The manifolds tag has no wiki summary.

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### Which manifolds are homeomorphic to simplicial complexes?

This question is only motivated by curiousity; I don't know a lot about manifold topology.
Suppose $M$ is a compact topological manifold of dimension $n$. I'll assume $n$ is large, say $n\geq 4$. ...

**64**

votes

**8**answers

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### What do heat kernels have to do with the Riemann-Roch theorem and the Gauss-Bonnet theorem?

I know the following facts. (Don't assume I know much more than the following facts.)
The Atiyah-Singer index theorem generalizes both the Riemann-Roch theorem and the Gauss-Bonnet theorem.
The ...

**58**

votes

**16**answers

8k views

### Are there examples of non-orientable manifolds in nature?

Whilst browsing through Marcel Berger's book "A Panoramic View of Riemannian Geometry" and thinking about the Klein bottle, I came across the sentence:
"The unorientable surfaces are never discussed ...

**33**

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**6**answers

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### Status of PL topology

I posted this question on math stackexchange but received no answers. Since I know there are more people knowledgeable in geometric and piecewise-linear (PL) topology here, I'm reposting the question. ...

**31**

votes

**1**answer

759 views

### Are there only countably many compact topological manifolds?

Up to homeomorphism, there are 2 one-dimensional topological manifolds and countably many 2- and 3-dimensional compact manifolds, respectively, since each manifold in these dimensions can be ...

**30**

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**3**answers

2k views

### Connected sum of topological manifolds

A definition of the connected sum of two $n$-manifolds $M$ and $M'$ begins by considering two $n$-balls $B$ in $M$, $B'$ in $M'$, and glueing the varieties $M\setminus \mathring B$ and $M'\setminus ...

**26**

votes

**4**answers

710 views

### Ring of closed manifolds modulo fiber bundles

Let $R$ be the ring which is generated by homeomorphism classes $[M]$ of compact closed manifolds (of arbitrary dimension) subject to the relations that
$$[F]\cdot [B] = [E]$$
if there exists a fibre ...

**24**

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**3**answers

2k views

### A “meta-mathematical principle” of MacPherson

In an appendix to his notes on intersection homology and perverse sheaves, MacPherson writes
Why do we want to consider only spaces $V$ that admit a decomposition into manifolds? The intuitive ...

**24**

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**1**answer

673 views

### “Affine communication” for topological manifolds

There is a situation that comes up regularly in algebraic topology when giving proofs of facts about manifolds, like Poincare duality and the like. The typical sequence goes like this:
Prove ...

**23**

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**2**answers

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### A Pachner complex for triangulated manifolds

A theorem of Pachner's states that if two triangulated PL-manifolds are PL-homeomorphic, the two triangulations are related via a finite sequence of moves, nowadays called "Pachner moves".
A ...

**22**

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**3**answers

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### What manifolds are bounded by RP^odd?

Real projective spaces ℝPn have ℤ/2 cohomology rings ℤ/2[x]/(xn+1) and total Stiefel-Whitney class (1+x)n+1 which is 1 when n is odd, so it follows that odd dimensional ones are boundaries of compact ...

**22**

votes

**1**answer

529 views

### good covers of manifolds

It is well-known and easy to prove (see for instance this post) that every smooth manifold admits a "good cover", i.e. a locally finite cover by open balls such that all nonempty intersections of the ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Are topological manifolds homotopy equivalent to smooth manifolds?

There exist topological manifolds which don't admit a smooth structure in dimensions > 3, but I haven't seen much discussion on homotopy type. It seems much more reasonable that we can find a smooth ...

**21**

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**1**answer

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### Non-regular Connected Hausdorff Banach Manifold

After reading this MO post, I am wondering:
Is every (connected) Hausdorff Banach manifold a regular space?
Though unjustified, page 53 of this paper nonchalantly states: "Note that a Hausdorff ...

**20**

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**7**answers

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### Is there a Whitney Embedding Theorem for non-smooth manifolds?

For smooth $n$-manifolds, we know that they can always be embedded in $\mathbb R^{2n}$ via a differentiable map. However, is there any corresponding theorem for the topological category? (i.e. Can ...

**20**

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**1**answer

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### Classification of 1-dimensional manifolds (not second-countable)

It is easy to see that every connected $1$-dimensional second-countable manifold (that is, what is often called just a manifold) is either homeomorphic to $\mathbb{R}$ or to $S^1$. Now let's drop the ...

**20**

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**3**answers

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### The third axiom in the definition of (infinite-dimensional) vector bundles: why?

Serge Lang's Differential and Riemannian Manifolds is a no doubt the best available reference for the theory of not-necessarily-finite-dimensional differential manifolds, but unfortunately it suffers ...

**19**

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**2**answers

2k views

### Euler Characteristic of a manifold with non-vanishing vector field,

A friend of mine recently asked me if I knew any simple, conceptual argument (even one that is perhaps only heuristic) to show that if a triangulated manifold has a non-vanishing vector field, then ...

**18**

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**3**answers

2k views

### A book on locally ringed spaces?

Are there enough interesting results that hold for general locally ringed spaces for a book to have been written? If there are, do you know of a book? If you do, pelase post it, one per answer and a ...

**17**

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**15**answers

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### Important results that use infinite-dimensional manifolds?

Are Banach manifolds (or other types of infinite-dimensional manifolds) just curiosities, or have they been utilized to prove some interesting/important results? Where do they turn up? Important ...

**17**

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**1**answer

772 views

### isotopy inverse embeddings vs. diffeomorphisms

I would like to find an example, if one exists, of manifolds $M$ and $N$ with embeddings $f:M\to N$ and $g:N\to M$ such that $f\circ g$ and $g\circ f$ are both isotopic (i.e. homotopic through ...

**16**

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**2**answers

785 views

### Are homeomorphic open subsets of $\mathbb{R}^n$ also diffeomorphic?

Let $U_1, U_2$ be open subsets of $\mathbb{R}^n$. Both are naturally differentiable submanifold, getting the differentiable structure from $\mathbb{R}^n$. Further, both are natural topological ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

522 views

### Distinct manifolds with the same configuration spaces?

For a space $X$, let $C_k X$ denote the space of configurations of $k$ distinct unordered points in $X$.
What is an example of a pair of smooth manifolds $M$ and $N$ that are not homeomorphic but ...

**15**

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**5**answers

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### Is every real n-manifold isomorphic to a quotient of $\mathbb{R}^n$?

I'm curious about the following:
Is every real $n$-manifold isomorphic to a quotient of $\mathbb{R}^n$?
Thanks.
EDIT: As Tilman points out, the manifold should be connected. Also, yes, I'm thinking ...

**15**

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**3**answers

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### Algebraic varieties which are topological manifolds

Inspired by this thread, which concludes that a non-singular variety over the complex numbers is naturally a smooth manifold, does anyone know conditions that imply that the topological space ...

**15**

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**2**answers

506 views

### If $X$ is a simplicial complex, is their a characterization of the links of the vertices of $X$ that is equivalent to the statement "$|X|$ is a manifold

We have a characterization when we want $|X|$ to be a PL-manifold, in particular that the links of all the vertices are themselves (PL) spheres. If we are in the category of PL- spaces then this is a ...

**14**

votes

**3**answers

730 views

### Does a *topological* manifold have an exhaustion by compact submanifolds with boundary?

If $M$ is a connected smooth manifold, then it is easy to show that there is a sequence of connected compact smooth submanifolds with boundary $M_1\subseteq M_2\subseteq\cdots$ such that ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

465 views

### Are there results from gauge theory known or conjectured to distinguish smooth from PL manifolds?

My question begins with a caveat: I sometimes spend time with topologists, but do not consider myself to be one. In particular, my apologies for any errors in what I say below — corrections are ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

457 views

### Are there geometrically formal manifolds, which are not rationally elliptic?

Formality of a space is meant in the sense of Sullivan, i.e. a space $X$ is called formal, if it's commutative differential graded algebra of piecewise linear differential forms $(A_{PL}(X),d)$ is ...

**13**

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**3**answers

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### What is the difference between holonomy and monodromy?

And what is the simplest example in which one is trivial and the other is not?

**13**

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**3**answers

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### Can we decompose Diff(MxN)?

If you have two manifolds $M^m$ and $N^n$, how does one / can one decompose the diffeomorphisms $\text{Diff}(M\times N)$ in terms of $\text{Diff}(M)$ and $\text{Diff}(N)$? Is there anything we can say ...

**13**

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657 views

### Uniqueness of compactification of an end of a manifold

Let $M$ be an $n$-dimensional manifold (smooth or topological). I call $\bar{M}$ a compactification of $M$ if it is an $n$-dimensional compact manifold with boundary $\partial \bar{M}$, an ...

**13**

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**1**answer

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### Proofs of Rohlin's theorem (an oriented 4-manifold with zero signature bounds a 5-manifold)

A celebrated theorem of Rohlin states the following
An oriented closed 4-manifold $M^4$ bounds an oriented 5-manifold if and only if the signature of $M^4$ is zero.
Simple homological arguments ...

**13**

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**1**answer

306 views

### If all balls around two points are isometric… — manifold version

This question is a natural follow-up of this other question, asked earlier today by wspin.
Let's say that a metric space $(X,d)$ has two poles if:
there are two distinct points $x$, $y$ such that ...

**12**

votes

**6**answers

914 views

### Does every vector bundle allow a finite trivialization cover?

Suppose there is a vector bundle (smooth, with constant rank finite-dimensional fibres) over a (smooth, second-countable, Hausdorff, not necessarily connected) manifold $B$ of dimension $n$.
(a) Is ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

440 views

### Self homeomorphisms of $S^2\times S^2$

Every matrix $A\in SL_2(\mathbb{Z})$ induces a self homeomorphism of $S^1\times S^1=\mathbb{R}^2/\mathbb{Z}^2$. For different matrices these homeomorphisms are not homotopic, as the induced map on ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

571 views

### The geometry of crinkled aluminum foil

I wonder if the geometry of crinkled aluminum foil has been studied?
The above is a photo of foil I flattened to reuse.
It might be ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

466 views

### Essential uniqueness of the real-analytic structure on $\mathbb R$

It is well-known that any $C^k$-smooth $1$-manifold homeomorphic to $\mathbb R$ is $C^k$-diffeomorphic to $\mathbb R$. The cases of $k\in{\mathbb N}\cup$ {$\infty$} may all be handled similarly by ...

**11**

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**3**answers

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### (Very) High dimensional manifolds

Usually one regards manifolds up to dimension 4 as a part of low dimensional topology. There are plenty of various results which work only in low dimensional topology; especially in dimension 4. ...

**11**

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**2**answers

954 views

### homotopy type of embeddings versus diffeomorphisms

Previously, I asked a question on mathoverflow comparing smooth embeddings and diffeomorphisms, which received a very interesting and somewhat unexpected answer by Agol. I now ask a further question ...

**11**

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**3**answers

609 views

### Characterizing Hessians among symmetric bilinear tensors

I apologize in advance if this is somewhat elementary, but:
Let $(M,g)$ be a compact Riemannian manifold. Is there a "characterization" of which symmetric bilinear tensors $B\in Sym^2(M)$ are ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

611 views

### Manifolds with prescribed fundamental group and finitely many trivial homotopy groups

Fix $G$, a finitely generated presented group.
It is known that for every $k > 3$ there is a closed $k$-manifold whose fundamental group is $G$. Similarly, there is a topological space with ...

**11**

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**1**answer

572 views

### Stable normal bundle of a manifold

Hi,
in bordism-theory and many bordering areas one has the following construction: Given a manifold M (say closed for the purposes of this discussion and k-dimensional), we embed it into some ...

**11**

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**0**answers

492 views

### Codimension Two Embeddings in Goodwillie-Weiss Manifold Calculus, and the Difficulty of Fundamental Groups

In manifold calculus, there are various analyticity estimates which run into trouble for codimension two embeddings. For instance, the functor $\operatorname{Emb}(M,N)$ is analytic in $M$ if $\dim M ...

**10**

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**2**answers

546 views

### When do blowups ''commute''?

Let $M$ be a manifold (variety, scheme, your favorite object) and let $N_1,N_2$ be two submanifolds (subvarieties, closed subschemes, ideal sheafes, etc.) such that $N_1 \cap N_2 \neq \emptyset$. ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

217 views

### orbit space of a topological manifold

Given a compact Lie group G acting freely on a topological manifold M, is it true that the orbit space M/G is also a topological manifold? If so, why?

**10**

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**2**answers

764 views

### Meaning of orientation/orientability over rings other than the integers

This was asked as part of an earlier question. But since this part did not attract many answers, I am asking it separately.
We consider the homology definition of an orientation for a manifold, as ...

**9**

votes

**2**answers

741 views

### How is the differential in complex cobordism defined?

This is my first MO question...hopefully it's not a bad one...
Background: As a stable homotopy theorist, I like to think of complex cobordism $MU$ as a ring spectrum. If I needed to get my hands ...

**9**

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**1**answer

631 views

### How can gauge theory techniques be useful to study when topological manifolds can be triangulated?

I was reading a review article arXiv:1310.7644 and it was explained there that in the last few years it was proven that there are topological manifolds of dimension greater than four that cannot be ...

**9**

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**1**answer

309 views

### Can an action of a compact Lie group be nontrivial if it is trivial on the boundary?

Let $G$ be a compact Lie group acting on a connected topological manifold $M$ with boundary. Suppose the action on one boundary component is trivial. Does it follow that the action on the whole of $M$ ...