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

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23
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10answers
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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 ...
18
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
40
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 ...
53
votes
3answers
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 ...
26
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14answers
5k 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 ...
36
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
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 ...
27
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 ...
15
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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
735 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
221 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 ...
52
votes
6answers
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 ...
40
votes
12answers
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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 ...
35
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
35
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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
967 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
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
770 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 ...
17
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
500 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
5answers
998 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
387 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
653 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
408 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
850 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
792 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
1answer
335 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 ...
4
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
739 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
255 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., ...
12
votes
1answer
365 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
656 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
709 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
522 views

Minimal surface which divides a convex body into two regions of equal volume

Question. Given a convex body $\Omega$, what is the shape of a surface $\Gamma$ of minimal area which divides $\Omega$ into two regions of equal volume? Background/motivation. A 2D version of ...
4
votes
0answers
114 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
234 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 $$ ...
8
votes
1answer
519 views

Is there a straightedge and compass construction of incommensurables in the hyperbolic plane?

In other words, given a segment in the hyperbolic plane is there a straightedge and compass construction of a segment incommensurable with it? In the Euclidean plane one can take the diagonal of the ...
6
votes
1answer
614 views

Shrink polygon to a specific area by offsetting

I have a 2D polygon that I want to shrink by a specific offset (A) to match a certain area ratio (R) of the original polygon. Is there a formula or algorithm for such a problem? I am interested in a ...
6
votes
2answers
474 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
1answer
237 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
1answer
133 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
3answers
635 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
0answers
179 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 ...
25
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
231 views

Monotonicity of Loewner ellipsoid?

Given two $0$-symmetric convex bodies $K \subset L \subset \mathbb{R}^n$, is it true that the Loewner ellipsoid of $K$ is contained in the Loewner ellipsoid of $L$? I have just finished proving a ...
3
votes
1answer
223 views

cover and hide with squares

I am studying two numbers, related to squares, that can characterize a polygon P: MinCoverNumber = the minimum number of axis-aligned squares required to exactly cover P (the covering squares may ...
65
votes
11answers
9k 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 ...
52
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...