Euclidean, hyperbolic, discrete, convex, coarse geometry, comparisons in Riemannian geometry, symmetric spaces.

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41
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3answers
5k views

$C^1$ isometric embedding of flat torus into $\mathbb{R}^3$

I read (in a paper by Emil Saucan) that the flat torus may be isometrically embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$ with a $C^1$ map by the Kuiper extension of the Nash Embedding Theorem, a claim repeated in this ...
66
votes
4answers
6k views

Is the sphere the only surface all of whose projections are circles? Or: Can we deduce a spherical Earth by observing that its shadows on the Moon are always circular?

Several ancient arguments suggest a curved Earth, such as the observation that ships disappear mast-last over the horizon, and Eratosthenes' surprisingly accurate calculation of the size of the Earth ...
26
votes
10answers
3k views

Determining a surface in $\mathbb{R}^3$ by its Gaussian curvature

A curve in the plane is determined, up to orientation-preserving Euclidean motions, by its curvature function, $\kappa(s)$. Here is one of my favorite examples, from Alfred Gray's book, Modern ...
29
votes
0answers
1k views

Concerning the various proofs from the axiom of choice that R^3 admits of surprising geometrical decompositions into circles, skew lines and so on: can we prove in any instance that there are no Borel such decompositions? Or that AC is required?

This question follows up on a comment I made on Joseph O'Rourke's recent question, one of several questions here on mathoverflow concerning surprising geometric partitions of space using the axiom of ...
47
votes
7answers
5k views

Riemannian surfaces with an explicit distance function?

I'm looking for explicit examples of Riemannian surfaces (two-dimensional Riemannian manifolds $(M,g)$) for which the distance function d(x,y) can be given explicitly in terms of local coordinates of ...
34
votes
14answers
8k views

Open problems in Euclidean geometry?

Which are some (research level) open problems in Euclidean geometry ? (Edit: I ask just out of curiosity, to understand how -and if- nowadays this is not a "dead" field yet) I should clarify a bit ...
23
votes
10answers
11k views

Algorithm for finding the volume of a convex polytope

It's easy to find the area of a convex polygon by division into triangles, but what is the optimal way of finding the volume of higher-dimensional convex bodies? I tried a few methods for dividing ...
43
votes
1answer
3k views

Probability that a stick randomly broken in five places can form a tetrahedron

Edit (June 2015): Addressing this problem is a brief project report from the Illinois Geometry Lab (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), dated May 2015, that appears here along with a foot-...
37
votes
3answers
2k views

What fraction of the integer lattice can be seen from the origin?

Consider the integer lattice points in the positive quadrant $Q$ of $\mathbb{Z}^2$. Say that a point $(x,y)$ of $Q$ is visible from the origin if the segment from $(0,0)$ to $(x,y) \in Q$ passes ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

Convex hull in CAT(0)

Let $X$ be complete $\mathop{CAT}(0)$-space and $K\subset X$ be a compact subset. Is it true that convex hull of $K$ is compact? Comments: Convex hull of $K$ = intersection of all closed convex ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Representability of finite metric spaces

There have been a couple questions recently regarding metric spaces, which got me thinking a bit about representation theorems for finite metric spaces. Suppose $X$ is a set equipped with a metric $d$...
15
votes
2answers
993 views

Integer-distance sets

Let $S$ be a set of points in $\mathbb{R}^d$; I am especially interested in $d=2$. Say that $S$ is an integer-distance set if every pair of points in $S$ is separated by an integer Euclidean distance. ...
12
votes
3answers
886 views

Efficient visibility blockers in Polya's orchard problem

Polya's orchard problem asks for which radius $\rho$ of trees at each lattice point within a distance $R$ of the origin block all lines of sight to the exterior of the orchard.     ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

Uniformly Sampling from Convex Polytopes

How to choose a point uniformly from a convex polytope $P \subset [0,1]^n$ defined by some inequalities, Ax < b ? (Here A is an m-by-n matrix, x is n-by-1 and b is m-by-1.) I imagine that you ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Feasibility of a list of prescribed distances in R^3

I am puzzled with the following problem: Given $n$ real numbers it is to obtain a Yes/No answer to: "whether it is possible to arrange different points in the Euclidean $\mathbb{R}^3$ so that every ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Hanging a ball with string

What is the shortest length of string that suffices to hang a unit-radius ball $B$? This question is related to an earlier MO question, but I think different. Assume that the ball is ...
12
votes
1answer
363 views

Limiting shape for Brillouin zones

Is it true that the limiting shape for Brillouin zones (for any lattice) is a circle? You can find the definition and the step by step construction of Brillouin zones here. This picture is taken from ...
8
votes
1answer
359 views

Twisted random walks

Suppose the points of two random walks in $\mathbb{R}^2$ are given the step number (or time) as a third coordinate, so that they become paths in $\mathbb{R}^3$. Here are several pairs of walks of $n=...
5
votes
1answer
239 views

Computational approach deciding whether a set of Wang Tile could tile the space up to some size

As an applied person, I'm facing one practical problem deciding whether a set of Wang tile could tile the plane periodically or aperiodically. Although both problems seem undecidable, but I'm on a ...
57
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there an analogue of curvature in algebraic geometry?

I am not an expert, but there seems to be an enormous technical difference between algebraic geometry and differential/metric geometry stemming from the fact that there is apparently no such thing as ...
40
votes
12answers
2k views

Can a discrete set of the plane of uniform density intersect all large triangles?

Let S be a discrete subset of the Euclidean plane such that the number of points in a large disc is approximately equal to the area of the disc. Does the complement of S necessarily contain triangles ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

Distributing points evenly on a sphere

I am looking for an algorithm to put $n$-points on a sphere, so that the minimum distance between any two points is as large as possible. I have found some related questions on stackoverflow but ...
34
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it possible to partition $\mathbb R^3$ into unit circles?

Is it possible to partition $\mathbb R^3$ into unit circles?
44
votes
5answers
2k views

If a unitsquare is partitioned into 101 triangles, is the area of one at least 1%?

Update: The answer to the title question is not necessarily, as pointed out by Tapio and Willie. I would be more interested in lower bounds. Monsky's famous and amazingly tricky proof says that if we ...
29
votes
5answers
1k views

Surfaces filled densely by a geodesic

Which smooth, closed surfaces $S \subset \mathbb{R}^3$ have no single geodesic $\gamma$ that fills $S$ densely? Say a geodesic $\gamma$ "fills $S$ densely" if the closure of the set of points ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Intrinsic metric with no geodesics

It seems that I have the needed example, but I want it to be simple and self-explaining... Construct a nontrivial complete metric space $X$ with intrinsic metric which has no nontrivial minimizing ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Probing a manifold with geodesics

Supposed you stand at a point $p \in M$ on a smooth 2-manifold $M$ embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$. You do not know anything about $M$. You shoot off a geodesic $\gamma$ in some direction $u$, and learn ...
29
votes
2answers
997 views

Shortest path through $\sqrt{n}$ points out of $n$

Say I sample $n$ points uniformly at random in the unit square, and then I look for the shortest path through $\sqrt{n}$ of those points (rounding up, say). What happens to the length of this path as ...
24
votes
0answers
492 views

Isometric embeddings of finite subsets of $\ell_2$ into infinite-dimensional Banach spaces

Question: Does there exist a finite subset $F$ of $\ell_2$ and an infinite-dimensional Banach space $X$ such that $F$ does not admit an isometric embedding into $X$? There are some results of the ...
18
votes
5answers
911 views

Is there a midsphere theorem for 4-polytopes?

The (remarkable) midsphere theorem says that each combinatorial type of convex polyhedron may be realized by one all of whose edges are tangent to a sphere (and the realization is unique if the center ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best way to peel fruit?

A mango made me wonder about this. (See also this question, which is in a similar spirit.) Fix $L >0$ and a smooth body (possibly nonconvex—pears or bananas are fair game!) $B \subset \mathbb{R}^3$...
14
votes
1answer
782 views

Random polycube shapes

I am wondering if it is hopeless to obtain any firm results on the following model of a "random polycube shape." First, a polycube in $\mathbb{R}^3$ is a connected face-to-face gluing of unit cubes. (...
12
votes
3answers
596 views

Can a tangle of arcs interlock?

Can a (finite) collection of disjoint circle arcs in $\mathbb{R}^3$ be interlocked in the sense in that they cannot be separated, i.e. each moved arbitrarily far from one another while remaining ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Visibility of vertices in polyhedra

Suppose $P$ is a closed polyhedron in space (i.e. a union of polygons which is homeomorphic to $S^2$) and $X$ is an interior point of $P$. Is it true that $X$ can see at least one vertex of $P$? More ...
17
votes
1answer
496 views

Egalitarian measures

A question I got asked I while ago: If $T$ is a triangle in $\mathbb R^2$, is there a function $f:T\to\mathbb R$ such that the integral of $f$ over each straight segment connecting two points in the ...
10
votes
1answer
406 views

Chord arrangement that avoids confining small or large disks

This question is These two questions are two-dimensional variations on this recent MO question, "Threading pinholes in the wall of cylinder to pass through an internal coordinate." Noam Elkies ...
7
votes
2answers
584 views

Is this a metric on the Grassmannian Manifold?

Let $m>n$ and consider the Set $$S_{m,n}=\{A \in \mathbb{R}^{m \times n}\lvert A^TA=I_n \}.$$ Does the function $d\colon S_{m,n} \times S_{m,n} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ defined by $$d(A,B)=\sqrt{1-\...
9
votes
4answers
818 views

Seeking a Geometric Proof of a Generalized Alternating Series' Convergence

Let $z \in \mathbb{C} \backslash \lbrace 1 \rbrace$ with $|z| = 1$. We consider the following infinite series, which necessarily converges: $$S(z) := \sum_{n = 1}^{\infty}\frac{z^n}{n}$$ Note that $S(...
9
votes
1answer
392 views

Can Tarski decide constructibility in elementary geometry?

Can the decision routine for Tarski's Elementary geometry be extended to decide when an existence claim in that theory can be instantiated by a compass and straightedge construction? The answer does ...
8
votes
3answers
484 views

Set of vectors separated by at least a specified angle

Suppose theta and d are given. How big can a set of d-dimensional vectors be such that no pair of them are at angle less than theta? I particularly want an upper bound; that is, an n=n(theta,d) such ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Delaunay triangulations and convex hulls

This is a reference request. I have the impression that those who work in computational geometry are accustomed to the following. You have some locally finite set of sites in $\mathbb{R}^n$ and you ...
16
votes
1answer
332 views

Higher dimensional generalization of: Any quadrilateral tiles the plane?

Any (non-self-intersecting) quadrilateral tiles the plane.     (MathWorld image.) Q. What is the strongest known generalization of this statement to higher dimensions? I.e., $\mathbb{...
15
votes
5answers
856 views

Thales' semicircle theorem in higher dimensions

Thales semicircle theorem says that an angle inscribed in a semicircle is a right angle. Q1. Does a cone with apex on a hemisphere and encompassing the circular base have a solid angle ...
12
votes
1answer
404 views

(A question about)${}^3$ 3-dimensional convex bodies

Related to the questions mathoverflow.net question No. 137850 and mathoverflow.net question No. 39127, is there a 3-dimensional convex body other than a ball whose perpendicular projections in all ...
11
votes
2answers
861 views

Efficiently determine if convex hull contains the unit ball

Given a set of $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^d$, is there an algorithm to determine if the convex hull contains the unit ball centered at the origin in polynomial time? The convex hull itself might have ...
7
votes
5answers
354 views

Packing obtuse vectors in $\mathbb{R}^d$

I came across this attractive theorem: Theorem. In $\mathbb{R}^d$, there can be at most $d+1$ vectors that form an obtuse angle with one another. This was proved1 as a corollary of a lemma about ...
6
votes
1answer
373 views

When is the hull of a space curve composed of developable patches?

Let $C$ be a smooth curve in $\mathbb{R}^3$ that lies entirely on its convex hull, $\cal{H}(C)$. Under what conditions on $C$ is $\cal{H}(C)$ the union of developable surface patches? I believe ...
6
votes
1answer
936 views

Algorithm for embedding a graph with metric constraints

Suppose I have a graph $G$ with vertex set $V$, edge set $E \subseteq {V \choose 2}$, and a weight function $w:E \to \mathbb{R}^{+}$. Is there a nice algorithmic way to decide if there is an ...
4
votes
0answers
248 views

Symmetric matrices and Hilbert's fourth problem

From the analytic viewpoint, the Busemann-Pogorelov solution of Hilbert's fourth problem is summarized in the following result: Theorem. All straight lines are extremals of the variational problem $$ ...
4
votes
0answers
128 views

Optimal planar net for catching convex shapes

Imagine you want to make a net out of string to filter and catch objects of a certain size, minimizing the length of string employed. (This actually arises in filtering biological impurities from ...