# Tagged Questions

**41**

votes

**3**answers

4k 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 ...

**23**

votes

**10**answers

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 ...

**19**

votes

**8**answers

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 ...

**65**

votes

**4**answers

5k 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

**10**answers

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

**0**answers

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 ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

882 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.
...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

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 ...

**46**

votes

**7**answers

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

**14**answers

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 ...

**42**

votes

**1**answer

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 ...

**37**

votes

**3**answers

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 ...

**16**

votes

**6**answers

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 ...

**18**

votes

**5**answers

899 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 ...

**7**

votes

**7**answers

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

**5**answers

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 ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

960 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.
...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### The Gauss circle problem on a hexagonal lattice

Take an infinite hexagonal lattice (or equivalently, an equilateral triangular lattice), with unit spacing between the closest lattice point pairs, and draw a disc of radius $r$ centered on a lattice ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

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 ...

**56**

votes

**6**answers

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

**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 approximately equal to the area of the disc. Does the complement of S necessarily contain triangles ...

**33**

votes

**6**answers

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

**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 ...

**29**

votes

**5**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
...

**16**

votes

**4**answers

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

**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 ...

**28**

votes

**2**answers

986 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

**0**answers

479 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 ...

**28**

votes

**3**answers

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 ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

590 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 ...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

563 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
...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

705 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 ...

**22**

votes

**3**answers

964 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

**1**answer

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

**1**answer

404 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 ...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

386 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 ...

**9**

votes

**4**answers

812 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 ...

**8**

votes

**3**answers

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

**4**answers

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

**1**answer

324 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., ...

**15**

votes

**5**answers

843 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

**1**answer

401 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

**2**answers

843 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

**5**answers

353 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 ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

333 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 ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

363 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

**1**answer

900 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 ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

789 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

**2**answers

546 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

**0**answers

126 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 ...