Differential Forms In Algebraic Topology (Graduate Texts In Mathematics)
Differential Forms in Algebraic Topology (Graduate Texts in Mathematics)
Developed from a first-year graduate course in algebraic topology, this text is an informal introduction to some of the main ideas of contemporary homotopy and cohomology theory. The materials are structured around four core areas: de Rham theory, the Cech-de Rham complex, spectral sequences, and characteristic classes. By using the de Rham theory of differential forms as a prototype of cohomology, the machineries of algebraic topology are made easier to assimilate. With its stress on concreteness, motivation, and readability, this book is equally suitable for self-study and as a one-semester course in topology.
“Bott and Tu give us an introduction to algebraic topology via differential forms, imbued with the spirit of a master who knew differential forms way back when, yet written from a mature point of view which draws together the separate paths traversed by de Rham theory and homotopy theory. Indeed they assume "an audience with prior exposure to algebraic or differential topology". It would be interesting to use Bott and Tu as the text for a first graduate course in algebraic topology; it would certainly be a wonderful supplement to a standard text.