**33**

votes

**0**answers

844 views

### Homotopy type of TOP(4)/PL(4)

It is known (e.g. the Kirby-Siebenmann book) that $\mathrm{TOP}(n)/\mathrm{PL}(n)\simeq K({\mathbb Z}/2,3)$ for $n>4$. I believe it is also known (Freedman-Quinn) that ...

**29**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### Minimal volume of 4-manifolds

This question came up in a talk of Dieter Kotschick yesterday. The minimal volume of a manifold is the infimum of volumes of Riemannian metrics on the manifold with sectional curvatures bounded in ...

**27**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### What is the three-dimensional hyperbolic volume of a four-manifold?

Every smooth closed orientable 4-manifold may be constructed via a handle decomposition. Before asking a couple of questions, I recall some well-known facts about handle-decompositions of 4-manifolds.
...

**23**

votes

**0**answers

924 views

### Manifolds admitting CW-structure with single n-cell

Let $M$ be a topological $n$-manifold, closed and connected (not necessarily oriented):
When does $M$ not admit (up to homotopy-type) a CW-structure with a single $n$-cell?
By classification of ...

**21**

votes

**0**answers

469 views

### Smooth thickenings of non-smoothable manifolds

It is known that any closed topological manifold is homotopy equivalent to an open smooth manifold.
Question 1. What can be said about the smallest
dimension of a smooth manifold
that is homotopy ...

**21**

votes

**0**answers

651 views

### Boundaries of noncompact contractible manifolds

It is known that a manifold $B$ bounds a compact contractible topological manifold if and only if $B$ is a homology sphere. The "only if" direction follows by excising a small ball in the interior of ...

**20**

votes

**0**answers

301 views

### Nilpotence of the stable Hopf map via framed cobordism

The Pontryagin-Thom construction shows that the stable homotopy groups of spheres are the same as the groups of stably framed manifolds up to cobordism. Specifically the Hopf map corresponds to the ...

**19**

votes

**0**answers

275 views

### Topological description of inverting a knot

The first figure shows an offset overhand knot. To tie it, you simply bring the two cords together and make an overhand knot in them. It's more secure than it looks, and several climbers have been ...

**19**

votes

**0**answers

557 views

### Do there exist exotic 4-tori?

More precisely: are there known manifolds which are homeomorphic, but not diffeomorphic to the standard 4-torus? Are there any nice invariants distinguishing such manifolds?
Related: if such a ...

**19**

votes

**0**answers

605 views

### Which manifolds decompose into pants?

In this nice paper Mikhalkin uses certain (more geometrical than algebraic) aspects of tropical geometry to prove that every complex projective hypersurface in $\mathbb C \mathbb P ^n$ decomposes as a ...

**18**

votes

**0**answers

441 views

### The oriented homeomorphism problem for Haken 3-manifolds

Haken famously described an algorithm to solve the homeomorphism problem for the 3-manifolds that bear his name (fleshed out by many others, including Hemion and Matveev who fixed some gaps). But ...

**18**

votes

**0**answers

688 views

### Almost complex 4-manifolds with a “holomorphic” vector field

Main question. What is the class of smooth orientable 4-dimensional manifolds that admit an almost complex structure $J$ and a vector field v, that preserves $J$?
The following sub question is ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

434 views

### Monoid structure of oriented manifolds with connect sum

Take the class of all compact, connected, boundaryless, smooth oriented $n$-dimensional manifolds, each taken up to orientation-preserving diffeomorphism. This is a commutative monoid with operation ...

**14**

votes

**0**answers

624 views

### Horrible sets and blowups in Hubbard's Teichmuller theory

Edit: I can rephrase this question this way: When blowing up every point in the $x$-axis in $\mathbb{C}^2$ by means of an inverse limit of finite blowups, how can anything be 'left over'? The horrible ...

**13**

votes

**0**answers

186 views

### What do tangles teach us about braids?

A braid is a smooth level-preserving embedding $f\colon\, \{1,2,\ldots,n\}\times[0,1]\hookrightarrow \mathbb{R}^2 \times [0,1]$ such that $f(k,0)=(k,0)$ and $f(k,1) \in \{1,2,\ldots,n\} \times ...

**13**

votes

**0**answers

371 views

### What is the determinant of Poincare duality?

For a complex $C^{\bullet}$ of finite dimensional vector spaces, one has a determinant
$$|C^\bullet|:= \bigotimes \left(\Lambda^{top} C^i\right)^{(-1)^i}$$
functorial with respect to ...

**13**

votes

**0**answers

217 views

### Approximating homeomorphisms of 2-disk by diffeomorphisms

Any homeomorphism of a compact surface can be approximated by diffeomorphisms.
Is there a parametrized version of this result, where the parameter space is an $n$-disk?
In other words, if $S$ is a ...

**13**

votes

**0**answers

320 views

### Asymptotics for the number of triangulations of a manifold M

In Gromov's talk at the Clay Math Research from 23:23 to 25:55 Gromov says (slightly paraphrased)
I want to emphasize a problem which
comes from mathematical physics which
is unsolved which is ...

**13**

votes

**0**answers

352 views

### Polynomials with roots in convex position

Let $\mathcal P_n$ denote the set of all monic polynomials of degree $n$ with real or complex coefficients such that $P\in\mathcal P_n$ if for all $k\in\lbrace 0,1,\dots,n-2\rbrace$ the $n-k$ roots of ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

351 views

### Smooth 4-manifolds with $E_8$ intersection form

Does there exist a closed orientable smooth 4-manifold $M$ whose intersection form is the $E_8$-form? Here by the intersection form I mean the $\mathbb{Z}$-valued bilinear form on ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

435 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 ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

285 views

### rigidity of representations of dehn fillings on the figure eight knot

Consider a Dehn filling of the figure eight knot with coprime parameters (p,q) denoted by M.
I am interested in the representation space of M in $SU_2$.
I wonder wether all such representations are ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

208 views

### Fox re-imbedding theorem in dimension four

Fox re-imbedding theorem states the following:
A compact 3-manifold $M$ with boundary that embeds in the three-sphere $S^3$, can be re-imbedded in $S^3$ so that its complement is a union of ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

715 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 ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

388 views

### Codimension 2 foliations on simply connected 4-manifolds

Are there examples of codimension 2 foliations on simply connected compact 4-manifolds such that
Every leaf is diffeomorphic to $\mathbb R^2$
Every leaf is dense?
Same question for 5-manifolds ...

**10**

votes

**0**answers

307 views

### 3 manifolds with diffeomorphic unit tangent bundles

What can one say about two closed oriented 3-manifolds $M_1$ and $M_2$ such that $S^2 \times M_1$ is diffeomorphic to $S^2 \times M_2$?

**10**

votes

**0**answers

341 views

### Can a composition with itself of a universal self-map be non-universal?

I have formulated (and published) the notion of a universal map (and of a universal morphism), and the problems below, in the early 1960-ies.
DEFINITION A continuous map $u: ...

**10**

votes

**0**answers

496 views

### Once differentiable, piecewise degree three polynomials on triangulated planar domains

Here is an easily described, but very difficult, problem that I
(and a number of other people) really would like to see solved during
our life times. The basic problem is to compute the dimension of ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

191 views

### Is the quotient map of the action of homeomorphisms on embeddings well-behaved?

It is well known that if $M$ and $N$ are smooth manifolds, the diffeomorphisms $Diff(M)$ act continuously on the smooth embeddings $Emb^{C^\infty}(M,N)$ by precomposition, if both are given the ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

143 views

### When were bordered Heegaard Floer homology's DA bimodules invented?

This is less of a strictly mathematical question and more of a reference request.
In their paper "Bordered Heegaard Floer Homology (http://arxiv.org/pdf/0810.0687.pdf)," Lipshitz-Ozsvath-Thurston ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

246 views

### Provide a citation for the “spine lemma”?

I'm looking for a citable reference for the following (perhaps folkloric?) result on topological field theories.
(There are obviously generalizations to other dimensions; I'm happy with just the ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

200 views

### Right-angled polytopes

%This question is motivated by the little discussion here at the bottom.
The following thing are known about hyperbolic right-angled polytopes:
Compact hyperbolic right-angled polytopes do not ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

292 views

### Is the connected sum of knots an isometry?

Take $X$ as the set of knots in the 3-sphere (i.e. smooth embeddings of $S^1$ in $S^3$ up to smooth isotopy), endowed with the Gordian distance $d$.
For a fixed knot $K$ we can define the map ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

512 views

### Categorification of finite type invariants

Recall that finite type invariants are those numerical knots invariants vanishing on knots with enough singularities. The value of an invariant on a singular knots is computed using the Vassiliev ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

318 views

### Covering a subset by submanifolds

Let $K$ be a compact subset of a Euclidean space of very large dimension $N$. Assume
that any point $x\in K$ has a neighborhood $U\subset K$ which is contained in a smooth
$l$-dimensional submanifold ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

125 views

### Closed geodesics avoiding points in hyperbolic surfaces

Let $\Sigma$ be a closed hyperbolic surface. Is it true that for any finite collection of points $x_1,\ldots,x_n\in\Sigma$ there exists a closed geodesic $\gamma$ containing none of them?
Remark: It ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

141 views

### Excluding exotic PL structures on S^4

Suppose you have a finite group $G<SO(5)$ such that $S^4/G$ is homeomorphic to $S^4$ and such that $S^4/G$ is a PL manifold with respect to a PL structure induced by a standard structure on $S^4$. ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

185 views

### Consequences of Zeeman's conjecture

Recall the Zeeman's conjecture: if $K$ is a contractible polyhedron of dimension 2, then $K\times I$ has a collapsible subdivision.
Zeeman showed that this implies the Poincaré conjecture in ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

158 views

### Does the shortest path between two braids pass through string links?

One of the fundamental facts underlying the application of braid theory to knot theory is that braids inject into string links.
This means that braids $B_1$ and $B_2$, considered inside a cube $I^3$, ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

290 views

### Space of embeddings of an $n$-ball into an $n$-manifold

Let $M$ be a smooth $n$-manifold without boundary, and let $B$ be the open unit ball in $\mathbb{R}^n$. I am trying to understand the space $\text{Emb}(B,M)$ of smooth embeddings of $B$ into $M$. ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

129 views

### Naive Reidemeister-Schreier for $\mathbb Z$ quotients

I have a question about a "standard" variant of the Reidemeister-Schreier algorithm used by topologists when manipulating manifolds they either know or suspect are fibre-bundles over $S^1$.
Say you ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

132 views

### What sort of geometry does the Whitehead manifold have as a hypersurface in $\mathbb{R}^4$?

If I understand correctly, the standard $\mathbb{R}^4$ is diffeomorphic to $\mathbb{R}\times W$ where $W$ is the Whitehead manifold (i.e., is an open three-manifold that is contractible and not ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

332 views

### What is (explicitly) known about the SL(n,C) character varieties of 3-manifolds ?

The $SL(2,{\bf C})$ character variety of a 3-manifold with 1-cusp $M$ (like a knot complement in the 3-sphere) essentially coincide with the variety defined by the A-polynomial. Those polynomials are ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

486 views

### Pseudocycle definition of open Gromov-Witten invariants

I decided my original question was unnecessarily long, and have edited to simply ask the desired question directly (the below is much more direct than my original post, though it may seem just as ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

340 views

### is a group $G$, that admits finite $k(G, 1)$ and has no Baumslag-Solitar subgroups, necessarily hyperbolic?

This is the first question asked in Bestvina's article "Questions in Geometric Group Theory". Does anyone know if there has been any progress made on this problem? Is the question answered if $G$ is ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

158 views

### Alexander polynomial in branched covers

Suppose I am given a 3-manifold as a double branched cover over a link. Let a null-homologus knot in this space be given as a lift of an arc with endpoints on the link (it is automatically ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

130 views

### A forked plane continuum

I came up with this question while trying to solve the following MO one:
Does every connected set that is not a line segment cross some dyadic square?
Suppose $C$ is a plane continuum (i.e. a ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

120 views

### Topological restrictions from mean curvature bounds

Alexandrov's Theorem says that a compact constant mean curvature hypersurface embedded in $\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ must be a round sphere.
What happens when the mean curvature is small, or bounded? (For ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

141 views

### Real laminations on a 4-punctured sphere

Fix a triangulation $T$ of the 4-punctured sphere. (Formally, an ideal triangulation, but taking a combinatorial viewpoint, we may as well just fix a triangulation of the sphere with 4 vertices and ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

140 views

### The homology of the braid group with coefficients in the Burau representation

Let $B_n$ denote the braid group with $n$ braids. The Burau representation $B_n\to GL_n(\mathbb{Z}[t^{\pm1}])$ makes $(\mathbb{Q}[t^{\pm1}])^n$ a $B_n$-module. I am curious in knowing what $H_i(B_n, ...