whitney class of to be the homology class of a degeneracy subset of a general position collection of normal vector fields on . Let be the reduction of modulo 2.
See details e.g. in [Milnor&Stasheff1974, 12], [Fomenko&Fuchs2016, 19.C], [Skopenkov2015b, 9,11,12].
There is an alternative definition of [Skopenkov2006, 2.3 `the Whitney obstruction'] analogous to definition of the Whitney invariant.
See also Wikipedia article.
2 References
- [Fomenko&Fuchs2016] A. T. Fomenko and D. B. Fuks, Homotopical Topology. Translated from the Russian. Graduate Texts in Mathematics, 273. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2016. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-23488-5.
- [Milnor&Stasheff1974] J. W. Milnor and J. D. Stasheff, Characteristic classes, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1974. MR0440554 (55 #13428) Zbl 1079.57504
- [Skopenkov2006] A. Skopenkov, Embedding and knotting of manifolds in Euclidean spaces, in: Surveys in Contemporary Mathematics, Ed. N. Young and Y. Choi, London Math. Soc. Lect. Notes, 347 (2008) 248--342. Available at the arXiv:0604045.
- [Skopenkov2015b] A. Skopenkov, Algebraic Topology From Geometric Viewpoint (in Russian), MCCME, Moscow, 2015.