- Euler class
In

mathematics , specifically inalgebraic topology , the**Euler class**, named afterLeonhard Euler , is acharacteristic class of oriented, realvector bundle s. Like other characteristic classes, it measures how "twisted" the vector bundle is. In the case of thetangent bundle of a smoothmanifold , it generalizes the classical notion ofEuler characteristic .Throughout this article $E\; o\; X$ is an oriented, real vector bundle of rank $r$.

**Formal definition**The Euler class $e(E)$ is an element of the integral

cohomology group:$H^r(X;\; mathbb\{Z\})$,

constructed as follows. An

orientation of $E$ amounts to a continuous choice of generator of the cohomology:$H^r(F,\; F\; setminus\; F\_0;\; mathbb\{Z\})$

of each fiber $F$ relative to the complement $F\; setminus\; F\_0$ to its zero element $F\_0$. This induces an

**orientation class**:$u\; in\; H^r(E,\; E\; setminus\; E\_0;\; mathbb\{Z\})$

in the cohomology of $E$ relative to the complement $E\; setminus\; E\_0$ to the

zero section $E\_0$. The inclusions:$(X,\; emptyset)\; hookrightarrow\; (E,\; emptyset)\; hookrightarrow\; (E,\; E\; setminus\; E\_0),$

where $X$ includes into $E$ as the zero section, induce maps

:$H^r(E,\; E\; setminus\; E\_0;\; mathbb\{Z\})\; o\; H^r(E;\; mathbb\{Z\})\; o\; H^r(X;\; mathbb\{Z\}).$

The

**Euler class**$e(E)$ is the image of $u$ under the composite of these maps.**Properties**The Euler class satisfies these useful properties:

* Functoriality: If $F\; o\; Y$ is another oriented, real vector bundle and $f\; :\; Y\; o\; X$ is continuous and covered by an orientation-preserving map $F\; o\; E$, then $e(F)\; =\; f^*\; e(E)$. In particular, $e(f^*\; E)\; =\; f^*\; e(E)$.

* Orientation: If $ar\; E$ is $E$ with the opposite orientation, then $e(ar\; E)\; =\; -e(E)$.

* Whitney sum formula: If $F\; o\; X$ is another oriented, real vector bundle, then the Euler class of the

direct sum $E\; oplus\; F$ is given by:$e(E\; oplus\; F)\; =\; e(E)\; cup\; e(F).$

* Normalization: If $E$ possesses a nowhere-zero section, then $e(E)\; =\; 0$.

Under mild conditions (such as $X$ a smooth, closed, oriented manifold), the Euler class corresponds to the vanishing of a section of $E$ in the following way. Let

:$sigma\; :\; X\; o\; E$

be a generic smooth section and $Z\; subseteq\; X$ its zero locus. Then $Z$ represents a homology class $[Z]$ of

codimension $r$ in $X$, and $e(E)$ is thePoincaré dual of $[Z]$.For example, if $Y$ is a compact submanifold, then the Euler class of the

normal bundle of $Y$ in $X$ is naturally identified with theself-intersection of $Y$ in $X$.**Relations to other invariants**In the special case when the bundle $E$ in question is the tangent bundle of a compact, oriented, $r$-dimensional manifold, the Euler class is an element of the top cohomology of the manifold, which is naturally identified with the integers by evaluating cohomology classes on the fundamental homology class. Under this identification, the Euler class of the tangent bundle equals the Euler characteristic of the manifold. In the language of

characteristic number s, the Euler characteristic is the characteristic number corresponding to the Euler class.Thus the Euler class is a generalization of the Euler characteristic to vector bundles other than tangent bundles. In turn, the Euler class is the archetype for other characteristic classes of vector bundles, in that each "top" characteristic class equals the Euler class, as follows.

Modding out by $2$ induces a map

:$H^r(X,\; mathbb\{Z\})\; o\; H^r(X,\; mathbb\{Z\}/2).$

The image of the Euler class under this map is the top

Stiefel-Whitney class $w\_r(E)$. One can view this Stiefel-Whitney class as "the Euler class, ignoring orientation".Any complex vector bundle $V$ of complex rank $d$ can be regarded as an oriented, real vector bundle $E$ of real rank $2d$. The top

Chern class $c\_d(V)$ of the complex bundle equals the Euler class $e(E)$ of the real bundle.The Whitney sum $E\; oplus\; E$ is isomorphic to the complexification $E\; otimes\; mathbb\{C\}$, which is a complex bundle of rank $r$. Comparing Euler classes, we see that

:$e(E)\; cup\; e(E)\; =\; e(E\; oplus\; E)\; =\; e(E\; otimes\; mathbb\{C\})\; =\; c\_r(E\; otimes\; mathbb\{C\})\; in\; H^\{2r\}(X,\; mathbb\{Z\}).$

If the rank $r$ is even, then this cohomology class $e(E)\; cup\; e(E)$ equals the top

Pontryagin class $p\_\{r/2\}(E)$.**Example: Line bundle over the circle**The cylinder is a line bundle over the circle, by the natural projection $mathbb\{R\}\; imes\; mathbb\{S\}^1\; o\; mathbb\{S\}^1$. It is a trivial line bundle, so it possesses a nowhere-zero section, and so its Euler class is $0$. It is also isomorphic to the tangent bundle of the circle; the fact that its Euler class is $0$ corresponds to the fact that the Euler characteristic of the circle is $0$.

**References***cite book | author=Bott, Raoul and Tu, Loring W. | title=Differential Forms in Algebraic Topology

publisher=Springer-Verlag | year=1982 | id=ISBN 0-387-90613-4

*cite book | author=Bredon, Glen E. | title=Topology and Geometry | publisher=Springer-Verlag | year=1993 | id= ISBN 0-387-97926-3

*cite book | author=Milnor, John W. and Stasheff, James D. | title=Characteristic Classes

publisher=Princeton University Press | year=1974 | id=ISBN 0-691-08122-0

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