14
votes
4answers
644 views

Metrics for lines in $\mathbb{R}^3$?

I seek a metric $d(\cdot,\cdot)$ between pairs of (infinite) lines in $\mathbb{R}^3$. Let $s$ be the minimum distance between a pair of lines $L_1$ and $L_2$. Ideally I would like these properties: ...
4
votes
0answers
224 views

Averaging lengths and distances

A natural way in which Finsler metrics appear in Riemannian geometry is as averages of Riemannian metrics (e.g., the average of the arc-length elements $\sqrt{dx^2 + dy^2}$ and $\sqrt{2dx^2 + 3dy^2}$ ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

cover and hide with squares

I am studying two numbers, related to squares, that can characterize a polygon P: MinCoverNumber = the minimum number of axis-aligned squares required to exactly cover P (the covering squares may ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Matching on sphere to create cycle with chords

Imagine a number of chords of a sphere $S$ which nearly, but not quite, pass through the center of $S$, in such a way that no pair of chords intersect:       I would like ...
0
votes
0answers
92 views

Area on the unit sphere swept out by big circles corresponding to a curve

For a point on the unit sphere, we know the plane perpendicular to the line through the origin and the point cuts the sphere with a big circle. When the point moves along a sphere curve, the ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Existence of Simple Closed Straightest Geodesics

There are at least three distinct simple closed quasigeodesics on convex polyhedra [Mat. Sb. (N.S.), 1949, 25(67) :2, 275–306 Quasi-geodesic lines on a convex surface Pogorelov]. Is the same true ...
6
votes
0answers
314 views

Rectangology and squareology

I thought that rectangles were simple, and squares even simpler. Until my research has led me to several questions about rectangles and squares, which I can't solve. I started by posting this ...
4
votes
1answer
277 views

Biggest ball included in an intersection of balls

I would like to prove that for any family of balls $\{B(c_i,r_i)\}_i \subset \mathbb{R}^d$ such that $\{c_1, \dots, c_n\} \subset \bigcap_i B(c_i,r_i) $ and $\forall i, r_i \geq 1$, there exists a ...
9
votes
1answer
290 views

Needle probing for a convex body

Suppose there is an unknown closed convex body $K$ of volume vol$(K) = V$ inside the unit cube $[-\frac{1}{2}, \frac{1}{2}]^d$ in $\mathbb{R}^d$. You are permitted to probe with a (one-dimensional) ...
15
votes
2answers
275 views

Integer lattice points on a hypersphere

Is the following statement true? For every integer $n\ge2$ and every integer $k\ge0$ there exists a hypersphere in $\mathbb{R}^n$ (circle, sphere etc) containing exactly $k$ integer lattice ...
5
votes
1answer
262 views

Reference request: affine transforms + circle inversion?

This problem cropped up in the context of scale-insensitive methods for generating random variables. Let $X=R^n \cup \{\infty\}$. Suppose we consider a set of transforms $\cal{T}$ from $X\rightarrow ...
8
votes
0answers
229 views

Optimal inspection path on a sphere

Suppose you would like to "inspect" every point of a unit-radius sphere $S \subset \mathbb{R}^3$ by walking along a path $\gamma$ on $S$, but you can only see a distance $d$ from where you stand. ...
0
votes
0answers
114 views

Optimal paintbrush geodesics

Let $S$ be a smooth, closed surface in $\mathbb{R}^3$, and $\gamma$ a geodesic segment on $S$, i.e., a finite-length piece of a geodesic. Define $\gamma(w)$ as all the points of $S$ within a distance ...
13
votes
2answers
231 views

Random rings linked into one component?

Let $S$ be a sphere of unit radius. Let $C_n$ be a collection of unit-radius circles/rings whose centers are (uniformly distributed) random points in $S$, and which are oriented (tilted) randomly ...
7
votes
3answers
433 views

Solid angles of a tetrahedron

This is a problem I have had for a while. For a triangle, the side opposite the largest angle has the largest length (and similarly for smallest angle). For a tetrahedron, the question is whether the ...
6
votes
2answers
165 views

Untangling entwined rigid chains in 3-space

I am interested in exploring the degree of "tangledness" of two rigid chains in space. A polygonal chain is a simple (non-self-intersecting) path of segments in $\mathbb{R}^3$, viewed as a rigid body. ...
1
vote
1answer
418 views

Is this min not less than a min

Let $\mathbf{D}$ be the unit disk, is $$\inf_{\begin{array}{c} v_{1},v_{2},v_{3},v_{4}\in\mathbf{D},\\ v_{0}\in\mbox{convexhull}\left(v_{1},v_{2},v_{3},v_{4}\right) \end{array}}\max_{0\le ...
11
votes
0answers
366 views

Does every connected set that is not a line segment cross some dyadic square?

A dyadic square is a subset of $R^2$ of the form $x + 2^{-n} [0,1]^2$ with $x \in 2^{-m} Z^2$, for integers $m,n \geq 0$. We say that a set $A$ crosses a square $S$ if there exists a connected subset ...
4
votes
0answers
217 views

Symmetric matrices and Hilbert's fourth problem

From the analytic viewpoint, the Busemann-Pogorelov solution of Hilbert's fourth problem is summarized in the following result: Theorem. All straight lines are extremals of the variational problem $$ ...
5
votes
3answers
258 views

Which metric spaces have this superposition property?

Let $A \subset X$ and $B \subset X$ be two isometric subsets of a metric space $X$. So there is an isometry $f: A \to B$. Say that a metric space $X$ has the superposition property (my terminology) ...
23
votes
2answers
682 views

The kissing number of a square, cube, hypercube?

How many nonoverlapping unit squares can (nonoverlappingly) touch one unit square? By "nonoverlapping" I mean: not sharing an interior point. By "touch" I mean: sharing a boundary point. ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

Extreme rays in the cone of (semi)metrics

How many extreme rays are there on the polytopal cone formed by all semimetrics on a set with $n$ elements? Some background. Given a set $X$ with $n$ elements, the set of all semimetrics $d:X \times ...
14
votes
3answers
496 views

Smallest square to wrap a cylinder

Suppose you need to gift-wrap a cylinder (e.g., a can of tennis balls, or a large candle) of height $h$ and radius $r$. Here wrap is the natural sense of covering the surface area of the cylinder ...
2
votes
2answers
224 views

What is the smallest number of subsets in such a subdivision?

Given any $30$ points in the plane, what is the smallest number of subsets in a subdivision of the set of $30$ points into subsets such that all the points in each subset are on the boundary of the ...
8
votes
1answer
347 views

Polyhedra that combinatorially shadow a sequence

Let $P$ be a polyhedron in $\mathbb{R}^3$. Say that $P$ combinatorially shadows a sequence of natural numbers $S$ if there is a continuous rotation of $P$ such that its orthogonal-projection shadows ...
2
votes
2answers
279 views

Self-Intersection of closed curves

Supoose I have a closed curve $\gamma$ in the plane such that for any isometry $g$ of $\mathbb{E}^2,$ such that $g(\gamma)\neq \gamma,$ $\gamma$ intersects $g(\gamma)$ in at most two points. It ...
2
votes
0answers
136 views

Honeycomb-type properties of the Delaunay triangulation and Voronoi diagram

Suppose I'd like to distribute a set of points $P=\lbrace p_1 ,\dots, p_n \rbrace$ in the unit square $S=[0,1]\times[0,1]$ to minimize a weighted sum of two things: 1) The average distance between a ...
6
votes
3answers
328 views

Herringbone partitions of regions and surfaces

Let $R \subset \mathbb{R}^2$ be a region of the plane bounded by a Jordan curve. The boundary $\partial R$ could be a polygon, or a smooth curve—there are variations depending upon boundary ...
7
votes
4answers
578 views

Surfaces that can be rolled by a ball

Let $S$ be a smooth solid body in $\mathbb{R}^3$, and $B$ a ball of radius $r$. Say that $B$ is in contact with $S$ if (1) they share a point $x$ that is on the surface of each, $x \in \partial S$ ...
11
votes
1answer
329 views

Can all convex polytopes be realized with vertices on surface of convex body?

The following question was asked by me on Mathematics.SE. Unfortunately, no one answered it so I thought I might give it a try one level higher. Below the line you can find the slightly edited ...
11
votes
1answer
309 views

Detecting a hidden convex body with line probes

Imagine that, somewhere inside an origin-centered, unit-radius sphere $S$ in $\mathbb{R}^3$, sits a convex body $K$ of volume vol$(K)=\alpha (\frac{4}{3} \pi)$, with $\alpha < 1$ the fraction of ...
9
votes
3answers
432 views

Circle-arc number of a knot

I would like to build knots in $\mathbb{R}^3$ from arcs of unit-radius (planar) circles, joined together at points where the tangents match. Thus the knot will have curvature $1$ at all but the ...
4
votes
1answer
206 views

When is the hull of a space curve composed of developable patches?

Let $C$ be a smooth curve in $\mathbb{R}^3$ that lies entirely on its convex hull, $\cal{H}(C)$. Under what conditions on $C$ is $\cal{H}(C)$ the union of developable surface patches? I believe ...
9
votes
5answers
476 views

Minimal blocking objects with shadows like a cube

This is a more geometric version of the previous question, "Lattice-cube minimal blocking sets". I will first specialize to $\mathbb{R}^3$, $d=3$. View an $n \times n \times n$ cube $C_3(n)$ as ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Are faces of a compact, convex body “opposed” iff their extreme points are pairwise “opposed”?

Let $P$ be a compact, convex subset of $\mathbb{R}^n$ (infinite-dimensional generalisations welcome, but not necessary). Let's say that disjoint subsets $W_1$, $W_2$ $\subset P$ are opposed if there ...
9
votes
1answer
509 views

A strange question about closed geodesics on a closed manifold

I'm studying a particular kind of curve evolution on Riemannian manifolds. It would help me to know the answer to the following kinda weird question: Does there exist a closed Riemannian manifold $M$ ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

A Weak Form of Borsuk's Conjecture

Problem: Let P be a d-dimensional polytope with n facets. Is it always true that P can be covered by n sets of smaller diameter? Background and motivation The Borsuk conjecture (disproved in ...
8
votes
2answers
691 views

Altitudes of a triangle

The three altitudes of a triangle are concurrent -- this is true in all three constant curvature geometries (Euclidean, hyperbolic, spherical), but, as far as I know, the proofs are different in the ...
6
votes
3answers
933 views

Are properties of geodesics on a cylinder unique to cylinders?

The geodesics on a cylinder (a cylinder infinite in both directions) are either (1) simple (non-self-intersecting) closed geodesics, or (2) simple infinitely long geodesics (infinite in both ...
1
vote
0answers
271 views

Simple development of simple curve on a cone

Let $\Lambda$ be a cone with apex $a$ and apex angle $\alpha$. Draw a simple (non-self-intersecting) curve $C=(x,y)$ on $\Lambda$, and then develop it to a curve $\overline{C}$ on a plane by rolling ...
4
votes
0answers
218 views

Geometric applications of Ekeland's variational principle

I'm looking for geometric applications of Ekeland's variational principle in order to see it at work in a context I'm familiar with. Let me recall the principle itself: Definition. Let $(X,d)$ be a ...
9
votes
1answer
894 views

What nets fold to polyhedra?

There is a classic (and open) problem asking whether every polyhedron can be unfolded to give a non-overlapping net. The converse problem has been studied asking which polygons can be folded in some ...
5
votes
0answers
271 views

Maximum volume convex body coverable by a unit square

Suppose you are given a single unit square, and you are permitted to cut it into $k$ (connected) pieces (where $k=1$ means just the square). Your task is to construct the largest volume convex body ...
11
votes
3answers
854 views

Covering a Cube with a Square

Suppose you are given a single unit square, and you would like to completely cover the surface of a cube by cutting up the square and pasting it onto the cube's surface. Q1. What is the largest ...
11
votes
2answers
460 views

What is the largest possible thirteenth kissing sphere?

It is well-known that it is impossible to arrange 13 spheres of unit radius all tangent to another unit sphere without their interiors intersecting. This was apparently the subject of disagreement ...
5
votes
3answers
345 views

Tetrahedron angles sum to $\pi$: Bisector plane

I discovered empirically what to me is an amazing lemma concerning face angles of a tetrahedron. Let $\triangle abc$ be a triangle in the $xy$-plane, and $d$ the apex of a tetrahedron with positive ...
10
votes
3answers
632 views

Optimal Wireframe Sphere

Suppose you have a length $L$ of metal pipe at your disposal, and you would like to build a wireframe unit-radius sphere, by bending, cutting, and welding the pipe into a connected structure $F$. Your ...
3
votes
2answers
495 views

Maximum area of intersection between annulus and circle? [closed]

Given two concentric circles $[C_1,C_2 ]$ with radii $(R_1 < R_2) $ creating an annulus; where should a third circle ($C_3$, radius $R_3$) be located such that the area of intersection between ...
7
votes
1answer
284 views

Generalizing a square wheel to a body rolling on a surface

A square wheel rolling on a catenary road maintains the wheel center at a fixed height, a well-known construction previously discussed on MO (e.g., "Generalizing square wheels rolling on inverted ...
7
votes
4answers
700 views

Geodesic path on the unit sphere with the sup norm

Let $X$ be the unit sphere of $\mathbb{R}^n$ with the sup norm, i.e. $X=\{x\in\mathbb{R}^n: \|x\|_{\infty}=1\}$. Let the metric $d$ on $X$ be the geodesic metric induced by the sup norm, i.e for any ...