A surface is a two-dimensional topological manifold. The term can also be used to describe a smooth surface, depending on the context.

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21
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1answer
954 views

Homeomorphism historically: When did it reach its modern formulation?

Q. When did the notion of homeomorphism reach its modern formulation as a bicontinuous bijection, i.e., a continuous bijection between topological spaces whose inverse is also continuous? ...
16
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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 ...
15
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5answers
937 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 ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Simple curves on non-orientable surfaces.

Given an element in the (first) homology group of a surface, I would like to know if it can be represented as a simple closed curve. For orientable surfaces, this is well-known, but I wasn't able to ...
13
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0answers
238 views

Approximating homeomorphisms of 2-disk by diffeomorphisms

Any homeomorphism of a compact surface can be approximated by diffeomorphisms. Is there a parametrized version of this result, where the parameter space is an $n$-disk? In other words, if $S$ is a ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Naive definition of surface area doesn't work?

A first stab at a definition of surface area might go like this: Let S be a surface. Select finitely many points from S and make a bunch of triangles having these points as vertexes. Add up the ...
12
votes
3answers
609 views

Space of embeddings of circle in a surface

Let $S$ be a compact oriented surface of genus at least $2$ (possibly with boundary). Let $X$ be a connected component of the space of embeddings of $S^1$ into $S$. Question : what is the ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Classification of surfaces and the TOP, DIFF and PL categories for manifolds

A surface is simply a 2-manifold. The classification theorem for compact connected surfaces (with boundary) is commonly regarded in the categories TOP, DIFF and PL. Well known proofs (e.g. via ...
8
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1answer
629 views

Geodesics on the twisted pseudosphere (Dini's surface)

I wonder how difficult it is to compute geodesics on Dini's Surface, a twisted pseudosphere? Here is one parametrization, from Alfred Gray's Modern Differential Geometry of Curves and Surfaces, ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Connected sum of surfaces

I'm looking for a detailed reference about connected sums. I'd like it to contain a proof that a connected sum of connected surfaces is independent - up to homeomorphism - of the various choices ...
7
votes
1answer
498 views

Do all combinatorially distinct fundamental polygons correspond to surfaces?

The topology of a closed surface can be constructed by identifying edges of a fundamental polygon of an even number $2n$ of edges. Labeling the edges and using $\pm 1$ exponents to indicate direction, ...
7
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1answer
148 views

Foliation with leaves which are and are not dense

Do there exist a foliation on a closed surface (i.e. real dimension 2) which has a dense leaf and also a leaf which is not dense?
7
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0answers
218 views

Surfaces with many (but not solely) closed geodesics?

Let $S$ be a closed surface embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$, let's say of genus zero. I seek examples of $S$ with the following property: If one selects a random any point $p$ on $S$, and a random ...
6
votes
2answers
402 views

Do the following set of Dehn twists generate the mapping class group?

If $S$ is the surface illustrated below, do the Dehn twists about the red curves generate the mapping class group $\operatorname{MCG}(S,\partial S)$?
6
votes
1answer
279 views

Which surfaces have only a finite number of connecting geodesics?

Q1. For a smooth, closed (compact) surface $S$ embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$, under which conditions is it true that, for every pair of points $a,b \in S$, there are an infinite number of ...
6
votes
2answers
190 views

Geodesic flow on infinite surfaces

The geodesic flow on a compact hyperbolic surface (i.e. a surface with a riemannian metric of constant curvature $-1$) has been well-studied, in particular it has been known for a long time that it is ...
6
votes
2answers
307 views

How to compute the normals to Costa's minimal surface?

I am trying to draw Costa's minimal surface in high resolution using the PovRay raytracer. For this I need to compute points on the surface as well as the normals. It is relatively easy to compute the ...
6
votes
1answer
297 views

Costa's minimal surface and the structure of lungs

Seeing this image of Costa's minimal surface        (MathWorld image) made me wonder if the fine-grained structure of the human lung is somehow composed of pieces of ...
5
votes
2answers
329 views

Action of $\pi_1(S)$ on its commutator subgroup

Let $G$ be a group. It acts canonically on its derived subgroup by conjugation. Can on describe the orbits of this action when $G$ is the fundamental group of a compact orientable surface of genus $g ...
5
votes
2answers
416 views

Besides the tracioid are there other surfaces of revolution that have a constant negative curvature?

There is no surface in $ R^3 $ that can represent the complete hyperbolic plane (Hilberts theorem) so we always have to do with a surface that is not completely equivalent, has a cusp somewhere, but ...
5
votes
1answer
436 views

Triple bubble conjecture: Natural candidate?

Is there a standard natural candidate surface for the shape that encloses three given volumes in $\mathbb{R}^3$ and has minimal surface area? I know the planar triple bubble conjecture was ...
5
votes
2answers
581 views

Pursuit-Evasion on a Manifold

I know pursuit-evasion has been studied in many contexts, including on a manifold (e.g., Melikyan, "Geometry of Pursuit-Evasion Games on Two-Dimensional Manifolds"), but I have not seen this version: ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

Translation surfaces & integer multiples of $\pi$

Richard Schwartz, in Mostly Surfaces (Vol. 60. American Mathematical Soc., 2011), defines (on p.14) a translation surface as "a Euclidean cone surface, all of whose 'angle errors' are integer ...
5
votes
2answers
357 views

What is the homotopy type of the space of simple closed curves isotopic to a given one?

For surfaces there are many statements along the lines of: if two simple closed curves are homotopic, they are isotopic. I'm interested in such questions for families of curves. More precisely, let ...
5
votes
1answer
201 views

Fixing a proof of the systolic inequality for higher genus surfaces

I'm currently learning some stuffs about systolic inequalities. While reading the relevant sections (p329 to 340) in Berger's Panoramic View of Riemannian Geometry, I noticed a gap in one of the ...
5
votes
1answer
229 views

Avoiding mean-curvature flow dumbbell neck-pinch by inflating a surface

It is well known that Grayson's dumbbell neck-pinch1,2 separates into disconnected pieces under mean curvature flow:                     Image ...
4
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2answers
1k views

What is parameterization of the trefoil knot surface in R³?

What is a parameterization, say (x(u,v),y(u,v),z(u,v)), of the trefoil knot surface in R³ whose cross-section can be circular or, in general, elliptic? Thanks!
4
votes
2answers
215 views

Some facts about cut-locus

Let $M$ be a 2-dimensional closed Riemmanian manifold diffeomorphic to $S^2$. S.B.Myers says "the cut-locus of every point $x\in M$ is a finite tree." How the set of point can be a tree? ...
4
votes
2answers
406 views

Surface Laplace-Beltrami without coordinates, exterior calculus?

Let $f: M \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^3$ be an immersion of a surface $M$. For pedagogical purposes (i.e., I'm teaching a class!) I am looking for an expression for the scalar Laplace-Beltrami operator ...
4
votes
1answer
251 views

Representing groups with two generators as graph automorphisms

Suppose we have a group $G$ which can be generated by two elements $x$, $y$. Call $H$, $K$, $L$ the subgroups of $G$ generated by $x$, $y$ and $y^{-1}x^{-1}$, respectively. With these data, we can ...
4
votes
1answer
717 views

intersection number

I vaguely recall the following fact that I'd like to use in my research. It should be easy to see that this holds (if it does) but I can't seem to prove it. Let $p:X\longrightarrow S$ be a (regular) ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Covering spaces of surfaces

Let $\Sigma_g$ be a surface of genus $g\ge 2$, and let $\Sigma_k$ be an $m$-sheeted covering space of $\Sigma_g$. It is known that $k=m(g-1)+1$. An example of such a covering space is a regular ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

Random metrics on compact orientable surfaces

Hello everyone, Let $S_g$ be a compact orientable surface of genus $g \geq 2$, and let $\mathcal{A}$ be the set of $\mathcal{C}^{\infty}$ Riemanniann metric on $S_g$ endowed with the topology of ...
3
votes
2answers
317 views

Moving a canonical divisor on a normal surface away from the singular locus

In a previous question Moving a Weil divisor on a normal surface away from a finite set of closed points I probably asked for too much. As J.C. Ottem pointed out, it is not always possible to move a ...
3
votes
1answer
233 views

Reference for Arakelov's theorem: $K^2_f=0$ iff $f$ is locally trivial

Let $f:X\longrightarrow B$ be a family of curves, with $f$ relatively minimal, over a fixed curve $B$ ($B$ is projective, irreducible and smooth). The fibration $f$ is said locally trivial if all ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

How to approximate volumes of m-dimensional manifolds with m-dimensional polyhedra

The areas of a sequence of polyhedra approaching a surface need not approach the area of the surface, but there are theorems guaranteeing that this be so. (T. Rado, On the Problem of Plateau, Chapter ...
3
votes
3answers
320 views

Lagrangian Kleinian bottles

I remember some talks some time ago about proofs of nonexistence of Lagrangian Kleinian bottles in C^2 for the standard symplectic structure, mentioning that this were the only compact surface for ...
3
votes
1answer
236 views

Removing intersections of curves in surfaces

Let $C_1, \dots, C_n$ be a family of disjoint simple curves in a surface $\Sigma$. If $C$ is any simple curve in $\Sigma$, it turns out that we can map $C$ to a curve $C'$ (via a homeomorphism of ...
3
votes
2answers
306 views

Realizing homology classes on surfaces with boundary by simple closed curves

Let $\Sigma$ be a compact oriented surface with boundary. Assume that the genus of $\Sigma$ is positive. We say that an element $h \in H_1(\Sigma)$ can be realized by a simple closed curve if there ...
3
votes
2answers
462 views

Surface fitting with convexity requirement

Hi all, Consider a cloud of points in 3D space (x,y,z). The data is well-behaved, once plotted the surface looks like some sort of spheroid. I assumed a form for the fitting function f(x,y,z) = c1 ...
2
votes
2answers
409 views

The exceptional locus of a minimal resolution of singularities

Let X be a surface. (A surface is an excellent integral normal separated 2-dimensional scheme.) Let $\psi:Y\longrightarrow X$ be a minimal resolution of singularities and let $E$ be an irreducible ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

Homotopy versus path-homotopy on punctured surface

I have some problems with homotopies. The situation is this: Let $X$ be a surface, which is homeomorphic to a 2-Sphere with a finite number (at least 3) of points removed (equivalently, an open ...
2
votes
3answers
401 views

Moving a Weil divisor on a normal surface away from a finite set of closed points

Let $Y$ be a normal surface and let $X$ be a closed subscheme of codimension 2, i.e., $X$ is a finite set of closed points. Let $D$ be a Weil divisor on $Y$. Question. Does there exist a Weil ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

A Jordan Separation Theorem for Polyhedral Surfaces

Let me begin by defining what a polyhedral surface is. A path-connected subset $ P $ of $ \mathbb{R}^{3} $ is called a polyhedral surface iff it is the union of a finite collection $ \mathcal{C} $ of ...
2
votes
2answers
224 views

Dimension of the homology group with coefficients in $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$

I asked this on math.stackexchange.com, but didn't get a single answer. Charles Weibel writes in his survey of homological algebra Riemann defined a surface $S$ to be $(n + 1)$-fold connected ...
2
votes
2answers
346 views

Contraction of curves on surfaces

Assume we have a surface $S$ (smooth if you want), and a map $f: S \to V$ that contracts a curve $C \subset S$. What condition would give a factoring of $f$ through a contraction $c: S \to V'$ ...
2
votes
1answer
853 views

How to rigorously prove that simple closed curves on a surface are primitive closed curves ?

Let me first state the definitions : A not-nullhomotopic closed curve / loop $c$ on an orientable surface $X,c:[0,1]\to X$ is called simple closed curve is $c|[0,1)$ is injective and [ $c(0)=c(1) ] ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Triangulations of translation surfaces whose edges are shorter than the diameter

Let $S$ be a compact translation surface (i.e. a surface endowed with a singular flat metric such that singular points are locally isometric to a cone of angle an integer multiple of $2\pi$, and that ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Locally trivial deformations of surfaces with quotient singularities

Let us consider the surface $\mathbb{A}^{2}/\mu_{6}$ where the action is given by $$ \begin{array}{ccc} \mu_{6}\times\mathbb{A}^{2} & \longrightarrow & \mathbb{A}^{2}\\ (\epsilon,x_{1},x_{2}) ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Looking for software that computes intersection numbers (Heegaard Diagrams)

As a part of my research I am working with intersection matrices of Heegaard diagrams. Is there some software that could help me compute such matrices for some examples? Thanks.