**51**

votes

**3**answers

4k 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
...

**15**

votes

**9**answers

7k 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 ...

**17**

votes

**8**answers

2k 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 ...

**13**

votes

**8**answers

2k 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 ...

**26**

votes

**0**answers

901 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 ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

203 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 ...

**53**

votes

**9**answers

5k views

### Geometric proof of the Vandermonde determinant?

The Vandermonde matrix is the $n\times n$ matrix whose $(i,j)$-th component is $x_j^{i-1}$, where the $x_j$ are indeterminates. It is well known that the determinant of this matrix is $$\prod_{1\leq ...

**39**

votes

**7**answers

4k 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 ...

**39**

votes

**12**answers

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
approximatively equal to the area of the disc. Does the complement of
S necessarily contain ...

**45**

votes

**5**answers

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 ...

**33**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

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

The following problem was brought to my attention by a doctoral dissertation on Mathematics Education, but - as far as I know - the solution remains unknown.
I have already asked this question on ...

**11**

votes

**3**answers

422 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 ...

**4**

votes

**5**answers

898 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 ...

**19**

votes

**3**answers

759 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 ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

358 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
...

**11**

votes

**3**answers

743 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.
...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

287 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

**1**answer

628 views

### In a locally CAT(k) space, does uniqueness of geodesics imply the lack of conjugate points?

A complete, simply connected Riemannian manifold has no conjugate points if and only if every geodesic is length-minimizing. I just realized that I don't know whether the same is true for a locally ...

**4**

votes

**4**answers

927 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 ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

343 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 ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

659 views

### A problem on infinite dimensional metric space

Let $(X_{n},d_{n})_{n \in \mathbb{N}}$ be a sequence of complete geodesic metric spaces such that:
$X_{n}$ is a regular$^1$ CW-complex of constant local dimension$^3$ $n$, it is of finite ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

469 views

### Homotopy problem for infinite dimensional topological space II

This post here is a specification of this post.
Let $(X_{n},d_{n})_{n \in \mathbb{N}}$ be a sequence of intrinsic metric spaces verifying :
$X_{n}$ have topological dimension $n$.
$X_{n+1}$ is ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

228 views

### A question about a question about 3-dimensional convex bodies

For each positive integer n let E(n) denote n-dimensional Euclidean space and let the term "n-dimensional convex body" mean a compact convex subset of E(n) whose interior (with respect to E(n)) is ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

125 views

### Maximal regions with given diameter

Let us call a bounded region $D$ in the plane maximal if the conditions $D\subset D'$ and
$\mathrm{diam} D'=\mathrm{diam} D$ imply $D'=D$.
Is it possible to describe all maximal regions?
The only ...

**4**

votes

**3**answers

525 views

### Uniquely geodesic and CAT(0) spaces?

Improvement after J-M Schlenker's comment below :
This post has been divided into two parts, the second part is here.
Question : Is a finite dimensional metric space, uniquely geodesic if and only ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

155 views

### Upper bounds on art gallery problems using independent witnesses

Given a polygon $P$, the art gallery problem looks to find a smallest set of points that sees all of $P$. One way of bounding the number of guards necessary (from below) is to find a largest set of ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

223 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
$$
...

**21**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Covering a unit ball with balls half the radius

This is a direct (and obvious) generalization of the recent MO question, "Covering disks with smaller disks":
How many balls of radius $\frac{1}{2}$ are needed to cover completely a ball of radius ...

**52**

votes

**6**answers

4k 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 ...

**62**

votes

**11**answers

8k views

### Is it possible to capture a sphere in a knot?

You and I decide to play a game:
To start off with, I provide you with a frictionless, perfectly spherical sphere, along with a frictionless, unstretchable, infinitely thin magical rope. This rope ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

333 views

### Does every convex polyhedron have a combinatorially isomorphic counterpart whose all faces have rational areas?

Does every convex polyhedron have a combinatorially isomorphic counterpart whose faces all have rational areas?
Does every convex polyhedron have a combinatorially isomorphic counterpart whose edges ...

**15**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Weitzenböck Identities

I asked this question at Maths Stack Exchange, but I haven't received any replies yet (I'm not sure how long I should wait before it is acceptable to ask here, assuming there is such a period of ...

**33**

votes

**3**answers

2k 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 ...

**34**

votes

**3**answers

1k 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 ...

**25**

votes

**3**answers

949 views

### About the ratio of the areas of a convex pentagon and the inner pentagon made by the five diagonals

Question : Letting $S{^\prime}$ be the area of the inner pentagon made by the five diagonals of a convex pentagon whose area is $S$, then find the max of $\frac{S^\prime}{S}$.
...

**20**

votes

**1**answer

466 views

### Voronoi cell of lattices with the same profile

Definition 1. Given a body $V$ in $\mathbb R^n$,
the function $p_V\colon \mathbb R_+\to \mathbb R_+$
$$p_V(r)=\mathop{\rm vol} [V\cap B_r(0)]$$
will be called profile of $V$.
Definition 2. Define ...

**19**

votes

**5**answers

805 views

### Lightray trapped between two mirror disks: Computation formulation?

I would like to calculate the angle of a ray $r$ from a given
point $p$ such that it gets "stuck" reflecting between
two congruent mirror-disks.
For why there is such a ray, see the (amazing!) answer
...

**17**

votes

**9**answers

4k 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 ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

101 views

### Does every convex polyhedron have a combinatorially isomorphic counterpart whose angles between edges are rational multiples of $\pi$?

After reading these very interesting questions, I came up with another one:
Does every convex polyhedron have a combinatorially isomorphic counterpart whose angles between all pairs of edges meeting ...

**27**

votes

**2**answers

724 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 ...

**22**

votes

**4**answers

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
...

**12**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### What is the “right” universal property of the completion of a metric space?

I'm a little embarrassed to ask this one, but it could help for a class I'm teaching, so here goes:
Let $X$ be a metric space. We all know that $X$ admits a completion, which is a complete metric ...

**8**

votes

**3**answers

924 views

### Intuition for Levi-Civita connection via Hamiltonian flows

A Euclidean metric on a manifold $X$ defines a function on the symplectic space $T^*X$ whose Hamiltonian flow gives geodesics. Is there a similar interpretation of the Levi-Civita connection?

**17**

votes

**2**answers

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 ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Is there a neat formula for the volume of a tetrahedron on the surface of $S^3$?

There is a nice formula for the area of a triangle on the surface of the 2-dimensional sphere;
If the triangle is the intersection of three half spheres, and has angles $\alpha$, $\beta$ and $\gamma$, ...

**15**

votes

**5**answers

891 views

### Is a rhombus rigid on a sphere or torus? And generalizations.

If a rectangle is formed from rigid bars for edges and joints
at vertices, then it is flexible in the plane: it can flex
to a parallelogram.
On any smooth surface with a metric, one can define a ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### 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 ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

466 views

### Tiling of the plane with manholes

Some shapes, such as the disk or the Releaux triangle can be used as manholes,
that is, it is a curve of constant width.
(The width between two parallel tangents to the curve are independent of the ...

**16**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Advanced view of the napkin ring problem?

The "napkin-ring problem" sometimes shows up in 2nd-year calculus courses, but it can fit quite neatly into a high-school geometry course via Cavalieri's principle.
However, the conclusion remains ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

1k 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 ...