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**20**

votes

**2**answers

677 views

### Is every closed curve in 3D a geodesic on a genus-0 surface?

Let $\gamma$ be a smooth, closed, unknotted curve embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$.
Q. Does there always exist a smooth, embedded, genus-zero surface
$S \subset \mathbb{R}^3$
such that $\gamma$ is a ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

868 views

### Why is it so hard to prove Toeplitz' conjecture?

I'm a layman in mathematics, so please excuse me in advance for anything in this question that may be inappropriate :D. Well: Four years ago, I was reading (and working to solve the puzzles on) ...

**17**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### What is the best way explain to undergraduates that all 1-dimensional manifolds are orientable?

Let's suppose that $M$ is a connected $1$-dimensional smooth manifold (Haussdorf and paracompact). We know that there are exactly two types, up to diffeomorphism (even up to homeomorphism), namely ...

**14**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### What is the analog of the “Fundamental Theorem of Space Curves,” for surfaces, and beyond?

The "Fundamental Theorem of Space Curves"
(Wikipedia link; MathWorld link)
states that there is a unique (up to congruence)
curve in space that simultaneously realizes
given continuous curvature ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

836 views

### How useful/pervasive are differential forms in surface theory?

Every year I teach an introductory class on the differential geometry of surfaces, including numerical aspects (e.g., how to solve PDEs on surfaces). Historically this class has included an ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Surfaces containing curves of arbitrarily negative self-intersection

Olivier Wittenberg and I are curious about the following :
Let $S$ be a smooth projective complex surface. Are the self-intersection numbers of integral curves on $S$ always bounded below ? Or can ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

543 views

### On closed simple curve with curvature at most 1

I am looking for the reference to the following theorem.
I have to apply a similar statement, and it would be nice to trace the source.
Please note, I know few proofs in fact it is Problem 3 in my ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

679 views

### Minimizing geodesic on a convex surface

Let $\Sigma$ be a smooth convex surface in Euclidean 3-space
and $\gamma$ be a unit speed minimizing geodesic in $\Sigma$.
Assume that for some $a < b < c$, we have
...

**11**

votes

**7**answers

1k views

### Walking around Santa Cruz, track around the soccer field

I was recently walking around the track at UCSC, and I noticed that the track didn't always curve inward. Sometimes it curved the other way. Compare this (A convex track): ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

718 views

### Hamiltonian cycles and fundamental groups

I'm interested in the interplay between the Hamiltonian cycles of graphs and the compact surfaces they embed in. I was doing some reading on the Lovász conjecture for Cayley graphs, I started noticing ...

**10**

votes

**4**answers

544 views

### How to detect a simple closed curve from the element in the fundamental group?

(1) Given a fundamental group representation of a hyperbolic surface, i.e. $<a_j,b_j|\prod[a_j,b_j]=1>$, and given an element in this group, can we determine whether this element can be ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

448 views

### Including a Jordan arc into a Jordan loop (Can the Magi go home by another way?)

The title refers, of course, to Matthew (2:12) ''And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way''. To be honest, it is not that specific ...

**9**

votes

**3**answers

446 views

### Flips of triangulations on non-orientable surfaces

Let $N_{k,r}$ be a non-orientable surface of genus $k$ (i.e the connected sum of $k$ projective planes) and with $p\geq 1$ punctures.
I'm looking at ideal triangulations of the surface, namely ...

**9**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Extending birational isomorphisms between planar curves to the P^2

Let $k$ be a field and let $C,D$ be two integral curves in $\mathbb{P}^2_k$. Now let $f:C \to D$ be a birational isomorphism. Can $f$ be extended to $\mathbb{P}^2_k$. To be precise, does there exist a ...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

692 views

### Geodesics on the twisted pseudosphere (Dini's surface)

I wonder how difficult it is to compute geodesics on Dini's Surface,
a twisted pseudosphere?
Here is one parametrization, from
Alfred Gray's Modern Differential Geometry of Curves and Surfaces, ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

124 views

### Area of the minimal surface of a non-planar quadrilateral in 3d

Consider a non-planar quadrilateral in three dimensions, i.e. four points $x_1,\dots,x_4$ in $\mathbb{R}^3$ that do not lie on a plane and connected by straight lines. Then, by general theory of ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

380 views

### Can curves differentiate vector bundles on P^2?

Not much is known about vector bundles on $\mathbb{P}^2$ but I wonder if the following is a tractable question:
If $E,E'$ are non-isomorphic vector bundles on $\mathbb{P}^2$, then is there always a ...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

380 views

### Surface in 3D that realizes all pairs of principal curvatures

This is a question that Willie Wong raised in comments after he answered my question,
Surface analog of clothoid: curvatures covering $\mathbb{R}^3$. Willie's question is
more interesting (and ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

641 views

### What is the relation between hypocycloids and ideals in polynomial rings as alluded to in Arnold's text on teaching mathematics?

While browsing through this site, I came upon the text of Arnold: "On teaching mathematics".
http://pauli.uni-muenster.de/~munsteg/arnold.html
containing the phrase
... it can be said that a ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

490 views

### The number of singular fibres of a semi-stable arithmetic surface over \Z

This is an arithmetic follow-up to my previous question Does there exist a non-trivial semi-stable curve of genus >1 with only 4 singular fibres
Let $k$ be an algebraically closed field and let ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Geometric meaning of derivatives of the curvature

Let $\Gamma$ be a sufficiently smooth, closed, convex curve in the plane parametrized by arclength $s$. Further assume that $\kappa>0$ and that the second derivative of $\kappa$ with respect to $s$ ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

105 views

### A procedure to determine if an automorphism of a closed 2-manifold extends to an automorphism of a handlebody

In a paper of Casson and Gordon's "A loop theorem for duality spaces and fibred ribbon knots. Invent. Math. 74 (1983), no. 1, 119–137" they give a necessary criterion for a fibred knot to be a ribbon ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

89 views

### Kinematics of rolling knots

It is well known that there are trefoil knots without tritangent planes, and with 3d printers one can print these beautiful objects and make them roll on planes.
(An ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

200 views

### Curvature flows for PL closed curves in the plane?

I'm curious to what extent people have studied "curvature flows" on PL closed curves in the plane.
There's a paper by Gage and Hamilton from 1986 that describes the long-term behaviour of smooth ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

246 views

### Representation of surface group

Is there a faithful representation of a surface group of genus $>2$ into $GL(n,\mathbb{C})$ for some $n$ for which, for each conjugacy class of each embedded loop in the fundamental group, the ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

122 views

### Reduction of self-intersections without reducing the geometric intersection

Let $F$ be a hyperbolic surface. Given a closed curve $a$, let $\bar{a}$ denotes the free homotopy class of $a$. Let $i(\bar{a},\bar{b})$ denotes the geometric intersection number and $i(\bar{a})$ ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

103 views

### Harmonic map heat flow in positive curvature

Suppose I wish to relax/smooth a map $\phi:M\rightarrow N$ between two surfaces $M,N$ embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$. I could try flowing the map using harmonic heat flow, which (as I understand it) is ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

517 views

### Bezout Theorem in $\mathbb P^3$

For a $\mathbb C P^2$ is known a result: if through the generic points $p_1,p_2,\dots p_n$ with multiplicities $m_1,m_2\dots, m_n$ correspondingly a degree $d$ curve passes then $d^2\geq ...

**5**

votes

**3**answers

4k views

### Proof without words for surface area of a sphere [closed]

I love the book Proofs Without Words by Roger B. Nelsen. One of the proofs I liked the most was this: Area under one arch of a cycloid is 3 times the area of the wheel that traces it. You break the ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

250 views

### Ivanov's metaconjecture on surface homeomorphisms.

In Fifteen problems about MCG Ivanov stated the following metaconjecture:
Every object naturally associated to a surface S and having
a sufficiently rich structure has $Mod(S)$ as its groups of ...

**5**

votes

**2**answers

441 views

### Besides the tracioid are there other surfaces of revolution that have a constant negative curvature?

There is no surface in $ R^3 $ that can represent the complete hyperbolic plane (Hilberts theorem) so we always have to do with a surface that is not completely equivalent, has a cusp somewhere, but ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

668 views

### Example of cone of numerically effective curves which is not polyhedral

I think I have seen more than one reference in which the cone of numerically effective curves can be 'not polyhedral', i.e. with an infinite number of extremal rays
I cannot remember where I read ...

**5**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Nagata's conjecture, Seshadri constant

What is it known now about Nagata's conjecture and Seshadri constant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagata%27s_conjecture_on_curves and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seshadri_constant) for toric ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

134 views

### Curvature and Failure to return to starting point

Assume I have a geodesic polygon $P$ in a Riemannian manifold $M$ that is given by the image of a piecewise geodesic closed curve $\gamma(t)$ (parametrized by arclength), with vertices $x_i = ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

144 views

### Injective simplicial maps between Arc complexes

Let $A(S)$ denotes the Arc complex of a finite type hyperbolic surface $S$ with nonempty boundary. Let $\lambda:A(S)\rightarrow A(S)$ be a map such that on triangulations of $S$ i.e. on the top ...

**4**

votes

**5**answers

506 views

### Variation of curvature with respect to immersion?

Let $M$ be a smooth surface and let $f: M \to \mathbb{R}^3$ be a family of immersions given by
$$ f(t) = f_0 + tuN_0, $$
where $f_0$ is some initial immersion, $N_0$ is the associated Gauss map, and ...

**4**

votes

**3**answers

351 views

### Automorphisms of a smooth quadric surface $Q\subset\mathbb{P}^{3}$

Let $Q\cong\mathbb{P^{1}_{1}}\times\mathbb{P^{1}_{2}}\subset\mathbb{P}^{3}$ be a smooth quadric surface. We have the following two actions on $Q$:
$$S_2\times Q\rightarrow Q,\; ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

326 views

### Divisorial contraction: when is the image an algebraic space or a stack?

Let $X$ be a smooth projective surface (in the category of varieties, or schemes), and let $C\subset X$ be a curve (a priori not irreducible, but the irreducible case in itself is already ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

462 views

### Del pezzo surfaces in positive characteristic

For me a Del Pezzo surface $X$ over an algebraically closed field of characteristic $p$ is an algebraic surface where the anticanonical bundle $\omega^{-1}_X$ or $-K_X$ is ample. (I prefer the second ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

177 views

### Angle between geodesics in hyperbolic surface

Let $F$ be an oriented surface of finite type with $\chi(F)<0$. Let $\gamma_1$ and $\gamma_2$ are two oriented closed curves which intersect transversally in double points. Given a hyperbolic ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

161 views

### is there some condition I can impose on families of curves on a surface such that the second Ext between the ideal sheaf and the structure sheaf is zero?

(the title got out of hand)
Say I have a surface $X$, then I also have M, the Hilbert scheme of curves and points on X.
This can be seen as a moduli space of quotients $O_X \to O_Z$.
If $I_Z$ is the ...

**4**

votes

**3**answers

471 views

### On discrete version of curve shortening flow

One can define an analogous version of the curve shortening flow for polygons in $\mathbb R^2$, namely defined by the differential equation $\dot{p_i}(t)=\frac{v_i(t)}{|v_i(t)|^2}$, where $p_i$ is the ...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

504 views

### Directional Distortion of a Surface

Hi everyone,
I am facing a math road block.
I have two surfaces (3D) described by two functions $f_1$ and $f_2$ (known). I would like to create some sort of directional distortion along the loading ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

201 views

### Are there Zoll pancakes?

How flat (flat in pancake-style, not in curvature 0-style), in some extrinsic intuitive measure, can a Zoll surface of revolution (embedded in Euclidean three-space) be?
I don't want to impose a ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

710 views

### base points of multiplicity $>1$

Let $S$ be a smooth projective surface (I am mostly intrested in the case when $S$ is a product of curves, say $S=\mathbb{P}^1 \times \mathbb{P}^1$ but probably this is not important).
Consider a ...

**3**

votes

**3**answers

712 views

### A simple closed curve on a surface

How to describe a simple closed curve on an oriented surface of genus g? I know the answer only for the torus. It would be nice to find an article or a book where proof can be found.

**3**

votes

**2**answers

583 views

### Surfaces in $\mathbb R^3$ with negative curvature bounded away from zero

Is there a surface in $\mathbb R^3$ which is a closed subset and whose curvature is negative and bounded away from zero?
And the small-print...
By surface I mean smooth surface without ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

150 views

### A query about Hatcher flow on arc complex

In the paper "Triangulations of Surfaces" Hatcher proved that the arc complex associated to a punctured surface is contractible. The main proof is divided into two parts. In the first part he assumes ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

365 views

### Existence of smooth surfaces containing a curve

Let $C$ be a curve in $\mathbb{P}^3$, possibly non-reduced. Assume, there exists a smooth surface in $\mathbb{P}^3$ containing $C$. Is it true that for $d \gg 0$, a generic element of $I_d(C)$ defines ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

91 views

### How to approximate volumes of m-dimensional manifolds with m-dimensional polyhedra

The areas of a sequence of polyhedra approaching a surface need not approach the area of the surface, but there are theorems guaranteeing that this be so. (T. Rado, On the Problem of Plateau, Chapter ...