In differential topology, Morse theory enables one to analyze the topology of a manifold by studying differentiable functions on that manifold.

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What does it mean that homotopy is generic?

Due to Cerf, there's exist a certain homotopy between two Morse functions. It is said that this homotopy is "generic". What is a precise definition of the property to be "generic" in this case?
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1answer
423 views

Contractibility of a configuration space

For a topological space $X$ and a positive integer $k\in \mathbb{N}_{>0}$ let $F_k(X):= \{ (x_1,\ldots,x_k)\in X^k |x_i\neq x_j \text{ for } i\neq j \}$ be its $k$-configuration space. Let $f:M\...
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1answer
410 views

Is the space of gradient-like vector fields contractible?

Let $M$ be a compact manifold (without boundary) and let $f:M\to \mathbb{R}$ be a fixed Morse-function. Question: Is the space $GVect(M,f)$ of all gradient-like vector-fields for $f$ contractible ...
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140 views

Detecting Non-Transversality

Suppose $f \colon \mathbb{R}^n \to \mathbb{R}$ is Morse and has finitely many critical points. Is there an algorithm for determining whether there exists a saddle-saddle connection (an orbit of grad $...
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1answer
370 views

A description of cellular boundary maps in terms of a Morse function

I'm writing a paper on classical Morse Theory and I'm interested in applying Morse functions to the computation of homology groups of a compact manifold $M$. The standard way in which this is done is ...
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175 views

Perturbation of Morse functions at critical points leaving stable manifolds invariant

Let $f$ be a given Morse-Smale function $f$ on $\mathbb R^n$ with finite many critical points and sufficient growth at $\infty$ like $\langle x, f(x)\rangle \geq |x|$ (cp. MO120858). Is there a way ...
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1answer
238 views

Integration by parts wrt. a Morse function on its basin of attraction

Let $f:\mathbb R^n\to\mathbb R$ be a Morse function with uniform nondegenerate Hessian at critical points, i.e. for some $\delta>0$ $$ \forall x \in \{\nabla f=0\}\;\forall \xi\in\mathbb R^n: \quad ...
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670 views

When is the determinant a Morse function?

This might be ridiculously obvious, but... For each $n \in \mathbb{N}$, let $M_n$ denote the manifold of $n \times n$ matrices with real entries. It is well known that the $n$-dimensional determinant ...
7
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2answers
339 views

Morse lemma with least amount of regularity.

I recently came across with $C^2$ Morse functions in my work and as I was reviewing some of the stuff I learned about Morse theory, I noticed that all the proofs of the Morse lemma I could come across ...
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2answers
864 views

Notes for Bott's 1963 lectures on Morse theory

Would anybody happen to know where I could obtain a scanned version of Lectures on Morse theory - [revised and expanded version of notes of lectures delivered at Professor R. Bott's topology seminar ...
4
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1answer
195 views

Concerning strata in $C^\infty(M)$

The Morse functions are dense in $C^\infty(M)$, and you can ask if a 1-parameter family of smooth functions between two given Morse functions will be a homotopy through Morse functions. Well, Cerf ...
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612 views

Induced maps in Morse Homology

Let $M,N$ be closed manifolds. Given a differentiable map $f:M\rightarrow N$, I am interested in computing $f_k:H_k(M)\rightarrow H_k(N)$, in Morse Homology. This problems seems difficult, and the ...
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247 views

Intersection of plus/minus cells in Bialynicki-Birula decomposition

Let $X$ be a projective variety endowed with an algebraic $\mathbb{C}^*$-action. Assume the fixed point set $W$ is discrete. Then we have two cell decompositions of $X$: $X = \bigsqcup_{w\in W} C_w$ ...
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2answers
626 views

Discrete Morse function from smooth one

Suppose I have a smooth manifold $M$ and a smooth Morse function $f$ on $M$. Is there a standard way to replace $M$ with a cell complex and $f$ with a discrete Morse function such the resulting ...
2
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1answer
150 views

Invariance group of Morse charts

Suppose I have a smooth function $\varphi$ that vanishes at $p$ and has a positive definite Hessian at that point (suppose that we are on a smooth manifold of dimension $M$). Then the Morse lemma ...
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1answer
198 views

Measuring almost-critical values of smooth functions.

Consider a compact sub-manifold $X \subset \mathbb{R}^n$ of Euclidean space and let $f:X \to \mathbb{R}$ be any smooth function. Recall that $x \in X$ is a critical point of $f$ if the gradient $\...
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1answer
1k views

Any algebraic substitute for Morse theory (and homology) in arbitrary characteristic?

As far as I know, Morse theory yields much information on the topology of smooth manifolds; in particular, it can be used to prove Artin's vanishing (that the singular cohomology of smooth complex ...
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1answer
223 views

Equivariant handle decompositions

Suppose I have some smooth closed high-dimensional manifold $M$ acted on smoothly by a finite group $G$. By a metric averaging procedure, we can equip $M$ with a smooth Riemannian metric so that $G$ ...
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1answer
287 views

Classifying smooth embeddings which yield Morse functions

Let $\mu:M \to \mathbb{R}$ be a fixed surjective smooth function on a smooth manifold $M$. Let $N$ be a smooth compact manifold that embeds smoothly into $M$ via $\iota:N \to M$. What conditions ...
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1answer
414 views

Looking for the perfect morse

A Morse function $f(x)\colon \mathbb{R}^n\to \mathbb{R}$ is a smooth function s.t. all singular points are non-degenerate. A theorem of Sard implies that for any smooth $f(x)$ and almost all $a\in \...
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200 views

Is there a general theory of Sard measures?

Let $f:M \to N$ be a smooth map of smooth (second countable) manifolds. The set $C_f \subset M$ of critical points of $f$ is defined to be the set of all $m \in M$ such that the differential $df : T_{...
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1answer
320 views

Special Morse function on a Riemann surface

Let $f: S \to \Bbb R$ be a Morse function on a Riemann surface. Let $x_0$ be a saddle point of $f$. Since $x_0$ is a critical point of $f$, it makes sense to talk about the bilinear forms $f_{z\...
3
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2answers
697 views

Self-indexing Morse functions on non-compact manifolds

Hi, given a compact manifold M we can always alter a given Morse function f to a self-indexing one (i.e., one where every critical point c has $f(c) = \operatorname{index}(c)$) - a proof of this may ...
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512 views

Perturbation of Morse function

The following question is probably classic in Morse theory, so a reference to an existing result should be sufficient. I don't know much about Morse theory and I am dealing with the following ...
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2k views

Operations via Morse Theory

I am interested in seeing if and how Morse Theory can "do everything". Some core things are handle decomposition, Bott periodicity, and Euler characteristic. But what do the normal (co)homology ...
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367 views

Transversality and isolated degenerate critical points

Maybe some of the following statements are not precise. Please correct them. Let $M$ be a compact smooth manifold. Let $f: M \to {\mathbb R}$ be a Morse function. Then a generic Riemannian metric $g$ ...
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476 views

Topological version of two results in smooth Morse theory

Morse theory is generally presented in the DIFF category. However, there is a version of Morse theory in TOP (see the post Morse theory in TOP and PL categories? for references). It is well known ...
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1answer
373 views

Can a function from R^n to R^n fail to be one-to-one, and also lack critical points? [closed]

I feel like there should either be a straightforward example of such a thing, or a homological reason why it can't exist. The reason why I ask is that if the Hessian matrix of a Lagrangian is non-...
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495 views

Reference request: embedded Morse theory

For references of embedded Morse theory, or so-called relative morse theory of a pair, I have found R.W. Sharpe's "Total Absolute Curvature and Embedded Morse numbers" totally not helpful. For further ...
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4answers
1k views

Morse theory in TOP and PL categories?

Apparently there are topological and piecewise linear versions of Morse theory. I would like to know of references that treat these topics. How is a Morse function defined for compact manifolds (with ...
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1answer
173 views

Morse Theory on pseudo-Hermitian manifold

I wonder if Morse Theory on pseudo-Hermitian manifold is developed. For example, I wonder if the following statement on pseudo-Hermitian manifold, which is corresponding to the Riemannian case, is ...
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1answer
228 views

Is any Morse trajectory contained in a contractible open set?

Suppose $f$ is a Morse function on a Riemannian Hilbert manifold $M$. Let $p_{\pm}\in \text{Crit}(f)$ be given and fix some $u:R\rightarrow M$ which is an integral curve of $-\nabla f$ connecting $p_-$...
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5answers
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Yang-Mills and Chern-Simons functionals as Morse functions

Can the Yang-Mills or Chern-Simons action functionals be considered as [possibly perfect] Morse functions? I assume we would be in an equivariant scenario due to considering the configuration spaces ...
7
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2answers
720 views

Morse Function on 3-Torus from Heegaard Splitting

It is easy to visualize some Morse functions on surfaces (such as the torus) via the height function, but this seemingly doesn't work for 3-manifolds. I am looking for an explicit one on the 3-torus $\...
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816 views

Good introduction to Morse-Novikov theory?

Morse theory investigates the topology of compact manifolds using critical points of real-valued functions $f\colon\, M\to \mathbb{R}$. Motivated by problems in dynamical systems, Novikov (Multivalued ...
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Generators of local homology groups of an isolated critical point

This is a basic Morse theory question: Let $M$ be a smooth manifold, and $f:M\to\mathbb{R}$ a smooth function with an isolated critical point $x$. Set $c:=f(x)$. The local homology of $f$ is the ...
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1answer
513 views

Nonisotopic homotopy equivalent Morse functions

One can cut a manifold up along the critical levels of a Morse function and deduce something about the topology. In particular the critical points (and the connecting gradient flowlines) define a ...
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2k views

The difference between a handle decomposition and a CW decomposition

Let $M$ be a compact finite-dimensional smooth manifold. I have a question about the relationship between the statements that a Morse function induces a handle decomposition for $M$, and that it ...
3
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1answer
167 views

bounding the probability that a polynomial is near 0

Given a polynomial $p(x_1,\ldots, x_k)$ in $k$ variables with maximum degree $n$, and $x_1,\ldots, x_k \in [0,1]$. Suppose $\max_{x \in [0,1]^k} p(x) = 1$, can we get an upper bound on the probability ...
2
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1answer
305 views

Thom's gradient conjecture and analyticity

Suppose we have an analytic function $f: U \to {\mathbb R}$, where $U\subset {\mathbb R}^n$ an open subset, with $0\in U$ a critical point of $f$. Thom conjectured that if a trajectory $x(t)$ of ...
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1answer
685 views

Most general context for the Morse Lemmas

Among the foundational results in differential topology are the Morse lemmas: Suppose that $f\colon\, M\to \mathbb{R}$ is a smooth function on a closed manifold M, that $f^{−1}[-\epsilon,\epsilon]$ ...
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998 views

``Nice'' metrics for a Morse gradient field: counterexample request

Ralph Cohen (professor at Stanford) is teaching a class on algebraic topology and moduli spaces this quarter, beginning by reviewing his perspective of Morse theory. He defined "nice" metrics, proved ...
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1answer
547 views

Morse theory and adiabatic limits

Let's start with a product manifold $M\times N$, with a product Riemannian metric $g_M\oplus g_N$. Consider a generic Morse function $f(x, y)$ on $M\times N$. Then its critical points are discrete and ...
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4answers
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Searching for an unabridged proof of “The Basic Theorem of Morse Theory”

Steven Smale labels the following statement "The Basic Theorem of Morse Theory" in A Survey of some Recent Developments in Differential Topology: Let f be a $C^\infty$ function on a closed manifold ...
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507 views

Gluing in Morse homology for Hilbert manifolds

Is there any reference for gluing in the context of Morse homology on Hilbert manifolds? Gluing is pretty standard in Morse homology for finite-dimensional manifolds. Unfortunately, in the infinite-...
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2k views

Conjugate points in Lie groups with left-invariant metrics

For any Lie group $G$ there exist many left-invariant Riemannian metrics, namely, one just takes any inner product on the tangent space at the identity $T_eG$ and then left translate it to the other ...
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941 views

Euler characteristics and characteristic classes for real manifolds?

Consider an oriented manifold $X$. To calculate its Euler characteristic, one might integrate the Euler class. Now if $X$ were a complex manifold, and given as a section of some complex bundle $E$ ...
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313 views

Is the Hessian almost everywhere nondegenerate?

Let $M$ be a complete Riemannian manifold. For a fixed point $p$ in $M$, the Riemannian distance to $p$ is denoted by $d_p$. Fix a strongly convex geodesic ball $B(o,R)$ in $M$ and some disjoint ...
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1answer
916 views

How does the Framed Function Theorem simplify Cerf Theory?

A handle decomposition of a manifold $M$ is a useful structure to carry around. It is induced by a Morse function $f\colon\, M\to \mathbb{R}$. How are two handle decompositions of $M$ related? The ...
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1answer
458 views

the free loop space fibration is a locally trivial fiber bundle - reference?

Let $Q$ be a compact Riemannian manifold. Then $\Lambda Q\rightarrow Q,$ $\gamma\mapsto \gamma(0)$ can be shown to be a locally trivial fiber bundle of Hilbert manifolds. Here, $\Lambda Q$ denotes the ...