What does the 'V' in 'V-manifold' stand for? - MathOverflow most recent 30 from http://mathoverflow.net 2013-05-19T03:43:16Z http://mathoverflow.net/feeds/question/97901 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/rdf http://mathoverflow.net/questions/97901/what-does-the-v-in-v-manifold-stand-for What does the 'V' in 'V-manifold' stand for? Alex Amenta 2012-05-25T03:05:18Z 2012-05-25T04:17:46Z <p>The story of how the name 'orbifold' came about is pretty well-documented, but I can't find any explanation as to why Satake originally named orbifolds 'V-manifolds'. The 'manifold' part is clear enough; it's the 'V' I'm curious about.</p> <p>Does the 'V' stand for anything, or is it just a random letter of the alphabet? (or is it typographical representation of a cone point?)</p> http://mathoverflow.net/questions/97901/what-does-the-v-in-v-manifold-stand-for/97908#97908 Answer by Misha for What does the 'V' in 'V-manifold' stand for? Misha 2012-05-25T04:17:46Z 2012-05-25T04:17:46Z <p>Satake (in his PNAS paper where V-manifolds are introduced and in his Journal of the Mathematical Society of Japan paper where Gauss-Bonnet theorem for V-manifolds is proven) never explains the origin of the name. If I were to guess, I, as temp, would say "V" stands for "virtual" (since, for instance, in topology and group theory the word "virtual" means "up to a finite cover" or "up to a finite-index subgroup", and orbifolds/V-manifolds are "locally" manifolds up to a finite branched cover). But my guess is as good as yours and we are left with a mystery. Maybe, as Igor says, "V" stands for a "cone singularity" because of the shape of the letter V (could have been a \$\Lambda\$-manifold just as well). Or, maybe "V" does not really stand for anything, like R.H.Bing's initials. (According to wikipedia, once R.H.Bing was applying for a visa and was requested not to use initials. He explained that his name was really "R-only H-only Bing", and ended up receiving a visa made out to "Ronly Honly Bing".) </p>