Localization sequences in the algebraic K-theory of ring spectra

Geometry Topology Seminar
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 2:00pm
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
Purdue University
The algebraic K-theory of the sphere spectrum, K(S), encodes significant information in both homotopy theory and differential topology. In order to understand K(S), one can apply the techniques of chromatic homotopy theory in an attempt to approximate K(S) by certain localizations K(L_n S). The L_n S are in turn approximated by the Johnson-Wilson spectra E(n) = BP[v_n^{-1}], and it is not unreasonable to expect to be able to compute K(BP). This would lead inductively to information about K(E(n)) via the conjectural fiber sequence K(BP) --> K(BP) --> K(E(n)). In this talk, I will explain the basics of the K-theory of ring spectra, define the ring spectra of interest, and construct some actual localization sequences in their K-theory. I will then use trace methods to show that it the actual fiber of K(BP) --> K(E(n)) differs from K(BP), meaning that the situation is more complicated than was originally hoped. All this is joint work with Ben Antieau and Tobias Barthel.