80
votes
17answers
11k views

Are there examples of non-orientable manifolds in nature?

Whilst browsing through Marcel Berger's book "A Panoramic View of Riemannian Geometry" and thinking about the Klein bottle, I came across the sentence: "The unorientable surfaces are never discussed ...
83
votes
18answers
8k views

Occurrences of (co)homology in other disciplines and/or nature

I am curious if the setup for (co)homology theory appears outside the realm of pure mathematics. The idea of a family of groups linked by a series of arrows such that the composition of consecutive ...
2
votes
6answers
608 views

Isotropic ternary forms

It is well known that some questions about isotropic ternary forms reduces to the study of the special case $f_0(X)=xz-y^2, X=(x,y,z)$, see page 301 of Cassel's "Rational quadratic forms" (Dover, ...
56
votes
29answers
6k views

Can infinity shorten proofs a lot?

I've just been asked for a good example of a situation in maths where using infinity can greatly shorten an argument. The person who wants the example wants it as part of a presentation to the general ...
18
votes
1answer
485 views

Rearrangements that never change the value of a sum

I posted this question on math.stackexchange.com and so far the only answer posted (also mentioned in the comments under the question) shows that one of my rash initial guesses about the bottom-line ...
1
vote
1answer
189 views

Snake-like continua and universal images

Among the Hausdorff compact spaces the closed interval is the simplest snake-like continuum. I'll present the definition after stating the problem. The snake-like continua $\ S\ $ are universal ...
22
votes
24answers
7k views

Is there an image for you that epitomizes mathematics? [closed]

Can you think of an image, whether technical or nontechnical, available for viewing online that says a lot about what you think mathematics or a particular field of mathematics is all about? For ...
13
votes
0answers
139 views

Complexity classes for BSS machines

Given a first-order structure $\mathcal{S}$, a Blum-Shub-Smale machine on $\mathcal{S}$ is essentially a Turing machine where Cells on the tape can hold arbitrary elements of $\mathcal{S}$. The ...
7
votes
1answer
641 views

semi flat connections

Let $L\to V$ be complex line bundle and $F_{t}:V\to V$, $t\in [0,1]$, be a loop of diffeomorphisms, $F_0=F_1=$ identity. For every $x\in V$, we get a loop $\gamma_x(t)=\{F_t(x)\}$ whose class in ...
54
votes
9answers
3k views

Taking “Zooming in on a point of a graph” seriously

In calculus classes it is sometimes said that the tangent line to a curve at a point is the line that we get by "zooming in" on that point with an infinitely powerful microscope. This explanation ...
4
votes
2answers
254 views

About a construction of Borel $\sigma$-algebra associated to a lattice

Let $(\mathcal{A}, \cup, \cap)$ a lattice (with minimum and maximum elements $\bot$ and $\top$). Let $X\subset \mathcal{A}$ a generator set (a set of minimal cardinality that generate $\mathcal{A}$ ...
9
votes
2answers
403 views

Topological $n$-manifolds have the homotopy type of $n$-dimensional CW-complexes

I search for a chain of clean references, which lead the fact of topological manifolds of dimension $n$ having the homotopy type of a CW of dimension $n$. Milnor's On spaces having the homotopy type ...
120
votes
7answers
9k views

Proofs of Bott periodicity

K-theory sits in an intersection of a whole bunch of different fields, which has resulted in a huge variety of proof techniques for its basic results. For instance, here's a scattering of proofs of ...
6
votes
2answers
592 views

understanding the definition of $\infty$-operad of module objects

I'm just trying to understand the following definition: Definition 3.3.3.8 in Higher Algebra by J. Lurie defines the $\infty$-operad of $O$-module objects, and says the following: Let $O^\otimes$ be ...
14
votes
4answers
880 views

Applications of homotopy purity theorem of Morel-Voevodsky

One of the most important theorems in motivic homotopy theory is the homotopy purity theorem of Morel-Voevodsky which says that the motivic Thom space of the normal bundle $\mathcal N_{Z/X}$ of a ...
34
votes
8answers
4k views

Motivation for and history of pseudo-differential operators

Suppose you start from partial differential equations and functional analysis (on $\mathbb R^n$ and on real manifolds). Which prominent example problems lead you to work with pseudo-differential ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Writing “Semi-Formal” Proofs

I am very interested in proofs. I have taken an undergraduate course called "Logic and Set Theory" which I found very interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying. My biggest disappointment has to do ...
37
votes
9answers
7k views

Why is an elliptic curve a group?

Consider an elliptic curve $y^2=x^3+ax+b$. It is well known that we can (in the generic case) create an addition on this curve turning it into an abelian group: The group law is characterized by the ...
7
votes
0answers
144 views

Intersection of connected components in $\mathbb{R}^n$

Let $n$ be a positive integer and let $K\subseteq \mathbb{R}^n$ be compact. Pick $x^* \in \mathbb{R}^n\setminus K$. Let $E$ be the connected component of $\mathbb{R}^n\setminus K$ that contains ...
28
votes
9answers
7k views

Intuition and/or visualisation of Ito integral/Ito's lemma

Riemann-sums can e.g. be very intuitively visualized by rectangles that approximate the area under the curve. See e.g. Wikipedia:Riemann sum The Ito integral has due to the unbounded total variation ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Which Kahler Manifolds are also Einstein Manifolds?

Is it known which Kahler manifolds are also Einstein manifolds? For example complex projective spaces are Einstein. Are the Grassmannians Einsein? Are all flag manifolds Einstein?
45
votes
8answers
5k views

The inverse Galois problem, what is it good for?

Several years ago I attended a colloquium talk of an expert in Galois theory. He motivated some of his work on its relation with the inverse Galois problem. During the talk, a guy from the audience ...
8
votes
1answer
254 views

$Spin(7)$ as stabilizer of a $4$-form

According to Bryant's work on special holonomy groups, $G_2\subset SO(7)$ may be defined as the group preserving the following 3-form: ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Groupoid actions on spaces

The action of a group $G$ on a topological space $X$ can be viewed as a functor $F: G \to \mathcal{Top}$ with $F(*)=X$. (Here I'm viewing a group as a category with one object, $ * $, and the ...
32
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the “intuition” behind “brave new algebra”?

Y.I. Manin mentions in a recent interview the need for a “codification of efficient new intuitive tools, such as … the “brave new algebra” of homotopy theorists”. This makes me puzzle, because I ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What is special about polylogarithms that leads to so many interesting identities and applications?

I have heard that Polylogarithms are very interesting things. The wikipedia page shows a lot of interesting identities. These functions are indeed supposed to have caught the attention of Ramanujan. ...
16
votes
3answers
598 views

Looking for “large knot” examples

This question is about knots and links in the 3-sphere. I want to find an example of a "large" knot or link with some special properties. I'm looking for some fairly specific examples, but I'm also ...
8
votes
4answers
779 views

Categorical Construction of Quotient Topology?

The product topology is the categorical product, and the disjoint union topology is the categorical coproduct. But the arrows in the characteristic diagrams for the subspace and quotient topologies ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Bounding the absolute sum of entries of the inverse of a 0-1 matrix

I have a non-singular square 0-1 matrix and I want to bound the sum of absolute values of its inverse as a function of n (or the vector 1-norm). Asymptotic results are also useful. Does anyone know ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

When is a finite cw-complex a compact topological manifold?

I think the statement of the question is pretty straightforward. Given a finite $n$-dimensional CW complex, are there necessary and sufficient conditions for determining that it is also a compact ...
13
votes
2answers
791 views

Lefschetz duality for non-compact relative manifolds

I'd like to use the formulation of Lefschetz duality stated here, but I can't seem to find a reference for this particular version of it, and it doesn't seem quite right to me. The exact statement in ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Poincaré dodecahedron space

The Poincaré homology sphere $X$ is constructed by identifying opposite faces of a dodecahedron by a (clockwise) twist of 36 degree. Many books say its fundamental group $\pi_1(X)$ is the binary ...
28
votes
5answers
4k views

when is Aut(G) abelian

let $G$ be a group such that $Aut(G)$ is abelian. is then $G$ abelian? this is a sort of generalization of the well-known exercise, that $G$ is abelian when $Aut(G)$ is cyclic. but I have no idea. at ...
14
votes
1answer
580 views

Can one explain Tannaka-Krein duality for a finite-group to … a computer ? (How to make input for reconstruction to be finite datum?)

Consider a finite group. Tannaka-Krein duality allows to reconstruct the group from the category of its representations and additional structures on it (tensor structure + fiber functor). Somehow ...
5
votes
2answers
692 views

The example of mechanical system that has a Mobius strip as their configuration space

Can you give examples for mechanical system that has a Mobius strip as their configuration space?
10
votes
3answers
417 views

Voronoi cells and the dual complexes in Riemannian manifolds

I would like to use some "intuitively clear" properties of Voronoi cells in general Riemannian manifolds, but I have trouble finding references. Let $(X,d)$ be a connected Riemannian manifold and ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to dissect a disk into congruent pieces, so that a neighborhood of the origin is contained within a single piece?

Problem: is it possible to dissect the interior of a circle into a finite number of congruent pieces (mirror images are fine) such that some neighbourhood of the origin is contained in just one of ...
11
votes
1answer
300 views

Does there exist an uncountable separable metric space $X$ such that every subset of $X$ is a Borel set?

Is it consistent with ZFC that there exists an uncountable separable metric space $X$ such that every subset of $X$ is a Borel set? If the continuum hypothesis holds, or more generally ...
36
votes
4answers
6k views

What is Chern-Simons theory?

What is Chern-Simons theory? I have read the wikipedia entry, but it's pretty physics-y and I wasn't really able to get any sense for what Chern-Simons theory really is in terms of mathematics. ...
12
votes
1answer
327 views

Independence results about independence results

Define $Ind(ZFC,\sigma)$ to be the assertion "The sentence $\sigma$ is independent from ZFC". I am looking for theorems in the form $Ind(ZFC, Ind (ZFC,\sigma))$. Are there such theorems in set ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Are semi-direct products categorical limits?

Products, are very elementary forms of categorical limits. My question is whether in the category of groups, semi-direct products are categorical limits. As was pointed in: ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Intermediate value theorem on computable reals

Wikipedia says that the intermediate value theorem “depends on (and is actually equivalent to) the completeness of the real numbers.” It then offers a simple counterexample to the ...
0
votes
1answer
387 views

Solutions of system of diophantine equations

The system of diophantine equations $$\{x^2-y^2+z^2-u^2+q^2-t^2=0,\,xy+zt-uq=0 \}$$ is given. Do the formulas $$x:=(j(p^2-4ps+3s^2)-(p-s)(3p^2-4ps+s^2))k^2+2(j-2(p-s))(p-s)kn+(j-p+s)n^2, $$ ...
4
votes
1answer
402 views

Does the internal axiom of choice imply Lagrange's theorem?

In a topos ${\mathcal{A}}$, given a group object $G$ and a subgroup $H$, the object $H\backslash G$ of right cosets is the coequalizer of two maps $G\times H\rightrightarrows G$, namely the group ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

G-bundles in classical mechanics

The paper Geometry of the Prytz Planimeter described a mechanical instrument whose configuration space is an $S^1$-bundle with an $SU(1,1)$ action. That paper goes on to study the holonomies of ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

union of infinitely many prime ideals

Consider a noetherian ring $R$ and a collection $m_i$, $i\in I$ of maximal ideals of $R$. Let $P$ be a prime ideal of $R$. It is well-known that if the collection is finite (i.e. the index set $I$ is ...
5
votes
1answer
360 views

A palindromic polynomial and its derivative have the same number of zeros outside the unit circle. Reference?

I am trying to find the original reference for a lemma attributed to Cohn (as in Schur-Cohn method): Let $A(z)$ be a palindromic or skew-palindromic polynomial, and denote its derivative by ...
2
votes
3answers
245 views

Specific Diophantine Equation Appearing in Faa Di Bruno Formula

In a Faa Di Bruno Formula there is an equation: $m_1$+2*$m_2$+3*$m_3$+...n*$m_n$=n Is there any general solution for this equation. For example for $m_1$+$m_2$+$m_3$+...+$m_n$=n, there is a ...
35
votes
3answers
5k views

Spaces with same homotopy and homology groups that are not homotopy equivalent?

A common caution about Whitehead's theorem is that you need the map between the spaces; it's easy to give examples of spaces with isomorphic homotopy groups that are not homotopy equivalent. (See Are ...
7
votes
1answer
878 views

Euler Characteristic of a Variety

Let $Y$ be a "nice" scheme. I am thinking projective varieties over an algebraically closed field, for now, but I am open to more general results. In terms of singular homology ...

15 30 50 per page