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28
votes
5answers
2k views

`Naturally occuring' $K(\pi, n)$ spaces, for $n \geq 2$.

[edited!] Given a group $\pi$ and an integer $n>1$, what are examples of Eilenberg-Maclane spaces $K(\pi, n)$ that can be constructed as "known" manifolds? (or if not a manifold, say some space ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Examples where the analogy between number theory and geometry fails

The analogy between $O_K$ ($K$ a number field) and affine curves over a field has been very fruitful. It also knows many variations: the field over which the curve is defined may have positive or zero ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Nonseparable example in dimension theory?

Could you give me an example of a complete metric space with covering dimension $> n$ all of which closed separable subsets have covering dimension $\le n$? The question closely related to ...
27
votes
11answers
4k views

Motivating the de Rham theorem

In grad school I learned the isomorphism between de Rham cohomology and singular cohomology from a course that used Warner's book Foundations of Differentiable Manifolds and Lie Groups. One thing ...
4
votes
1answer
692 views

Example in dimension theory

Could you give me an example of a complete metric space wiht covering dimension $> n$ all of which compact subsets have covering dimension $\le n$?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Classification Problems [closed]

I was thinking about the famous question in philosophy of mathematics: "When are two proofs the same?" and I was wondering if we could somehow "classify" proofs by establishing some sort of functorial ...
23
votes
19answers
3k views

Examples of categorification

What is your favorite example of categorification?
35
votes
19answers
7k views

Wonderful applications of the Vandermonde determinant

This semester I am assisting my mentor teaching a first-year undergraduate course on linear algebra in Peking University, China. And now we have come to the famous Vandermonde determinant, which has ...
31
votes
7answers
6k views

Is there a measure zero set which isn't meagre?

A subset of ℝ is meagre if it is a countable union of nowhere dense subsets (a set is nowhere dense if every open interval contains an open subinterval that misses the set). Any countable set ...
4
votes
1answer
349 views

Categories with products that preserve quotients

It is well known that in the category of all topological spaces, quotient maps aren't preserved by products (this follows from the simpler fact that $X\times (-):Top\to Top$ doesn't preserve ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Concavity of $\det^{1/n}$ over $HPD_n$.

One of my beloved theorems in matrix analysis is the fact that the map $H\mapsto (\det H)^{1/n}$, defined over the convex cone $HPD_n$ of Hermitian positive definite matrices, is concave. This is ...
128
votes
67answers
42k views

Awfully sophisticated proof for simple facts [closed]

It is sometimes the case that one can produce proofs of simple facts that are of disproportionate sophistication which, however, do not involve any circularity. For example, (I think) I gave an ...
4
votes
0answers
297 views

Example of a Grothendieck pretopology satisfying a weak saturation condition

Recall that a singleton Grothendieck pretopology (henceforth 'singleton pretopology') on a category $C$ is a collection of maps $J$ containing the isomorphisms, closed under composition and stable ...
14
votes
3answers
826 views

Can a module be an extension in two really different ways?

(Edit: I've realized that there was an error in my reasoning when I was convincing myself that these two formulations are equivalent. Hailong has given a beautiful affirmative answer to my first ...
5
votes
3answers
446 views

Nonmetrizable uniformities with metrizable topologies

I'm looking for such pathological examples of uniform spaces which are not metrizable, but whose underlying topology is metrizable. Willard in his General Topology text constructs such a uniformity ...
1
vote
0answers
628 views

Example of smooth, proper but non-projective curve over an affine, connected base?

Would someone please give an example of a smooth, proper but non-projective curve $C/S$, where $S$ is affine and connected? I believe that whatever your example, $C/S$ must have genus $1$, admit no ...
1
vote
2answers
426 views

Weakly initial sets - examples and nonexamples

A weakly initial set in a category C is a set of objects I of C such that every object a of C has at least one arrow from an object contained in I. The question is then, does Fields have a weakly ...
5
votes
2answers
641 views

Canonical geometric examples

The proofs without words post has some great entries. I'm interested in a similar concept: examples where a problem in math or physics is accompanied by a geometric figure that illuminates some key ...
2
votes
2answers
251 views

Is a compactly generated Hausdorff space functionally Hausdorff?

Question is the title. I suspect the answer is no, without some further conditions (clearly, normal is sufficient). Pointers to counterexamples would be appreciated, but not necessary.
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Geometric explanation of an orbit space: Integer action on the affine line

Let $k$ be a field of char $0$ and let $\mathbb{Z}$ act on $\mathbb{A}^1_k$ by the action induced by $G\to\mathrm{Aut}_k(k[X]), n\mapsto X+n$. It is rather easy to show that the orbit space ...
100
votes
59answers
17k views

Jokes in the sense of Littlewood: examples? [closed]

First, let me make it clear that I do not mean jokes of the "abelian grape" variety. I take my cue from the following passage in A Mathematician's Miscellany by J.E. Littlewood (Methuen 1953, p. 79): ...
1
vote
1answer
900 views

Ringed and locally ringed spaces

A pair $(X,O_X)$ is a ringed space if $X$ is a topological space and $O_X$ is a sheaf of rings. If every stalk $O_{X,x}$ is a local ring, then we say that $(X,O_X)$ is a locally ringed space. In the ...
42
votes
7answers
5k views

Riemannian surfaces with an explicit distance function?

I'm looking for explicit examples of Riemannian surfaces (two-dimensional Riemannian manifolds $(M,g)$) for which the distance function d(x,y) can be given explicitly in terms of local coordinates of ...
13
votes
17answers
3k views

What is your favorite isomorphism? [closed]

The other day I was trying to figure out how to explain why isomorphisms are important. I pulled Boyer's A History of Mathematics off the bookshelf and was surprised to find that isomorphism isn't ...
2
votes
2answers
461 views

description of functions of conditionally negative type on a group

Recall that a kernel conditionaly of negative type on a set $X$ is a map $\psi:X\times X\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ with the following properties: 1) $\psi(x,x)=0$ 2) $\psi(y,x)=\psi(x,y)$ 3) for any ...
5
votes
9answers
1k views

What category without initial object do you care about?

Recently I have been listening to some constructions that have been designed to accommodate categories without an initial object. The speaker has given some idea of a category or two that he cares ...
30
votes
14answers
5k views

Explicit computations using the Haar measure

This question is somewhat related to my previous one on Grassmanians. The few times I've encountered the Haar measure in the course of my mathematical education, it's always been used in a very ...
4
votes
3answers
502 views

Natural examples of finite dimensional spaces with interesting 2-type

Riemann surfaces provide interesting examples of 1-types - interesting as they have roles in diverse areas. However, apart from 2-dimensional lens spaces, I can't readily bring to mind natural ...
7
votes
3answers
785 views

Is $\mathbb{A}²$ the universal smooth scheme which is a finite cover of $\mathbb{A}²/μ₂$?

One very handy (counter)example I often think about is the scheme $Spec(k[a,b,c]/(ab-c^2))$ (where $k$ is a field), which you may also know as $Spec(k[x^2,xy,y^2])$, as $\mathbb A^2/\mu_2$, or as the ...
12
votes
12answers
2k views

On proving that a certain set is not empty by proving that it is actually large

It happens occasionally that one can prove that a given set is not empty by proving that it is actually large. The word "large" here may refer to different properties. For example, one can prove that ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

Explicit elements of $K((x))((y)) \setminus K((x,y))$

In an answer to the popular question on common false beliefs in mathematics Examples of common false beliefs in mathematics. I mentioned that many people conflate the two different kinds of formal ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Examples of Super-polynomial time algorithmic/induction proofs?

In combinatorics, one can sometimes get an algorithmic proof, which loosely has the following form: -The proof moves through stages -An invariant is shown to hold by induction from previous stages ...
14
votes
1answer
829 views

Comodule exercises desired

This Question is inspired by a Quote of Moore's "There are two ‘evil’ influences at work here: 1. we are toilet trained with algebras not coalgebras 2. some of us are addicted to manifolds and so ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

Can we have A={A} ?

Does there exist a set $A$ such that $A=\{A\}$ ? Edit(Peter LL): Such sets are called Quine atoms. Naive set theory By Paul Richard Halmos On page three, the same question is asked. Using the ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Eta-products and modular elliptic curves

Recently the elliptic curve $E:y^2+y=x^3-x^2$ of conductor $11$ (which appears in my answer) became my favourite elliptic over $\bf Q$ because the associated modular form $$ ...
6
votes
16answers
3k views

Vector spaces without natural bases

Does anyone know any nice examples of vector spaces without a basis that is in some sense "natural". To clarify what I mean, suppose we look at $\mathbb{R}^2$. We define $\mathbb{R}^2$ as pairs of ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Intuitions/connections/examples for “eigen-*”

There are many concepts in mathematics that begin with the German word "eigen": eigenvector, eigenvalue, eigenspace, eigenstate, eigenfunction, eigensystem etc. (to name just the most important (?) ...
4
votes
1answer
290 views

Example of a quasitopological group with discontinuous power map

A quasitopological group is a group $G$ with topology such that multiplication $G\times G\rightarrow G$ is continuous in each variable (i.e. all translations are continuous) and inversion ...
5
votes
13answers
2k views

Applications of compactness

Similar to this question: Applications of connectedness I want to collect applications of compactedness. E.g.: compact + discrete => finite, which can be used to prove the finiteness of the ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What are your favorite finite non-commutative rings?

When you are checking a conjecture or working through a proof, it is nice to have a collection of examples on hand. There are many convenient examples of commutative rings, both finite and infinite, ...
12
votes
13answers
2k views

Applications of connectedness

In an «advanced calculus» course, I am talking tomorrow about connectedness (in the context of metric spaces, including notably the real line). What are nice examples of applications of the idea ...
0
votes
1answer
419 views

Must finite groups with isomorphic commutators and quotients be isomorphic?

Let G and H be finite groups. Let G' = [G,G] and H' = [H,H] be the corresponding derived groups (commutator subgroups) of G and H. I am looking for an example where G' is isomorphic to H' and G/G' is ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

The harmonic (series) beetle: live illustrations of mathematical theorems

In my analysis class I use the following problem to illustrate the divergence of the harmonic series (consider this as a hint for solving it). Exercise. A beetle creeps along a 1-meter infinitely ...
1
vote
1answer
378 views

An example of a space which is locally relatively contractible but not contractible?

A space $X$ is called locally contractible it it has a basis of neighbourhoods which are themselves contractible spaces. CW complexes and manifolds are locally contractible. On the other hand, the ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Fundamental group of the line with the double origin.

In the simplest cases, the fundamental group serves as a measure of the number of 2-dimensional "holes" in a space. It is interesting to know whether they capture the following type of "hole". This ...
21
votes
10answers
3k views

Examples of non-abelian groups arising in nature without any natural action

It's said that most groups arise through their actions. For instance, Galois groups arise in Galois theory as automorphisms of field extensions. Linear groups arise as automorphisms of vector spaces, ...
5
votes
2answers
538 views

Gaining intuition for how submodules behave

I'm studying elementary commutative algebra this semester, largely following Atiyah-MacDonald. I often find myself in a situation where I'm interested in whether some property of an R-module M is ...
3
votes
9answers
688 views

Non-real constants

Constants are usually real numbers e.g. e, pi, gamma etc. Can you give examples of special constants that are not real? e.g. complex or p-adic constants. A real number in base10 can be viewed as the ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Sequence that converge if they have an accumulation point

I am looking for classes of sequence, that converge iff they contain a converging sub-sequence. The basic example of such sequences are monotone sequences of real numbers. A more interesting ...
5
votes
2answers
481 views

What is an example of a non-regular, totally path-disconnected Hausdorff space?

I need this for a counterexample: the multiplication in the fundamental group $\pi_1(\Sigma X_+)$, when it is equipped with the topology inherited from $\Omega \Sigma X_+$, fails to be continuous for ...