**Algebraic topology** is a branch of mathematics which uses tools from abstract algebra to study topological spaces. The basic goal is to find algebraic invariants that classify topological spaces up to homeomorphism, though usually most classify up to homotopy equivalence.

Although algebraic topology primarily uses algebra to study topological problems, using topology to solve algebraic problems is sometimes also possible. Algebraic topology, for example, allows for a convenient proof that any subgroup of a free group is again a free group.

Read more about Algebraic Topology: The Method of Algebraic Invariants, Setting in Category Theory, Results On Homology, Applications of Algebraic Topology, Notable Algebraic Topologists, Important Theorems in Algebraic Topology

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### Famous quotes containing the word algebraic:

“I have no scheme about it,—no designs on men at all; and, if I had, my mode would be to tempt them with the fruit, and not with the manure. To what end do I lead a simple life at all, pray? That I may teach others to simplify their lives?—and so all our lives be simplified merely, like an *algebraic* formula? Or not, rather, that I may make use of the ground I have cleared, to live more worthily and profitably?”

—Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)