# All Questions

**120**

votes

**0**answers

10k views

### Ultrafilters and automorphisms of the complex field

It is well-known that it is consistent with $ZF$ that the only automorphisms of the complex field $\mathbb{C}$ are the identity map and complex conjugation. For example, we have that ...

**73**

votes

**0**answers

5k views

### Dropping three bodies

Consider the usual three-body problem with Newtonian
$1/r^2$ force between masses. Let the three masses start off at rest,
and not collinear. Then they will become collinear a finite time ...

**58**

votes

**0**answers

3k views

### Volumes of Sets of Constant Width in High Dimensions

Background
The n dimensional Euclidean ball of radius 1/2 has width 1 in every direction. Namely, when you consider a pair of parallel tangent hyperplanes in any direction the distance between them ...

**51**

votes

**0**answers

3k views

### The topology of Arithmetic Progressions of primes

The primary motivation for this question is the following: I would like to extract some topological statistics which capture how arithmetic progressions of prime numbers "fit together" in a manner ...

**50**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### 2, 3, and 4 (a possible fixed point result ?)

The question below is related to the classical Browder-Goehde-Kirk fixed point theorem.
Let $K$ be the closed unit ball of $\ell^{2}$, and let $T:K\rightarrow K$
be a mapping such that $\Vert ...

**48**

votes

**0**answers

3k views

### Grothendieck-Teichmuller conjecture

(1) In "Esquisse d'un programme", Grothendieck conjectures
Grothendieck-Teichmuller conjecture: the morphism
$$
G_{\mathbb{Q}} \longrightarrow Aut(\widehat{T})
$$
is an isomorphism.
Here ...

**36**

votes

**0**answers

848 views

### Intersecting Family of Triangulations

Let $\cal T_n$ be the family of all triangulations on an $n$-gon using $(n-3)$ non-intersecting diagonals. The number of triangulations in $\cal T_n$ is $C_{n-2}$ the $(n-2)$th Catalan number. Let ...

**36**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### To what extent does Spec R determine Spec of the Witt vector ring over R?

Let $R$ be a perfect $\mathbb{F}_p$-algebra and write $W(R)$ for the Witt ring [i.e., ring of Witt vectors -- PLC] on $R$. I want to know how much we can deduce about $\text{Spec } W(R)$ from ...

**35**

votes

**0**answers

821 views

### “Gross-Zagier” formulae outside of number theory

The Gross-Zagier formula and various variations of it form the starting point in most of the existing results towards the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture. It relates the value at $1$ of the ...

**35**

votes

**0**answers

691 views

### The exponent of Ш of y^2 = x^3 + px, where p is a Fermat prime

For $d$ a non-zero integer, let $E_d$ be the elliptic curve
$$
E_d : y^2 = x^3+dx.
$$
When we let $d$ be $p = 2^{2^k}+1$, for $k \in \{1,2,3,4\}$, sage tells us that, conditionally on BSD,
$$
\# ...

**35**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### What does the theta divisor of a number field know about its arithmetic?

This question is about a remark made by van der Geer and Schoof in their beautiful article "Effectivity of Arakelov divisors and the theta divisor of a number field" (from '98) (link).
Let me first ...

**34**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### Constructing non-torsion rational points (over Q) on elliptic curves of rank > 1.

Consider an elliptic curve E defined over Q. Assume that the rank of E(Q) is >=2. (Assume the Birch-Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture if needed, so that analytic rank = algebraic rank.) How do you construct ...

**33**

votes

**0**answers

499 views

### Extending a line-arrangement so that the bounded components of its complement are triangles

Given a finite collection of lines $L_1,\dots,L_m$ in ${\bf{R}}^2$, let $R_1,\dots,R_n$ be the connected components of ${\bf{R}}^2 \setminus (L_1 \cup \dots \cup L_m)$, and say that {$L_1,\dots,L_m$} ...

**33**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Set-theoretic reformulation of the invariant subspace problem

The invariant subspace problem (ISP) for Hilbert spaces asks whether every bounded linear operator $A$ on $l^2$ (with complex scalars) must have a closed invariant subspace other than $\{0\}$ and ...

**33**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Normalizers in symmetric groups

Question: Let $G$ be a finite group. Is it true that there is a subgroup $U$ inside some symmetric group $S_n$, such that $N(U)/U$ is isomorphic to $G$? Here $N(U)$ is the normalizer of $U$ in $S_n$.
...

**32**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### a naive question about the second dual of a vector space

Let $K$ be a field. Are there non-scalar endomorphisms of the endofunctor
$$
V\mapsto V^{**}/V
$$
of the category of $K$-vector spaces?
I asked a related question on Mathematics Stackexchange, but ...

**32**

votes

**0**answers

824 views

### Homotopy type of TOP(4)/PL(4)

It is known (e.g. the Kirby-Siebenmann book) that $\mathrm{TOP}(n)/\mathrm{PL}(n)\simeq K({\mathbb Z}/2,3)$ for $n>4$. I believe it is also known (Freedman-Quinn) that ...

**32**

votes

**0**answers

4k views

### Grothendieck's manuscript on topology

Edit: Just in case anyone still thinks that Grothendieck's unpublished manuscripts are (by his letter) entirely out of sight: Declared as "national treasure", they seem to be in principle accessible ...

**31**

votes

**0**answers

427 views

### Which region in the plane with a given area has the most domino tilings?

I just finished teaching a class in combinatorics in which I included a fairly easy upper bound on the number of domino tilings of a region in the plane as a function of its area. So this led to ...

**30**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Fourier transform on the discrete cube

Notation: identify an element of $\{-1,1\}^n$ with the set $S \subseteq \{1, \ldots, n\}$ on which it takes the value $-1$.
The following is an asymptotic question. "Close to one" means "more than ...

**30**

votes

**0**answers

930 views

### Two-convexity ⇒ Lefschetz?

Assume that
$\Omega$ is an open simply connected set in $\mathbb R^n$
(two-convexity) if 3 faces of a 3-simplex belong to $\Omega$ then whole simplex in $\Omega$.
Is it true that any component of ...

**29**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### The Work of Pierre Deligne

In this biography of Pierre Deligne, there is a quote of Jacques Tits which says that "quite a few of his best ideas have never been written!".
What are some of his best ideas that you have heard of ...

**29**

votes

**0**answers

909 views

### (Approximately) bijective proof of $\zeta(2)=\pi^2/6$ ?

Given $A,B\in {\Bbb Z}^2$, write $A \leftrightarrows B$ if the
interior of the line segment AB misses
${\Bbb Z}^2$.
For $r>0$, define
$S_r:=\{ \{A, B\} | A,B\in {\Bbb Z}^2,||A||<r,||B||<r, ...

**29**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Shortest closed curve to inspect a sphere

Let $S$ be a sphere in $\mathbb{R}^3$. Let $C$ be a closed curve in $\mathbb{R}^3$ disjoint from and
exterior to $S$
which has the property that every point $x$ on $S$ is visible to some point $y$ of ...

**29**

votes

**0**answers

779 views

### Functor that maps to both $KO^n$ and $KO^{-n}$

(my question is also meaningful for complex K-theory, but since Kn(X) is always isomorphic to K-n(X), it's less interesting)
I start by recalling the analytic definition of KO-theory:
The following ...

**29**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Minimal volume of 4-manifolds

This question came up in a talk of Dieter Kotschick yesterday. The minimal volume of a manifold is the infimum of volumes of Riemannian metrics on the manifold with sectional curvatures bounded in ...

**28**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### A short proof for $\dim(R[T])=\dim(R)+1$

For a commutative ring $R$ we clearly have $\dim(R[T]) \geq \dim(R)+1$. If $R$ is noetherian, we have equality. Every proof I'm aware of uses quite a bit of commutative algebra and non-trivial ...

**28**

votes

**0**answers

525 views

### Degree 17 number fields ramified only at 2

The number $17$ is the smallest odd number that occurs as the degree of a number field $K/\mathbb{Q}$ for which the only finite prime that ramifies is $2$. The non-existence for $n < 17$ follows ...

**28**

votes

**0**answers

839 views

### Finite complexes whose homotopy groups are not “finitely generated”

I'll say $K$ has "finitely generated" homotopy groups if there is a finite wedge of spheres $W = \bigvee S^{n_i}$ and a map $f: W\to K$ which induces a surjection on $\pi_*$.
It seems likely that ...

**28**

votes

**0**answers

621 views

### Enriched Categories: Ideals/Submodules and algebraic geometry

While working through Atiyah/MacDonald for my final exams I realized the following:
The category(poset) of ideals $I(A)$ of a commutative ring A is a closed symmetric monoidal category if endowed ...

**28**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### Example of a compact set that isn't the spectrum of an operator

This question is somewhat ill-posed (due to the word easy) and is triggered by idle curiosity:
Is there an easy example of a (separable, infinite-dimensional) Banach space $X$ and a nonempty ...

**28**

votes

**0**answers

862 views

### Does every triangle-free graph with maximum degree at most 6 have a 5-colouring?

A very specific case of Reed's Conjecture
Reed's $\omega$,$\Delta$, $\chi$ conjecture proposes that every graph has $\chi \leq \lceil \tfrac 12(\Delta+1+\omega)\rceil$. Here $\chi$ is the chromatic ...

**27**

votes

**0**answers

507 views

### Are there periodicity phenomena in manifold topology with odd period?

The study of $n$-manifolds has some well-known periodicities in $n$ with period a power of $2$:
$n \bmod 2$ is important. Poincaré duality implies that odd-dimensional compact oriented manifolds ...

**27**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Prove that there exists $n\in\mathbb{N}$ such that $f^{(n)}$ has at least n+1 zeros on $(-1,1)$

Let $f\in C^{\infty}(\mathbb{R},\mathbb{R})$ such that $f(x)=0$ on $\mathbb{R}\setminus (-1,1)$. Prove that there exists $n\in\mathbb{N}$ such that $f^{(n)}$ has at least $n+1$ zeros on $(-1,1)$
...

**27**

votes

**0**answers

987 views

### Concerning the various proofs from the axiom of choice that R^3 admits of surprising geometrical decompositions into circles, skew lines and so on: can we prove in any instance that there are no Borel such decompositions? Or that AC is required?

This question follows up on a comment I made on Joseph O'Rourke's
recent question, one of several questions here on mathoverflow
concerning surprising geometric partitions of space using the axiom
of ...

**27**

votes

**0**answers

976 views

### What is the three-dimensional hyperbolic volume of a four-manifold?

Every smooth closed orientable 4-manifold may be constructed via a handle decomposition. Before asking a couple of questions, I recall some well-known facts about handle-decompositions of 4-manifolds.
...

**27**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### A Combinatorial Abstraction for The “Polynomial Hirsch Conjecture”

Consider $t$ disjoint families of subsets of {1,2,…,n}, ${\cal F}_1,{\cal F_2},\dots {\cal F_t}$ .
Suppose that
(*)
For every $i \lt j \lt k$
and every $R \in {\cal F}_i$, and $T \in {\cal F}_k$, ...

**26**

votes

**0**answers

641 views

### Does every smooth, projective morphism to $\mathbb{C}P^1$ admit a section?

Possibly this has already been asked, but it came up again in this question of Daniel Litt. Does every smooth, projective morphism $f:Y\to \mathbb{C}P^1$ admit a section, i.e., a morphism ...

**26**

votes

**0**answers

672 views

### Computer calculations in A_infinity categories?

Is there a good computer program for doing calculations in A-infinity categories?
Explicit calculations in A-infinity categories are an important, useful, yet very tedious task. One has to keep ...

**26**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Peano Arithmetic and the Field of Rationals

In 1949 Julia Robinson showed the undecidability of the first order theory of the field of rationals by demonstrating that the set of natural numbers $\Bbb{N}$ is first order definable in $(\Bbb{Q}, ...

**26**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### Microlocal geometry - A theorem of Verdier

(1) In "Geometrie Microlocale", Verdier states the following theorem.
Theorem: Let $E$ be a vector space and $F$ a constructible complex on $E$.
Then for $\ell$ a linear form on $E$, we have a ...

**26**

votes

**0**answers

3k views

### A paper to the question, if the six dimensional sphere is a complex manifold

Hi,
for a few days a paper was published on arxiv.org with the title "The six dimensional sphere is a complex manifold": http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/math/pdf/0505/0505634v3.pdf
Because I am not able to ...

**26**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### A generalisation of the equation n = ab + ac + bc

In a result I am currently studying (completely unrelated to number theory) I had to examine the solvability of the equation $n = ab+ac+bc$ where $n,a,b,c$ are positive integers $0 < a < b < ...

**26**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Curious $q$-analogues

Consider the Fibonacci polynomials
$$F_n (x) = \sum_{j = 0}^{\left\lfloor {n/2} \right\rfloor }\binom{n-j}{j} x^{n - 2j} $$
and the Lucas polynomials
$$L_n (x) = \sum_{j = 0}^{\left\lfloor {n/2} ...

**25**

votes

**0**answers

413 views

### Class function counting solutions of equation in finite group: when is it a virtual character?

Let $w=w(x_1,\dots,x_n)$ be a word in a free group of rank $n$. Let $G$ be a finite group. Then we may define a class function $f=f_w$ of $G$ by
$$ f_w(g) = |\{ (x_1,\dots, x_n)\in G^n\mid ...

**25**

votes

**0**answers

494 views

### Why do H_4 and M_4 have the same virtual Euler characteristic?

Here's a funny coincidence:
The virtual (or "orbifold") Euler characteristic of $\mathcal M_g$ is known by the work of Harer and Zagier: one has $\chi(\mathcal M_g) = \zeta(1-2g)/(2-2g)$.
Now ...

**24**

votes

**0**answers

757 views

### Derivative of Class number of real quadratic fields

Let $\Delta$ be a fundamental quadratic discriminant, set $N = |\Delta|$,
and define the Fekete polynomials
$$ F_N(X) = \sum_{a=1}^N \Big(\frac{\Delta}a\Big) X^a. $$
Define
$$ f_N(X) = ...

**24**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Is there software to compute the cohomology of an affine variety?

I have some affine varieties whose cohomology (topological, with $\mathbb{C}$ coefficients) I would like to know. They are very nice, they are all of the form $\mathbb{A}^n \setminus \{ f=0 \}$ for ...

**24**

votes

**0**answers

906 views

### On the (derived) dual to the James construction.

Background
If $X$ is a based space then the James construction on $X$ is the space $J(X)$ given by
$$
X \quad \cup \quad X^{\times 2} \quad \cup \quad X^{\times 3} \quad \cup \quad \cdots
$$
in ...

**24**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Subalgebras of von Neumann algebras

In the late 70s, Cuntz and Behncke had a paper
H. Behncke and J. Cuntz, Local Completeness of Operator Algebras, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 62, No. 1 (Jan., 1977), pp. ...