This tag is used if a reference is needed in a paper or textbook on a specific result.

**23**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Similarities between Post's Problem and Cohen's Forcing

Remark: I have since learned that G.H. Moore addresses this question in the third reference listed at the end of this post, beginning on p. 157 in which he cites a letter from Kreisel to Gödel dated ...

**119**

votes

**10**answers

14k views

### Is there an introduction to probability theory from a structuralist/categorical perspective?

The title really is the question, but allow me to explain.
I am a pure mathematician working outside of probability theory, but the concepts and techniques of probability theory (in the sense of ...

**39**

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 ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

357 views

### coloring in lattice

This is a mathematical question raised from engineering and physics:
Is there some established mathematical approach in filling a physical lattice with some colored basis (black and white here)? For ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

327 views

### Reference for Wang Tile

I am working on projects in solving ground state of generalized ising models. One recent work involves tiling with basic tiles that filled the whole lattice. For example, we could obtain results:
...

**113**

votes

**46**answers

36k views

### Ways to prove the fundamental theorem of algebra

This seems to be a favorite question everywhere, including Princeton quals. How many ways are there?
Please give a new way in each answer, and if possible give reference. I start by giving two:
...

**10**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### totally disconnected and zero-dimensional spaces

When do the notions of totally disconnected space and zero-dimensional space coincide? From what I gather, there are at least three common notions of topological dimension: covering dimension, small ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

693 views

### Hecke equidistribution

For a prime $p\equiv 1\pmod{4}$, we can write $p=a^2+b^2=N(a+bi)$. Therefore
$$
a+bi=p^{1/2}e^{i\varphi}
$$
where $\varphi\in [0,2\pi]$. I know that Hecke proved that $\varphi$ is equidistributed. I ...

**31**

votes

**14**answers

6k views

### Explicit computations using the Haar measure

This question is somewhat related to my previous one on Grassmanians. The few times I've encountered the Haar measure in the course of my mathematical education, it's always been used in a very ...

**27**

votes

**4**answers

5k views

### Are nontrivial integer solutions known for $x^3+y^3+z^3=3$?

The Diophantine equation
$$x^3+y^3+z^3=3$$
has four easy integer solutions: $(1,1,1)$ and the three permutations of $(4,4,-5)$. Elsenhans and Jahnel wrote in 2007 that these were all the solutions ...

**25**

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 ...

**6**

votes

**5**answers

6k views

### Beginners text on calculus of variations

I want to begin learning Calculus of Variations. What texts would MathOverflow recommend? Amazon shows up quite a few options:
http://tinyurl.com/36koaq4
I work on Machine Learning, and that where ...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Riemann zeta function at positive integers and an Appell sequence of polynomials related to fractional calculus

I was exploring some raising and lowering operators related to an infinitesimal generator for fractional integro-derivatives and found an Appell sequence of polynomials, i.e., an infinite sequence of ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

663 views

### Uniform boundedness of an $L^2[0,1]$-ONB in $C[0,1]$

Assume that we have an orthonormal basis of smooth functions in $L^2[0,1]$. Are there useful practical criteria to determine whether the sup-norm of the basis functions has a uniform bound? I am sure ...

**223**

votes

**68**answers

104k views

### Proofs without words

Can you give examples of proofs without words? In particular, can you give examples of proofs without words for non-trivial results?
(One could ask if this is of interest to mathematicians, and I ...

**11**

votes

**7**answers

4k views

### Roadmap to learning about Ricci Flow?

Hello,
I'm curious to what books etc. one could use to understand the basics of Ricci flow, what areas of math are needed and so? What areas should one specialize in? See it as a roadmap to ...

**24**

votes

**4**answers

3k views

### Why are the integers with the cofinite topology not path-connected?

An apparently elementary question that bugs me for quite some time:
(1) Why are the integers with the cofinite topology not path-connected?
Recall that the open sets in the cofinite topology on ...

**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 ...

**13**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Hahn-Banach without Choice

The standard proof of the Hahn-Banach theorem makes use of Zorn's lemma. I hear that, however, Hahn-Banach is strictly weaker than Choice. A quick search leads to many sources stating that Hahn-Banach ...

**16**

votes

**6**answers

3k views

### Erik Westzynthius's cool upper bound argument: update?

Version 2 of this writeup is
available, and includes a newer and simple upper bound thanks to
MathOverflow 88777 as
well as indirect references to future writeups. Details of further work
...

**18**

votes

**5**answers

873 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 ...

**13**

votes

**3**answers

685 views

### Reference Request: Unit Fraction, equally spaced denominators not integer

I've been looking at unit fractions, and found a paper by Erdos "Some Properties Of Partial Sums Of The Harmonic Series" that proves a few things, and gives a reference for the following theorem:
...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

920 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

**1**answer

314 views

### Obtaining non-normal varieties by pushout

In his answer to this MO question, Karl Schwede claimed that every non-normal variety can be obtained by an appropriate pushout diagram, as sketched in that answer. This would give substance to the ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

479 views

### How big is the lattice of all functions?

Define the lattice $(\mathcal{L},\prec)$ as the set of all function $f:\mathbb{N}\rightarrow\mathbb{N}$ satisfying $f(n)\leq f(n+1)\leq f(n)+1$, where two functions are considered equal if they differ ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

100 views

### Reference for a lemma on the asymptotic upper density of special sets with large gaps and intervals

Update. Based on Anthony Quas' comment below, the proof can be made sensibly shorter and the lemma can be slightly generalized by weakening the old assumption (iii).
In a joint paper that I am ...

**43**

votes

**24**answers

8k views

### The concept of Duality

I have been thinking for sometime about asking this question, but because I did not want to have two "big-list" questions open at the same time, I did not ask this one. Now its time has come.
...

**21**

votes

**5**answers

5k views

**60**

votes

**15**answers

6k views

### Mathematical research published in the form of poems

The article
Friedrich Wille: Galerkins Lösungsnäherungen bei monotonen Abbildungen,
Math. Z. 127 (1972), no. 1, 10-16
is written in the form of a lengthy poem, in a style similar to that
of the ...

**30**

votes

**6**answers

6k views

### Book on mathematical “rigorous” String Theory?

I've been looking high and low for a mathematical Book on String Theory. The only Book I could find was "A Mathematical Introduction to String Theory" by Albeverio, Jost, Paycha and Scarlatti. I only ...

**57**

votes

**4**answers

7k views

### Nelson's program to show inconsistency of ZF

At the end of the paper Division by three by Peter G. Doyle and John H. Conway, the authors say:
Not that we believe there really are any such things as infinite sets, or that the Zermelo-Fraenkel ...

**42**

votes

**10**answers

7k views

### The functional equation $f(f(x))=x+f(x)^2$

I'd like to gather information and references on the following functional equation for power series $$f(f(x))=x+f(x)^2,$$$$f(x)=\sum_{k=1}^\infty c_k x^k$$
(so $c_0=0$ is imposed).
First things that ...

**32**

votes

**9**answers

4k views

### Dimensional Analysis in Mathematics

Is there a sensible and useful definition of units in mathematics? In other words, is there a theory of dimensional analysis for mathematics?
In physics, an extremely useful tool is the Buckingham Pi ...

**21**

votes

**10**answers

6k views

### Uniformization theorem for Riemann surfaces

How does one prove that every simply connected Riemann surface is conformally equivalent to the open unit disk, the complex plane, or the Riemann sphere, and these are not conformally equivalent to ...

**17**

votes

**6**answers

3k views

### The category of posets

I am trying to teach myself category theory and, as a begginer, I am looking for
examples that I have a hands-on experience with.
Almost every introductory text in category theory contains following ...

**27**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Fundamental groups of noncompact surfaces

I got fantastic answers to my previous question (about modern references for the fact that surfaces can be triangulated), so I thought I'd ask a related question. A basic fact about surface topology ...

**16**

votes

**9**answers

4k views

### The free group $F_2$ has index 12 in SL(2,$\mathbb{Z}$)

Is there someone who can give me some hints/references to the proof of this fact?

**8**

votes

**8**answers

2k views

### Maxwells equations and differential forms

Hi,
is there a textbooks that explains the maxwell equations in differential form?
What I understood so far is, that the $E$ and $B$ fields can be assembled to
a differential 2 Form $F$, and the ...

**26**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Special values of L-functions as periods

If $M$ is a pure motive over $\mathbb{Q}$, one cas define its $L$-function $L(M,s)$ which conjecturaly is a meromorphic function over $\mathbb{C}$ with finitely many poles.
For example, when ...

**35**

votes

**6**answers

4k views

### Is the Mendeleev table explained in quantum mechanics?

Does anybody know if there exists a mathematical explanation of Mendeleev table in quantum mechanics? In some textbooks (for example in "F.A.Berezin, M.A.Shubin. The Schrödinger Equation") the authors ...

**21**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Verlinde's formula

"Verlinde's formula" predicts the dimension of the space of conformal blocks of a chiral CFT.
Depending on...
• which chiral CFT one considers (does one restrict to WZW models, or not?)
...

**22**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Measures of non-abelian-ness

Let $G$ be a finite non-abelian group of $n$ elements.
I would like a measure that intuitively captures the
extent to which $G$ is non-commutative.
One easy measure is a count of the non-commutative ...

**31**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### The coupon collector's earworm

[EDITED mostly to report on the answer by Kevin Costello
(and to improve the gp code at the end)]
I thank Nicolas Dupont for the following question
(and for permission to disseminate it further):
...

**27**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Strong Whitney embedding theorem for non-compact manifolds

$\newcommand{\RR}{\mathbb{R}}$The present question arises from some confusion on my part regarding the precise statement of the strong Whitney embedding theorem for non-compact manifolds.
The strong ...

**2**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### The Lagrangian formulation of mechanics without going through variational principles.

In some texts on classical mechanics and not only, the Euler--Lagrange equations of motion are directly obtained as solution of variational problems.
On the other side, sometimes reading about ...

**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 ...

**19**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Proof of the Reidemeister theorem

While preparing for my introduction to topology course, I've realized that I don't know where to find a detailed proof of the Reidemeister theorem (two link diagrams give isotopic links, iff they can ...

**9**

votes

**5**answers

1k views

### Measure theory treatment geared toward the Riesz representation theorem

I'm looking for recommendations for books (or lecture notes) that develop measure theory in sufficient detail to state and prove the Riesz representation theorem (which is the characterization of the ...

**27**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### How many binary operations are associative?

Let $X$ be a finite set of $n$ elements, and consider a binary operation $\odot: X \times X \rightarrow X$. There are $n^{n^2}$ such binary operations, as the $n \times n$ table entries can each
be ...

**10**

votes

**0**answers

849 views

### Complexes of representations with complementary central charges

This is another question asking for references. There is an important phenomenon of correspondence between (complexes of) representations of infinite-dimensional Lie algebras with the complementary ...