# All Questions

**7**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### The cyclic subfactors theory: a quantum arithmetic?

Context: First recall some results:
- Actions of finite groups on the hyperfinite type $II_{1}$ factor $R$ (Jones 1980).
- A Galois correspondence for depth 2 irreducible subfactors ...

**134**

votes

**79**answers

21k views

### Not especially famous, long-open problems which anyone can understand

Question: I'm asking for a big list of not especially famous, long open problems that anyone can understand. Community wiki, so one problem per answer, please.
Motivation: I plan to use this list ...

**19**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Does the curvature determine the metric?

Hello,
I ask myself, whether the curvature determines the metric.
Concretely: Given a compact Riemannian manifold $M$, are there two metrics $g_1$ and $g_2$, which are not everywhere flat, such that ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

3k views

### About Goldbach's conjecture

let's consider a composite natural number $n$ greater or equal to $4$. Goldbach's conjecture is equivalent to the following statement: "there is at least one natural number $r$ such as $(n-r)$ and ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

229 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 ...

**5**

votes

**0**answers

210 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:
...

**4**

votes

**3**answers

353 views

### Jordan-Hölder theorem for subfactors?

All the subfactors $(N\subset M)$ are irreducible and finite index inclusions of II$_1$ factors.
First recall that in this paper, D. Bisch characterizes the Jones projections $e_K$ of the ...

**50**

votes

**36**answers

20k views

### Most interesting mathematics mistake?

Some mistakes in mathematics made by extremely smart and famous people can eventually lead to interesting developments and theorems, e.g. Poincare's 3d sphere charaterization or the search to prove ...

**30**

votes

**2**answers

5k views

### Is the analysis as taught in universities in fact the analysis of definable numbers?

Ten years ago when I studied in the university I had no idea about definable numbers, but I came to this concept myself. My thoughts were as follows:
All numbers are divided into two classes: those ...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Euler characteristic of a manifold and self-intersection

This is probably quite easy, but how do you show that the Euler characteristic of a manifold M (defined for example as the alternating sum of the dimensions of integral cohomology groups) is equal to ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

492 views

### Non-“weakly group theoretical” integral fusion categories?

Can you exclude integral fusion categories of global dimension 210, such that the simple objects have dimensions {1,5,5,5,6,7,7} and the following fusion matrices (I don't write the trivial one) ?
...

**10**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Is there a purely group-theoretic reformulation of an equivalence of subgroups?

There is an equivalence relation between inclusion of finite groups coming from the world of subfactors:
Definition: $(H_{1} \subset G_{1}) \sim(H_{2} \subset G_{2})$ if $(R^{G_{1}} \subset ...

**364**

votes

**176**answers

96k views

### Examples of common false beliefs in mathematics.

The first thing to say is that this is not the same as the question about interesting mathematical mistakes. I am interested about the type of false beliefs that many intelligent people have while ...

**186**

votes

**21**answers

21k views

### Thinking and Explaining

How big a gap is there between how you think about mathematics and what you say to others? Do you say what you're thinking? Please give either personal examples of how your thoughts and words ...

**102**

votes

**30**answers

30k views

### Real-world applications of mathematics, by arxiv subject area?

What are the most important applications outside of mathematics of each of the major fields of mathematics? For concreteness, let's divide up mathematics according to arxiv mathematics categories, ...

**123**

votes

**36**answers

24k views

### Why is a topology made up of 'open' sets? [closed]

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I don't think I've ever been able to genuinely motivate the definition of a topological space in an undergraduate course. Clearly, the definition distills the essence of ...

**111**

votes

**33**answers

27k views

### Widely accepted mathematical results that were later shown wrong?

I wonder if there are any examples in the history of mathematics of a mathematical proof that was initially reviewed and widely accepted as valid, only to be disproved a significant amount of time ...

**82**

votes

**15**answers

14k views

### Why worry about the axiom of choice?

As I understand it, it has been proven that the axiom of choice is independent of the other axioms of set theory. Yet I still see people fuss about whether or not theorem X depends on it, and I don't ...

**96**

votes

**7**answers

6k views

### Does $\mathrm{Aut}(\mathrm{Aut}(…\mathrm{Aut}(G)…))$ stabilize?

Purely for fun, I was playing around with iteratively applying $\DeclareMathOperator{\Aut}{Aut}\Aut$ to a group $G$; that is, studying groups of the form
$$ {\Aut}^n(G):= \Aut(\Aut(...\Aut(G)...)) $$
...

**48**

votes

**1**answer

4k views

### The amplituhedron minus the physics

Is it possible to appreciate the geometric/polytopal properties of the amplituhedron without delving into the physics that gave rise to it?
All the descriptions I've so far encountered assume ...

**35**

votes

**37**answers

11k views

### Major mathematical advances past age fifty [closed]

From A Mathematician’s Apology, G. H. Hardy, 1940:
"I had better say something here about this question of age, since it is particularly important for mathematicians. No mathematician should ever ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

1k 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 ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

345 views

### Abelian subfactors, a relevant concept?

Through the questions below, this post asks whether the concept of abelian subfactor is relevant.
Remark : here abelian qualifies an inclusion of II$_1$ factors $(N \subset M)$, $N$ is not an abelian ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

98 views

### Is there a maximal finite depth infinite index irreducible subfactor?

A subfactor $N \subset M $ is irreducible if $N' \cap M = \mathbb{C} $.
It's maximal if it admits no non-trivial intermediate subfactors $N \subset P \subset M $.
It's cyclic if its lattice of ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

148 views

### Maximization of a total variation distance subject to another total variation distance in Markov chain

Suppose two dependent random variables $X$ and $V$ from finite alphabets $\mathcal{V}$ and $\mathcal{X}$ with known joint and marginal distributions are given. Let $P_{XV}$ and $P_X$ and $P_V$ are the ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

380 views

### A possible consequence of Dirichlet's theorem about primes in arithmetic progression

EDIT : I copy-paste the beginning of a previous question since Gerry Myerson suggested this question should be self-contained.
"let's consider a composite natural number $n$ greater or equal to $4$. ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

260 views

### Proof-Theoretic Ordinal of ZFC or Consistent ZFC Extensions?

Let the proof theoretic ordinal $\alpha$ of a theory $T$ be the least recursive ordinal such that $T$ does not prove that $\alpha$ is well-founded. This ordinal is intended to quantify in some sense ...

**0**

votes

**2**answers

118 views

### Products of maximal inclusions of finite groups with a non-obvious intermediate

Let $(H_1 \subset G_1)$ and $(H_2 \subset G_2)$ be core-free maximal inclusions of finite groups.
Their product, the inclusion $(H_1 \times H_2 \subset G_1 \times G_2)$, admits four obvious ...

**0**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Is metatheory, providing proof of the incompleteness theorem, consistent?

Is metatheory, considered as a formal system, that used to prove the First Incompleteness Theorem, consistent?

**-1**

votes

**1**answer

198 views

### an interesting conjecture about even cycle

Let G be a simple graph which is a $2n$-cycle equipped with $n$ chords such that $G$ is $3$-regular,in other words,the set of the $n$ chords is a perfect matching of $G$(that is,every vertex of $G$ is ...

**153**

votes

**62**answers

79k 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 ...

**93**

votes

**72**answers

30k views

### Best online mathematics videos?

I know of two good mathematics videos available online, namely:
Sphere inside out (part I and part II)
Moebius transformation revealed
Do you know of any other good math videos? Share.

**86**

votes

**53**answers

18k views

### What are your favorite instructional counterexamples?

Related: question #879, Most interesting mathematics mistake. But the intent of this question is more pedagogical.
In many branches of mathematics, it seems to me that a good counterexample can be ...

**71**

votes

**15**answers

8k views

### What is torsion in differential geometry intuitively?

Hi,
given a connection on the tangent space of a manifold, one can define its torsion:
$$T(X,Y):=\triangledown_X Y - \triangledown_Y X - [X,Y]$$
What is the geometric picture behind this ...

**79**

votes

**59**answers

17k views

### Which math paper maximizes the ratio (importance)/(length)?

My vote would be Milnor's 7-page paper "On manifolds homeomorphic to the 7-sphere", in Vol. 64 of Annals of Math. For those who have not read it, he explicitly constructs smooth 7-manifolds which are ...

**55**

votes

**31**answers

13k views

### Quick proofs of hard theorems

Mathematics is rife with the fruit of abstraction. Many problems which first are solved via "direct" methods (long and difficult calculations, tricky estimates, and gritty technical theorems) later ...

**28**

votes

**20**answers

6k views

### Why linear algebra is fun!(or ?)

Edit: the original poster is Menny, but the question is CW; the first-person pronoun refers to Menny, not to the most recent editor.
I'm doing an introductory talk on linear algebra with the ...

**18**

votes

**63**answers

10k views

### What's your favorite equation, formula, identity or inequality? [closed]

Certain formulas I really enjoy looking at like the Euler-Maclaurin formula or the Leibniz integral rule. What's your favorite equation, formula, identity or inequality?

**37**

votes

**8**answers

3k views

### What are the uses of the homotopy groups of spheres?

Pete Clark threw down the challenge in his comment to my answer on Why the heck are the homotopy groups of the sphere so damn complicated?:
Have the homotopy groups of spheres ever been applied to ...

**51**

votes

**1**answer

3k views

### What is the amplituhedron?

The paper ”Scattering Amplitudes and the Positive Grassmannian” by Nima Arkani-Hamed, Jacob L. Bourjaily, Freddy Cachazo, Alexander B. Goncharov, Alexander Postnikov, and Jaroslav Trnka, introduces ...

**39**

votes

**35**answers

6k views

### Examples of theorems with proofs that have dramatically improved over time

I am looking for examples of theorems that may have originally had a clunky, or rather technical, or in some way non-illuminating proof, but that eventually came to have a proof that people consider ...

**49**

votes

**4**answers

6k views

### How small can a sum of a few roots of unity be?

Let $n$ be a large natural number, and let $z_1, \ldots, z_{10}$ be (say) ten $n^{th}$ roots of unity: $z_1^n = \ldots = z_{10}^n = 1$. Suppose that the sum $S = z_1+\ldots+z_{10}$ is non-zero. How ...

**22**

votes

**7**answers

4k views

### Why does bosonic string theory require 26 spacetime dimensions?

I do not think it is possible really believe or experimentally check (now), but all modern physical doctrines suggest that out world is NOT 4-dimensional, but higher.
The least sophisticated ...

**43**

votes

**5**answers

4k views

### Decidability of chess on an infinite board

The recent question Do there exist chess positions that require exponentially many moves to reach? of Tim Chow reminds me of a problem I have been interested in. Is chess with finitely many men on an ...

**51**

votes

**3**answers

4k 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
...

**27**

votes

**6**answers

3k views

### Cubical vs. simplicial singular homology

Singular homology is usually defined via singular simplices, but Serre in his thesis uses singular cubes, which he claims are better adapted to the study of fibre spaces. This young man (25 years old ...

**41**

votes

**2**answers

3k views

### Is every sigma-algebra the Borel algebra of a topology?

This question arises from the excellent question posed on math.SE
by Salvo Tringali, namely, Correspondence
between Borel algebras and topology.
Since the question was not answered there after some ...

**29**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Geometric / physical / probabilistic interpretations of Riemann zeta(n>1)?

What are some physical, geometric, or probabilistic interpretations of the values of the Riemann zeta function at the positive integers greater than one?
I've found some examples:
1) In MO-Q111339 ...

**29**

votes

**14**answers

23k views

### If you break a stick at two points chosen uniformly, the probability the three resulting sticks form a triangle is 1/4. Is there a nice proof of this?

There is a standard problem in elementary probability that goes as follows. Consider a stick of length 1. Pick two points uniformly at random on the stick, and break the stick at those points. What ...

**28**

votes

**7**answers

5k views

### Arguments against large cardinals

I started to learn about large cardinals a while ago, and I read that the existence, and even the consistency of the existence of an inaccessible cardinal, i.e. a limit cardinal which is additionally ...