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30
votes
1answer
925 views

Wanted, dead or alive: Have you seen this curve? (circular variant of cardioid)

Let me start with the context. This is definitely not a "research level" question, but I'm hoping that the research community will be able to settle for me whether or not a particular construction ...
22
votes
2answers
727 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
976 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
4answers
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
657 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
972 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
677 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
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
1answer
422 views

A cubic and six conics problem

I am an electrical engineer system. I live in Viet Nam. I am not a Mathematician. I construct and found a problem as follows: Let a cubic, and five conics $(C_1)$, $(C_2)$, $(C_3)$, $(C_4)$, $(C_5)$. ...
12
votes
1answer
690 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
7answers
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
1answer
830 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, ...
11
votes
0answers
428 views

Functions approximated by rolling epicycle curves

Imagine a decreasing sequence of (positive) radii $r_1 > r_2 > r_3 > \cdots$ and a series of nested circles $C_1 \supset C_2 \supset C_3 \supset \cdots$ with these radii, initially each ...
11
votes
0answers
732 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
1answer
454 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
3answers
458 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
3answers
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
0answers
170 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
1answer
385 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
2answers
395 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
0answers
670 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
2answers
500 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
2answers
536 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
199 views

In the $\mathbb{H}^3$ upper half space model, is a hemiellipsoid perpendicular to the plane at infinity a minimal surface?

Given a Jordan curve on the $\mathbb{H}^3$ boundary at infinity, there is a minimal surface (topological disk) in $\mathbb{H}^3$ with the curve as its asymptotic boundary ...
7
votes
1answer
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
1answer
256 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
110 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
0answers
101 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
3answers
603 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
265 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
1answer
116 views

Self-avoiding/reflecting geodesics on a convex surface

Let $S$ be the surface of a convex body embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$. For me $S$ is a convex polyhedron, but I am happy to view $S$ as a smooth body with positive Gaussian curvature at each point, or ...
6
votes
1answer
136 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
0answers
131 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
0answers
529 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
3answers
6k 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
1answer
268 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
1answer
368 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
718 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
1answer
102 views

Finite union of affinoid is affinoid in proper smooth rigid curves (unless it is everything)

In several papers I have found the surprising statement that finite unions of affinoid subspaces of a proper smooth and connected rigid curve are either the whole curve or again affinoid. Could you ...
5
votes
2answers
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
1answer
135 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
1answer
149 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
5answers
571 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
3answers
406 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
1answer
498 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
1answer
224 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
1answer
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
2answers
510 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
0answers
206 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 ...