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14
votes
5answers
831 views

How far is a set of vectors from being orthogonal?

Given some vectors, how many dimensions do you need to add (to their span) before you can find some mutually orthogonal vectors that project down to the original ones? Or, more formally... Suppose ...
9
votes
3answers
424 views

Recognising group actions on trees from the boundary

Let $G$ be a group acting on a locally finite tree $T$. Then the boundary $\partial T$ is a Cantor set on which $G$ acts by homeomorphisms (indeed by quasi-isometries under a suitable metric). ...
4
votes
2answers
476 views

Real vs complex surfaces

Hi! My background is in (complex) algebraic geometry. For the first time I'm considering varieties defined over $\mathbb{R}$ and I have some very basic questions about these. In particular I'm trying ...
5
votes
2answers
201 views

Normal form(s) for the elements of hyperbolic triangle groups

I'm seeking a reference or a sketch for any sort of normal form that would enable rapid enumeration without redundancies of the elements of hyperbolic triangle groups and/or von Dyck groups.
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Determine if you can build a polygon from segments [closed]

Is there a way to determine whether it is possible to build a polygon from given n segments? Maybe triangle inequality generalized?
4
votes
1answer
386 views

Polyline Averaging

I'm trying to find a method that can take a collection of polylines, each described by a list of connected points on a plane, and find an "average" path through them. The input lines do not loop. ...
5
votes
0answers
290 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between holonomy and monodromy?

And what is the simplest example in which one is trivial and the other is not?
8
votes
1answer
2k views

The gimbal lock shows up in my quaternions

I suspect this is a bit basic for mathoverflow, seeing I'm still just an undergraduate I've been playing around with quaternions as means to eliminate the gimbal lock. From what I understand, one ...
11
votes
3answers
922 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
378 views

Tangled Knot Function

I am seeking a function $f: \mathbb{R}^3 \to \mathbb{R}^3$ that has these properties: (1) When iterated $n$ times starting from some $p$, connecting the points in order with segments and closing ...
2
votes
2answers
291 views

Questions on calculating volume using n-1 forms

Is there an n-1 form on $R^n$ which calculates the volume of n-manifolds? Similarly, is there such a 1 form on $S^2$, and $RP^2$? I thought this has something to do with the orientation, is that ...
11
votes
2answers
484 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
382 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

minimum distance between two arbitrary circles in space

as per the title, i am working out the problem with maxima, but i am surprised by how complicated this rapidly turns out to unfold for such a "simple" question. monstrous equations, maybe someone has ...
10
votes
3answers
730 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
216 views

Checking if one polytope is contained in another

Hi, I have two sets of inequalities, say, $Ax \leq 0$ and $Bx \leq 0$. I would like to know if they both define the same polytope. Or, even, whether one is contained in the other. At the moment I am ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Find the bounding box of a circle segment.

You have three points. A,B and C. They define a circle segment that starts at A, goes through B and ends at C. Find the smallest bounding box that encompases the circle segment. Here is a picture: ...
3
votes
2answers
565 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
488 views

Area ratio of a minimum bounding rectangle of a convex polygon

Take a convex polygon $P$ in the plane, and find its minimum area bounding rectangle, $R$. I'm interested in the ratio of the area of $R$ to the area of $P$. The ratio has a minimum of $1$ for ...
7
votes
1answer
303 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
766 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
438 views

Filling $\mathbb{R}^3$ with skew lines

I would like to know if it is possible to fill $\mathbb{R}^3$ with lines with the following two properties: (1) Every point $x \in \mathbb{R}^3$ is contained in precisely one line. (2) Every ...
1
vote
0answers
390 views

Uniform convergence of convex functions - references

Inspired by the following question on stackexchange: http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/126142/uniform-convergence-of-convex-sequence-of-functions, I thought of asking whether anyone knows of ...
3
votes
1answer
363 views

In the classical construction of conic sections, where does the axis of the cone intersect the plane?

Everybody knows that if I take the intersection of a right circular cone with a plane, I get a conic section. My question is, where does the symmetry axis of the cone intersect the plane? Does this ...
1
vote
1answer
811 views

Covering an arbitrary polygon with minimum number of squares

I have a problem whereby, given an arbitrary polyogn with any number of points, I need to cover the whole area by a number of fixed size squares. I can easily find a set of squares which covers the ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do I need densities in order to integrate on a non-orientable manifold?

Integration on an orientable differentiable n-manifold is defined using a partition of unity and a global nowhere vanishing n-form called volume form. If the manifold is not orientable, no such form ...
4
votes
1answer
308 views

Least cardinality of a set of points in the plane

What is the least possible cardinality $K$, of a set S of points in the plane, such that there exists a point P in the plane and an open ball B centered at P, such that for all points X in B, not all ...
-2
votes
1answer
267 views

Manifold with no Finsler structure?

Is there a good example for a smooth manifold to which one cannot give a Finsler structure in any meaningful way? Ideal the example should be of low dimension and not too bizarre.
5
votes
1answer
651 views

theorems equivalent to the parallel postulate

Is there a good survey article listing all the theorems of Euclidean geometry that are equivalent to the parallel postulate?
4
votes
1answer
204 views

Finding the “top” or “bottom” vertex of a simplex

A vertex $v$ of a simplex in $\mathbb{R}^n$ is a "top" vertex if there exists a point $p \neq v$ in the simplex with $v \ge p$ (i.e. $v_1 \ge p_1$, ... , $v_n \ge p_n$). Similarly, $v$ is a "bottom" ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Naive definition of surface area doesn't work?

A first stab at a definition of surface area might go like this: Let S be a surface. Select finitely many points from S and make a bunch of triangles having these points as vertexes. Add up the ...
4
votes
3answers
474 views

Number of Hyper-cube cuts

In how many ways a single hyperplane can cut a hypercube? Two "ways" are considered different, if the sets into which they divide vertices of the hypercube are different. So e.g. a line can cut ...
2
votes
0answers
228 views

Minimum solid angle and aspect ratio of an $n$-simplex

In computational geometry and other fields, it is of interest to have degeneracy measures for shapes of simplices, which quantitatively seperate the regular simplex from degenerate simplices. In two ...
1
vote
2answers
305 views

Triangles with Congruent Corresponding Sides that Cannot fold into a Tetrahedron

I've been trying to find, without much success, 4 triangles whose corresponding sides are congruent that cannot be folded into a tetrahedron. Anyone has any clue how to approach this problem?
2
votes
1answer
215 views

On Dehn's infinitesimal rigidity theorem

Dehn's theorem states that any simplicial strictly convex polyedron P in Euclidean 3-space is infinitesimally rigid (that is, any non-trivial first order deformation of P induces a variation of its ...
4
votes
2answers
378 views

Conformal structure does not see conical singularities

the conformal structure does not see the conical singularities of a polyhedral surface. This is a quote from the Preface of Quantum Triangulations (eds.: Carfora, Marzuoli). The sentiment is ...
1
vote
1answer
280 views

triangle equality in manifold

For a generilized triangle on a manifold, (distance can be regarded as geodesic length)it is well known that for Eucilidean Geometry,the following is true: Consider a triangle $ABC$, $D$ is the ...
1
vote
2answers
258 views

Smooth a matrix

I have a matrix in which each element contains the coordinates of a 3D surface. Sometimes, some points will be "out of line" meaning that they will not conform to the general shape. For example you ...
0
votes
1answer
350 views

Action of Isometries on a Line in the Plane

I'm trying to determine the stabilizer of a line in a plane when acted upon by the group of isometries of the plane. Please note that I'm using the notation found in the Wikipedia article on Euclidean ...
0
votes
2answers
238 views

Derivation of surfaces

In an Euclidean linear plane, the evolute of a given curve C with support function h(t) can be regarded as a kind of derivative C' of C. Indeed, C' has support function h'(Pi/2 -t). Is there any ...
3
votes
0answers
128 views

The mean number of vertices in small connected components of random geometric graphs

I place $N$ points on a circular plane of radius $R$, and draw edges to connect points that are less than or equal to some distance $D$ to form a set of graphs or cliques $G_i$. As a function of $N$, ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

A raceway problem

Let $f(x)=\sin x$, and $g(x)=\sin x + 1$. Consider a set $S=\{(x,y)| f(x)\leq y \leq g(x), x\in [0,2\pi]\}$. This set $S$ can be considered as "Raceway" My question is finding the shortest path in ...
5
votes
2answers
587 views

Finding the convex combination of vertices which yields an inner point of a polytope

Given a convex polytope $P\in \mathbb{R}^n$, and a point $x\in P$, Caratheodory's theorem gives us that there exists a set of at most $n+1$ vertices of $P$, such that $x$ is a convex combination of ...
10
votes
1answer
512 views

Polygons uniquely inducing arrangements

A beautiful, relatively recent result is that, Every simple arrangement $\cal{A}$ of $n$ lines in the plane is induced by a simple $n$-gon $P$. In a simple arrangement, every pair of lines ...
9
votes
2answers
567 views

Ellipsoids and lattices: an enclosure problem.

$E \subset {\mathbb R}^2$ is an ellipse of area $1$ centered at the origin that contains no other point with integer coordinates. Is there a matrix $A \in SL(2,{\mathbb Z})$ such that the ellipse ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

space of geodesics

hallo, i have the following problem: Let $(M,g)$ be a compact Riemannian manifold with metric $g$ and $\nabla$ be the Levi-Civita Connection. Denote by $G(M) =${$\gamma: \mathbb{R} \rightarrow M | ...
1
vote
0answers
164 views

Finding a curve of some approximate arc length (with uniform or zero curvature) with a specified distance to a set of points in 3-space

Imagine I define a set of $N$ points in 3-space, $P$, and I would like to define a straight-line or curve, $C$, with uniform or zero curvature, that has some desired distance, $M$, to each of these ...
2
votes
1answer
199 views

Locus of points where difference in gravitational forces is constant

Is there a name for the curve in the plane defined by $a/\|x - p\|^2 - b/\|x - q\|^2=\mathrm{constant}$ where $a$ and $b$ are fixed numbers and $p$ and $q$ are fixed points? How about if I don't ...
9
votes
4answers
424 views

Can one do without a classifying space when showing vanishing of cohomology

Let $G$ be a discrete group and $A$ an abelian group, then $H^n (G,A)$ can be defined as $$ H^n (G,A) = H^n (B_G, A)$$ Where $B_G$ is the classifying space of $G$, i.e. $B_G = E_G / G$ where $E_G$ is ...