# Tagged Questions

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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### Heuristic explanation of why we lose projectives in sheaves.

We know that presheaves of any category have enough projectives and that sheaves do not, why is this, and how does it effect our thinking? This question was asked(and I found it very helpful) but I ...
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### Truth of the Poisson summation formula

The Poisson summation says, roughly, that summing a smooth $L^1$-function of a real variable at integral points is the same as summing its Fourier transform at integral points(after suitable ...
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### Examples of eventual counterexamples

Define an "eventual counterexample" to be $P(a) = T$ for $a < n$ $P(n) = F$ $n$ is sufficiently large for $P(n) = T\ \ \forall n \in \mathbb{N}$ to be a 'reasonable' conjecture to make. where '...
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### Intuition for Integral Transforms

It is well known that the operations of differentiation and integration are reduced to multiplication and division after being transformed by an integral transform (like e.g. Fourier or Laplace ...
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### 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' ...
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### Proofs without words

Can you give examples of proofs without words? In particular, can you give examples of proofs without words for non-trivial results? (One could ask if this is of interest to mathematicians, and I ...
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### Intuitive crutches for higher dimensional thinking

I once heard a joke (not a great one I'll admit...) about higher dimensional thinking that went as follows- An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are discussing how to visualise four ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### What is the intuition of connections for cubical sets?

I am beggining to do some work with cubical sets and thought that I should have an understanding of various extra structures that one may put on cubical sets (for purposes of this question, ...
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### 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), ...
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### 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....
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### Does the Pfaffian have a geometric meaning?

While reviewing the proof of Gauss-Bonnet in John Lee's book, I noticed the following paragraph: " ...In a certain sense, this might be considered a very satisfactory generalization of Gauss-Bonnet. ...
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### Is there a way to graphically imagine smash product of two topological spaces?

Recently I've been reading "Topology" by Klaus Janich. I find this book very entertaining as it contains lots of graphical illustrations that appeal to my "geometrical" imagination. In paragraph 3.6 ...
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### The localization of a regular local ring is regular

I've heard, as I'm sure many have, that the theorem that the localization of a regular local ring at any prime ideal is regular is one of the first major applications of homological methods to pure ...
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### What is the “intuition” behind “brave new algebra”?

Y.I. Manin mentions in a recent interview the need for a “codification of efficient new intuitive tools, such as … the “brave new algebra” of homotopy theorists”. This makes me puzzle, because I ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Generalization of join of simplicial complexes

The join of two abstract simplicial complexes $K$ and $L$, denoted $K\star L$ is defined as a simplicial complex on the base set $V(K)\dot{\cup} V(L)$ whose simplices are disjoint union of simplices ...
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### 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 ...
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### Examples of using physical intuition to solve math problems

For the purposes of this question let a "physical intuition" be an intuition that is derived from your everyday experience of physical reality. Your intuitions about how the spin of a ball affects ...
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### Most 'unintuitive' application of the Axiom of Choice?

It is well-known that the axiom of choice is equivalent to many other assumptions, such as the well-ordering principle, Tychonoff's theorem, and the fact that every vector space has a basis. Even ...
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### 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....
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### Seeing stacks in the Calculus of Functors

Recently I was told (by an algebraic geometer) that when algebraic geometers look at the Calculus of Functors, they think of stacks. When I look at the Calculus of Functors, I see a categorification ...
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