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2003 Global structure of the mod two symmetric algebra, $H^*(BO;\mathbb{F}_{2})$, over the Steenrod algebra
David J Pengelley, Frank Williams
Algebr. Geom. Topol. 3(2): 1119-1138 (2003). DOI: 10.2140/agt.2003.3.1119


The algebra S of symmetric invariants over the field with two elements is an unstable algebra over the Steenrod algebra A, and is isomorphic to the mod two cohomology of BO, the classifying space for vector bundles. We provide a minimal presentation for S in the category of unstable A–algebras, ie, minimal generators and minimal relations.

From this we produce minimal presentations for various unstable A–algebras associated with the cohomology of related spaces, such as the BO(2m1) that classify finite dimensional vector bundles, and the connected covers of BO. The presentations then show that certain of these unstable A–algebras coalesce to produce the Dickson algebras of general linear group invariants, and we speculate about possible related topological realizability.

Our methods also produce a related simple minimal A–module presentation of the cohomology of infinite dimensional real projective space, with filtered quotients the unstable modules 2p1AA¯p2, as described in an independent appendix.


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David J Pengelley. Frank Williams. "Global structure of the mod two symmetric algebra, $H^*(BO;\mathbb{F}_{2})$, over the Steenrod algebra." Algebr. Geom. Topol. 3 (2) 1119 - 1138, 2003.


Received: 24 October 2003; Published: 2003
First available in Project Euclid: 21 December 2017

zbMATH: 1057.55004
MathSciNet: MR2012968
Digital Object Identifier: 10.2140/agt.2003.3.1119

Primary: 55R45
Secondary: 13A50, 16W22, 16W50, 55R40, 55S05, 55S10

Rights: Copyright © 2003 Mathematical Sciences Publishers


Vol.3 • No. 2 • 2003
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