Deprecated; please do NOT use this tag, use a more specific tag.

**65**

votes

**4**answers

5k views

### Is the sphere the only surface all of whose projections are circles? Or: Can we deduce a spherical Earth by observing that its shadows on the Moon are always circular?

Several ancient arguments suggest a curved Earth, such as
the observation that ships disappear mast-last over the
horizon, and
Eratosthenes'
surprisingly accurate calculation of the size of the
Earth
...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Hanging a ball with string

What is the shortest length of string that suffices to hang
a unit-radius ball $B$?
This question is related to an earlier MO question, but I think different.
Assume that the ball is ...

**62**

votes

**2**answers

4k views

**4**

votes

**5**answers

1k views

### Feasibility of a list of prescribed distances in R^3

I am puzzled with the following problem:
Given $n$ real numbers it is to obtain a Yes/No answer to: "whether it is possible to arrange different points in the Euclidean $\mathbb{R}^3$ so that every ...

**29**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### “Softness” vs “rigidity” in Geometry

According to common wisdom, there are structures in Geometry that have a more "topological" flavor, others that are more "geometrical", and others that are halfway between. Usually, geometries${}^*$ ...

**33**

votes

**10**answers

4k views

### Is there a mathematical axiomatization of time (other than, perhaps, entropy)?

Since Euclid's axiomatization of space, we have developed a sophisticated mathematical model of space. Given a category of structures (measures), local space is modeled the spectrum of measurements ...

**14**

votes

**5**answers

3k 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 ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Probing a manifold with geodesics

Supposed you stand at a point $p \in M$ on a smooth 2-manifold $M$
embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$.
You do not know anything about $M$.
You shoot off a geodesic $\gamma$ in some direction $u$,
and learn ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

365 views

### The sparsest planar net that captures every unit segment

Let $\cal C = \lbrace C_i \rbrace$ be a collection
of rectifiable curves in the plane with the property that
every unit-length segment meets at least one curve
in at least one point.
Call such a ...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### About MF Atiyah and R Bott's 1983 paper

I am a theoretical physics major student working on string theory. I want to understand the work of MF Atiyah and R Bott, "The Yang-Mills equations over riemann surfaces" . What kinds of mathematical ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

245 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

**0**answers

509 views

### Dao's theorem on six circumcenters associated with a cyclic hexagon

This questions from Ngo Quang Duong's paper
In 2013, O. T. Dao published without proof a theorem with title Another seven circles theorem in Cut the Knot, a free site for popular expositionsof many ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### An exact counting solution for the number of points within a circle of radius $r$ centered on a lattice point in a $A_2$ hexagonal lattice

In a previous question: (The Gauss circle problem on a hexagonal lattice) I asked for an analytic approximation for the number of lattice points in or along the contour of a circle centered on a ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

253 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 ...

**79**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Light rays bouncing in twisted tubes

Imagine a smooth curve $c$ sweeping out a unit-radius disk that is
orthogonal to the curve at every point.
Call the result a tube.
I want to restrict the radius of curvature of $c$ to be at most 1.
I ...

**48**

votes

**4**answers

3k views

### Tying knots with reflecting lightrays

Let a lightray bounce around inside a cube whose faces
are (internal) mirrors.
If its slopes are rational, it will eventually form a cycle.
For example, starting with a point $p_0$ in the interior
of ...

**26**

votes

**2**answers

976 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.
...

**23**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Geometry of complex elliptic curves

Is there an elliptic curve in CP^2 whose induced Remannian metric ( induced from the Fubini-Sudy metric on CP^2) is Euclidian flat?

**16**

votes

**5**answers

1k views

### Is a rhombus rigid on a sphere or torus? And generalizations.

If a rectangle is formed from rigid bars for edges and joints
at vertices, then it is flexible in the plane: it can flex
to a parallelogram.
On any smooth surface with a metric, one can define a ...

**15**

votes

**0**answers

496 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 ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

681 views

### Blocking visibility with cylinders

Suppose you have a supply of infinite-length, opaque, unit-radius cylinders,
and you would like to block all visibility from a point
$p \in \mathbb{R}^3$ to infinity with as few cylinders as possible.
...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

270 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 ...

**9**

votes

**2**answers

477 views

### When can a freely moving sphere escape from a 'cage' defined by a set of impassible coordinates?

To ask this question in a (hopefully) more direct way:
Please imagine that I take a freely moving ball in 3-space and create a 'cage' around it by defining a set of impassible coordinates, $S_c$ ...

**20**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Intuitive proof that the first (n-2) coordinates on a sphere are uniform in a ball

It is a classical fact that if $(x_1,\ldots,x_n)$ is a random vector uniformly distributed on the sphere $S^{n-1} \subseteq \mathbb{R}^n$, then the random vector $(x_1,\ldots,x_{n-2})$ is uniformly ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

613 views

### Totally rational polytopes

Define a convex polytope in $\mathbb{R}^d$ as
totally rational (my terminology)
if its vertex coordinates are rational, its edge lengths
are rational, its two-dimensional face areas are rational, ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Ping-pong relief map of a given function $z=f(x,y)$

I have an idea to design a type of
Galton's Board
to "draw" a relief map of a given two-dimensional function $z=f(x,y)$.
A typical Galton's Board drops, say, ping-pong balls through a series
of evenly ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

684 views

### Maximal number of connected components of complement to an affine plane real algebraic curve

Let $X$ be a (singular, reducible) affine plane real algebraic curve of degree $d$.
How we can estimate maximal number of connected components of it's complement in $R^2$ in terms of degree?

**5**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Packing density of randomly deposited circles on a plane

Let's say that I have a rectangular two-dimensional surface of bounded dimensions, $[0,A]$ and $[0,B]$:
Under "no overlap" constraints, I sequentially deposit circles of radii $r_c$ on this ...

**17**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Largest hyperbolic disk embeddable in Euclidean 3-space?

Hilbert proved that there's no complete regular (C^k for sufficiently large k) isometric embedding of the hyperbolic plane into R^3. On the other hand, the pseudosphere is locally isometric to the ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

876 views

### Essentially one random metric on $\mathbb{S}^2$?

I heard it claimed that there is, in some sense, only
one random metric on $\mathbb{S}^2$.
I would appreciate any pointer to literature that explicates
this intriguing claim.
So far my own searches ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

337 views

### Limiting shape for Brillouin zones

Is it true that the limiting shape for Brillouin zones (for any lattice) is a circle?
You can find the definition and the step by step construction of Brillouin zones here. This picture is taken from ...

**10**

votes

**3**answers

620 views

### A “round” lattice with low kissing number?

Historically, the lattices with high density were studied intensively, e.g. E_8 lattice or Leech Lattice. However, there are situations that lattices with low kissing number are required. ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

561 views

### Dense sphere packings which are not lattice packings

This question is about dense sphere packings in euclidean space $\mathbb R^n$. By a sphere packing I understand any arrangement of mutually disjoint solid open spheres in $\mathbb R^n$, all of the ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

1k 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 ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

535 views

### Fitting a mesh to a density function

Suppose I have a probability density function defined on a region in the plane (in my case, the pdf is of the form $f(x) = \alpha\|x\|^{-\beta}$, and the region is the unit disk). For large $N$, is ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

241 views

### Lattice points on the boundary of an ellipse

How many points of the integer lattice ${\mathbb Z}^2$ can an axis-parallel ellipse of radius $r$ contain on its boundary? (that is, we consider ${\mathbb Z}^2$ as lying in ${\mathbb R}^2$). ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

188 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. ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

350 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 ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

4k views

### Maximum number of mutually equidistant points in an n-dimensional Euclidean space is (n+1). Proof? [closed]

How to prove that the maximum number of mutually equidistant points in an n-dimensional Euclidean space is (n+1)?

**4**

votes

**1**answer

258 views

### Sixteen points circle - A conjecture on Möbius plane

The conjecture refer the reader about the Bundle's theorem configuration. (This conjecture from a note)
Consider the Bundle theorem configuration :
Points $A_1, A_2, A_3, A_4$ lie on a circle,
...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

61 views

### Equidistribution of Brillouin zones

Answering the question about Limiting shape for Brillouin zones Victor Kleptsyn proved that $N$th Brillouin zone is very close to a circle of radius $c\sqrt N$ (you can find all necessary definitions ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

974 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 ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

206 views

### How many convex shapes can be made with the pieces of the Stomachion?

Tangrams are a well-known dissection of the square into seven convex polygons. One fun mathematical question is: how many convex rearrangements of the seven pieces are there?
Answer: there are 12 ...

**5**

votes

**3**answers

377 views

### Finding a hyperplane that splits a convex polytope evenly

Say we have a convex polytope in standard form:
\begin{equation*}
\begin{array}{rl}
\mathbf{A}\mathbf{x} = \mathbf{b} \\\\
\mathbf{x} \ge 0
\end{array}
\end{equation*}
Are there any known methods ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

194 views

### Zoll Flat Finsler tori and convex bodies on a starry night

The starry night. The "celestial sphere" is given by set of non-zero vectors in $\mathbb{R}^n$ modulo positive dilations (i.e., $v \equiv w$ if $v = \lambda w$ for some $ \lambda > 0$) and the ...

**4**

votes

**6**answers

382 views

### Characterizing Convex Configurations of Quadrupels of Coplanar Points via Linear (In-)equalities between Distance Sums or Differences

Given 4 points $A$, $B$, $C$ and $D$ in general position in the euclidean plane, is it possible to determine from the 6 distances $AB$, $BC$, $CD$, $AD$, $AC$ and, $BD$ alone, whether every point is a ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Subtract Rectangle from Polygon

I'm looking for an algorithm that will subtract a rectangle from a simple, concave polygon and return a remainder of polygons. If the rectangle encloses the polygon, the remainder is null. In most ...

**3**

votes

**5**answers

600 views

### Is the following two-dimensional graph likely to be globally rigid?

Consider the two-dimensional non-planar graph $G$, with known topology and edge lengths $(r_1, r_2, ... r_N) \in R$, but unknown vertex coordinates. We further specify that:
All vertices within a ...

**2**

votes

**1**answer

499 views

### Minimizing the Perimeter of a polyomino

Imagine I generate some polyomino (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyomino) with $N$ unit squares, under the constraint that I want to maximize the number of shared edges between unit squares, or ...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

537 views

### Euclidean triangulation of the plane with degree 7 at each vertex.

Hyperbolic plane has a beautiful triangulation by congruent hyperbolic triangles where all the vertices of the triangulation have degree 7, this is of course not possible in the euclidean plane, even ...