**36**

votes

**0**answers

397 views

### Topological cobordisms between smooth manifolds

Wall has calculated enough about the cobordism ring of oriented smooth manifolds that we know that two oriented smooth manifolds are oriented cobordant if and only if they have the same ...

**33**

votes

**0**answers

879 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 ...

**31**

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 ...

**28**

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.
...

**25**

votes

**0**answers

995 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 ...

**22**

votes

**0**answers

483 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

681 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

325 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 ...

**20**

votes

**0**answers

603 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

303 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

631 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 ...

**19**

votes

**0**answers

447 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

692 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 ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

155 views

### Why, in terms of quantum groups, does the knot determinant appear as an evaluation of both the Jones and Alexander polynomials?

The Jones polynomial can be computed from the representation theory of $\mathcal{U}_q(\mathfrak{sl}(2))$. The Alexander polynomial has an analogous description in terms of the representation theory of ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

171 views

### Metrics on the 3-sphere with knotted geodesics

According to answers to this question every metrics on $S^3$ admits a simple closed geodesic. Given a knot (or link) $K$, it's also quite simple to build a metric on $S^3$ such that $K$ is a geodesic ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

180 views

### Concordance and homology cobordism

If two knots $K_1$ and $K_2$ in $S^3$ are smoothly concordant, then for any rational number $r$, the $r$-surgeries $S^3_r(K_1)$ and $S^3_r(K_2)$ are homology cobordant. Is the converse true? What if ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

454 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 ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

393 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 ...

**15**

votes

**0**answers

638 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 ...

**14**

votes

**0**answers

327 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

190 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

378 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

295 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 ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

125 views

### $p$-Adic or arithmetic variants of Khovanskii's “low complexity $\Rightarrow$ tame topology” theory

This question is prompted by a remark I made in a comment to Is every polynomial a factor of a trinomial?, which was that Descartes's observation (cf. his rule of signs, etc.), that the number of real ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

262 views

### Is Rasmussen's s-invariant of a knot an invariant of a 4-manifold?

Let $K$ be a knot in the 3-sphere $S^3$.
Here we denote by $s(K)$ Rasmussen's s-invariant for $K$,
and by $X_{K}(n)$ the 4-manifold obtained from the standard 4-ball $B^4$
by attaching a ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

449 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

286 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

213 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

716 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

406 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

198 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 ...

**10**

votes

**0**answers

320 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

347 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

503 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

147 views

### Do homology classes have “special” representatives?

Recall that, according to Hodge, de-Rham cohomology classes of "nice enough" manifolds have "special" representatives - namely, harmonic forms.
Now, how does one choose a "special" one among ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

131 views

### Why should we regard $PL(M)$ as a simplicial group?

Let $M$ be a manifold. If $M$ is smooth, it is clear what $\text{Diff}(M)$ should be, namely it should be the set of diffeomorphisms of $M$ equipped with the topology in which a sequence of ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

139 views

### Doubly slice knots and an embedding of 4-manifold

It is well-known that the existence of topologically slice knot which is not smoothly slice implies the existence of exotic $\mathbb{R}^4$. For example, see the answer of K. Davis.
To prove the above ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

105 views

### Kernel of “Hat to Plus” in Heegaard Floer Homology

Given a 3-manifold $M$, there is a map of Heegaard Floer groups $$f:\widehat{HF}(M) \to HF^+(M)$$
induced by the inclusion $$\widehat{CF}(M) \to CF^+(M)$$ of the respective chain complexes.
Given a ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

158 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

249 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

209 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

297 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

530 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

321 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

177 views

### Simplices and cubes

Question: What is the first appearance in the literature of one of the
following statements:
The result of intersecting a simplex with a cell of the dual
subdivision is a cube
There ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

134 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

181 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 ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

147 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

198 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

155 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, ...