Questions asking for the intuition behind some definition, conjecture, proof etc. In other words, questions designed to improve or to acquire understanding on a conceptual or intuitive level, as opposed to on a technical or formal level. When asking such a question it can be helpful to include a ...

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5
votes
0answers
155 views

Intuition: Smooth functions on Banach Spaces

On finite-dimensional vector spaces, we all have a reasonable idea of which functions are likely to be $C^1$ or smooth. When it comes to differentiation on Banach spaces, I find that my `intuition' ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

How quickly can we mutliply Cayley-Dickson hypercomplexes?

Assuming that all of the coordinates of two Cayley-Dickson Hypercomplex numbers are non-negative integers less than a prime $p$, how quickly can we multiply these numbers? I'm also interested in what ...
-4
votes
2answers
190 views

If mathematics is logic and intuition, then [closed]

I am just wondering why Mathematics is often defined as The study of Structures, Logic and Numbers which I can concur with but still retain various questions in mind. I am a postgraduate student of ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Norm vs A-norm in non-Archimedean Functional Analysis

Let $K =(K,| \cdot |)$ be a non-Archimedean valued field. Let $E$ be a $K$-vector space. A norm on $E$ is a map $||\cdot||:E\to[0,\infty)$ such that: $||x||=0$ if and only if $x=0$, $||\lambda x||=...
0
votes
0answers
79 views

Is $n+\frac {1}{2}$ in Kendall-Mann numbers and quantum harmonic oscillator related?

It is known that quantum harmonic oscillator is connected to the symmetric group of infinite order which is isomorphic to the permutation group. According to Cayley's theorem any finite group is ...
4
votes
0answers
40 views

Intuition for universal quotient maps

The universal quotient maps are precisely the descent morphisms in the category of topological spaces. In some papers of Janelidze, Tholen, Sobral, and Reiterman (see for instance Reiterman-Tholen), ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Free operads and trees

I am currently working in my PhD thesis, and it became necessary to understand some facts about free symmetric operads. Hence I started to study this subject by myself, following Kapranov & ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

A proper class for smooth chaotic function

This might be a little, soft, but I'll try Consider the interval $I=[-1,1]$. We will define a chaotic function $f:\mathbb{R}_+ \times I \to \mathbb{C}$ in the following traditional way: For every $...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

The application of recursive SVD [closed]

Given an n*m matrix A, the SVD decomposition of A is ${\rm SVD}(A)$= $USV^t$. The application of SVD to the product of U and S gives as a result the same matrices multiplied by the identity matrix, i....
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Expert, Intuitive, Organizing Analogies

In learning a new area it is very helpful to have high-level intuitive analogies that keep track of the various parts of an important argument or strategy. Experts have a store of such things, and ...
28
votes
1answer
2k views

Grothendieck says: points are not mere points, but carry Galois group actions

Apologies in advance if this question is too elementary for MO. I didn't find an explanation of these ideas in any algebraic geometry books (I don't know French). The following is an excerpt from ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

Isomorphism classes of differential rank $k$ vectors bundles over $S^q$ [closed]

Could anybody provide a motivated sketch of why the isomorphism classes of the differentiable rank $k$ real vector bundles over the sphere $S^q$ are given by$$\text{Vect}_k(S^q) \simeq \pi_{q - 1}(\...
6
votes
0answers
141 views

Intuition behind small object argument and cofibrantly generated model categories?

With regards to model categories, what is the intuition behind the small object argument and cofibrantly generated model categories?
2
votes
0answers
114 views

Intuition behind the Duistermaat-Guillemin version of Weyl's law

The theorem in question (see this paper), after a modification by Ivrii (see this paper) states the following: Let $(M, g)$ be a compact Riemannian manifold of dimension $n \geq 2$. Assume that the ...
11
votes
2answers
573 views

Intuition/idea behind a proof of the splitting principle?

The splitting principle is as follows. Given a vector bundle $E \to X$ with $X$ compact Hausdorff, there is a compact Hausdorff space $F(E)$ and a map $p: F(E) \to X$ such that the induced map $p^*...
4
votes
0answers
61 views

The metric gives the optimal element in a class

In geometry there is plenty of examples in which the following happens: Some elements are considered equivalent, in some topological or algebraic sense We take the quotient The metric is usually not ...
8
votes
1answer
440 views

Intuition for Picard-Lefschetz formula

I'm trying to develop some intuition for the (local) Picard-Lefschetz formula (which I'm encountering for the first time in Deligne's paper "La Conjecture de Weil, I"). To summarize the setup, we ...
2
votes
0answers
149 views

Description of the equalizer of $\prod _j R/I_j \rightrightarrows \prod _{i,j}R/(I_i+I_j)$

This is a crosspost of this MSE question. I have asked several questions in an attmept to get a general version of the Chinese remainder theorem without conditions on the ideals which will ...
16
votes
1answer
599 views

(really) basic intuition for $\mathbb A^1$-homotopy theory

Apologies in advance if this question is inappropriate for MO. I'm trying to read here and there about $\mathbb A^1$-homotopy theory in algebraic geometry. I understand some abstract machinery is ...
13
votes
1answer
480 views

Axiom of choice as zero dimensionality

In the paper Quantifiers and Sheaves by Lawvere, at the bottom of the second page, the author writes: "... the condition that every epi splits, which geometrically we would call 0-dimensionality ...
41
votes
0answers
659 views

Vector bundle $L$ admits connection if and only if degree of every direct summand of $L$ divisible by $\text{char}\,k$, intuition

Consider the following theorem of Atiyah. Let $X$ be a connected smooth projective curve over an algebraically closed field $k$. Then a vector bundle $L$ on $X$ admits a connection if and only if ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Can one expect the existence of a relevant approach for a proof of the Riemann hypothesis using Mochizuki's theory? [closed]

Next month at Oxford university, there will have the first workshop outside Asia on the Inter-Universal Teichmuller theory of Shinichi Mochizuki: http://www.claymath.org/events/iut-theory-shinichi-...
8
votes
1answer
242 views

Intuitive reasons for the existence of modular parametrizations

Whenever I encounter anything about modular parametrizations, I have a feeling it is something very unnatural: you have some kind of moduli space and all of a sudden it parametrizes an object ...
11
votes
2answers
334 views

Quotient rule, differential operator on a localization is well-defined, underlying geometry?

Using the quotient rule, we obtain that the notion of differential operator on a localization is well-defined:$$\mathcal{D}_A(B_f) \cong \mathcal{D}_A(B)_f.$$Here, $B$ is a commutative $A$-algebra, $\...
18
votes
2answers
851 views

how do you visualize characteristic class?

For cohomology, there are some equivalent definitions when the object we consider is sufficiently nice. Since I mainly work with algebraic variety, I will restrict the objects I am considering to be ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

mapping class group relations

The question I want to ask is vague in a sense. We have examples of mapping class relations, e.g. lantern relation, chain relations, etc. For instance the latern relation on a disk with three boundary ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Lemma 1 from Beilinson's “Coherent Sheaves on $\mathbb{P}^n$ and Problems of Linear Algebra”, intuition?

Consider Lemma 1 from Beilinson's paper "Coherent Sheaves on $\mathbb{P}^n$ and Problems of Linear Algebra", as follows. Let $\mathcal{C}$ and $\mathcal{D}$ be triangulated categories, $F: \...
5
votes
0answers
167 views

Making the conceptual leap from locales to Grothendieck topologies?

I find the definition for locales and sheaves on locales to be straightforward, but I'm stumbling over the idea of a Grothendieck topology. Is there a nice way to see roughly how the latter ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

Importance of Ornstein's isomorphism theorem

"Perhaps the most important parts of the Ornstein theory are criteria for determining whether or not a shift or flow is Bernoulli (a Bernoulli shift, $B_{ct}$ , or $B_{t}^{\infty}$) because it allows ...
1
vote
0answers
166 views

Importance and intuition of global sections in sheaf cohomology

I am trying to understand why global sections of a sheaf are "important" or interesting objects of study. Perhaps I have too weak of a background to appreciate it (and that is certainly an acceptable ...
9
votes
1answer
411 views

Grothendieck - sheaves as meter sticks

I'm trying to read parts of McLarty's Grothendieck on Simplicity and Generality. In the article, I read Grothendieck thought of sheaves over some topological space as meter sticks measuring it. ...
10
votes
3answers
581 views

Self-Similar Graphs

Many fractals can be generated using and infinite sequence of graphs. For example, Sierpinski's Gasket could be generated by the following sequence of graphs. Many definitions of fractal dimensions ...
14
votes
1answer
467 views

Intuition behind the Morse inequalities?

Forgive me if this is sort of a vague question, but can someone supply me with their intuition behind the Morse inequalities?
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is there a $\sqrt{5}$ in Hurwitz's Theorem?

Hurwitz's theorem is an extension of Minkowski's Theorem and deals with rational approximations to irrational numbers. The theorem states: For every irrational number $\alpha$, there are infinitely ...
4
votes
4answers
510 views

What is the motivation and purpose of the Floretion group?

When searching through the Oeis, I came across something called a floretion. Based on the context, it seems to be some sort of algebraic structure. I googled it and found nothing that explained their ...
3
votes
0answers
98 views

Lie group cohomology with coefficients in Lie algebra

I'm looking for a reference, and basic results, about Lie algebra as modules over a Lie group (with the adjoint representation), from the point of view of cohomology. Links with the Lie algebra ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

How to explain the concentration-of-measure phenomenon intuitively?

One way to phrase the "concentration-of-measure" phenomenon is that, for a Euclidean sphere $S^d$ in $d$ dimensions, for large $d$, "most of the mass is close to the equator, for any equator."1 Q....
12
votes
3answers
771 views

Why does the bitxor function appear in Nim?

I am conducting research in Combinatorial Game Theory (CGT). Although I have done a considerable amount of reading, I do not completely understand why the bit-xor function also known as the nim-sum ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do people use “formal calculation” to describe informal calculations?

Many times, I see the word formal being used to describe a calculation that is not rigorous. I would think that such calculations should rather be termed informal than formal. What is the explanation ...
1
vote
0answers
429 views

What does the Riemann–Stieltjes integral measure? [closed]

The Riemann–Stieltjes integral is a generalization of the Riemann integral, and has a definition based on a sum analogous to the Riemann sum: $$ S(P,f,g) =\sum_{k=1}^{n} f(x_k)\Delta g(x_k) $$ where $...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

How can we interpret the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of Euclidean Distance Matrices?

I asked this question in Math Stack Exchange earlier here: http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/1199380/what-is-the-intuition-behind-how-can-we-interpret-the-eigenvalues-and-eigenvec and since I ...
5
votes
2answers
328 views

Choice of fibrations is like a choice of a basis of a module

In some notes on derived stacks, in describing categories of fibrant objects, the author drops this parenthetical: (Grothendieck said in his famous letter to Quillen that the choice of $\mathscr ...
2
votes
1answer
333 views

Yang-Mills Functional and Energy

I have a question about the meaning of Yang-Mills Functional. It is stated everywhere that the Yang-Mills Functional is a measure of energy. But the formal definition of the Yang-Mills Functional is: ...
1
vote
0answers
278 views

Intuitive Approach to Sheaf and Cech Cohomology [closed]

Sheaf and Cech cohomology $H^*(X,\mathcal{F})$ (which give the same result when applied to good enough topological spaces) are a useful generalisation of the concepts of de Rham and Dolbeault ...
1
vote
0answers
157 views

Intuition for hereditary torsion theories

I'm looking for intuition and references for the definition of a hereditary torsion theory and two facts found here. First, the definition and facts: Definition. A torsion theory $(\mathcal T,\...
7
votes
1answer
457 views

Intuitive Aproach to Dolbeault Cohomology [closed]

(Duplicated from math.stackexchange) I would like to understand an intuitive approach to the definitions of Dolbeault Cohomology (using $\partial$ and $\bar{\partial}$) similar to the one given here. ...
0
votes
1answer
458 views

What is the meaning of non-Hausdorff spaces in algebraic geometry [closed]

At the beginning I should warn everybody reading this post: I don't know much about algebraic geometry so specialists in this subject may see my question as ignorant. As far I understood one on the ...
1
vote
0answers
124 views

Role of determinant of the matrix corresponding to $i$-th Homology group.

I was thinking about the proof of the Lefschetz's Fixed point theorem and the ingeniuty of the Hopf's Trace formula, i.e. associating the trace of the matrix for deciding about the fixed points. Now ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

Why the Dold-Thom theorem?

Dold-Thom Theorem: $$\pi_i(SP(X))\cong\tilde{H}_i(X)$$ It's pretty miraculous, no? I've seen its proof, where you show that the composition of the functors on the left-side satisfies the axioms of a ...
13
votes
2answers
952 views

What justification can you give for the fact that “most ODEs do not have an explicit solution”?

What justification can you give for the fact that "most ODEs do not have an explicit solution"?