116
votes
0answers
9k 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 ...
67
votes
0answers
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 ...
55
votes
0answers
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 ...
47
votes
0answers
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 ...
46
votes
0answers
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 ...
46
votes
0answers
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 ...
35
votes
0answers
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 ...
35
votes
0answers
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 ...
33
votes
0answers
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 ...
32
votes
0answers
462 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 {$L_1,\dots,L_m$} ...
32
votes
0answers
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 ...
32
votes
0answers
780 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 ...
31
votes
0answers
726 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 ...
31
votes
0answers
642 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 ...
31
votes
0answers
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 $S_n$. ...
30
votes
0answers
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
0answers
901 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
0answers
534 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 $$ E_d \colon y^2 = x^3+dx. $$ When we let $d$ be $p = 2^{2^k}+1$, for $k \in \{1,2,3,4\}$, sage tells us that, conditionally on BSD, $$ \# ...
29
votes
0answers
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
0answers
820 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
0answers
3k 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 ...
29
votes
0answers
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 ...
28
votes
0answers
799 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 ...
28
votes
0answers
827 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 ...
28
votes
0answers
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 ...
27
votes
0answers
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 ...
27
votes
0answers
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
0answers
502 views

Is Schauder's Conjecture Resolved?

Schauder's Conjecture: "Every continuous function, from a nonempty compact and convex set in a (Hausdorff) topological vector space into itself, has a fixed point." [Problem 54 in The Scottish ...
26
votes
0answers
346 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 ...
26
votes
0answers
926 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 $(-1,1)$ ...
26
votes
0answers
888 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 ...
26
votes
0answers
934 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. ...
26
votes
0answers
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
0answers
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
0answers
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
0answers
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
0answers
383 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 ...
25
votes
0answers
638 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 ...
25
votes
0answers
1k views

Is S^2 x S^4 a complex manifold?

As observed by Calabi a long time ago, the manifold $S^2\times S^4$ admits an almost-complex structure (obtained by embedding it in $\mathbb{R}^7$ and using the octonionic product), which however is ...
25
votes
0answers
582 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 ...
25
votes
0answers
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}, ...
25
votes
0answers
708 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 ...
24
votes
0answers
706 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
0answers
996 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
0answers
468 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 ...
23
votes
0answers
567 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 ...
23
votes
0answers
726 views

Does a proof of Selberg's 3.2 inequality exist?

A well-known inequality of Montgomery and Vaughan (generalizing a result of Hilbert) states that $$ \left |\sum_{r \neq s} \frac{w_{r} \overline{w_{s}} }{\lambda_r - \lambda_s} \right| \leq \pi ...
23
votes
0answers
1k views

Are there lots of integer homology three-spheres?

The problem of counting combinatorial three-spheres with $N$ simplices has implications for some partition functions in physics (see a paper by Benedetti and Ziegler for more background and ...
23
votes
0answers
881 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 ...
23
votes
0answers
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. ...

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