# Questions tagged [gn.general-topology]

Continuum theory, point-set topology, spaces with algebraic structure, foundations, dimension theory, local and global properties.

410 questions
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### Are the Sierpiński cardinal $\acute{\mathfrak n}$ and its measure modification $\acute{\mathfrak m}$ equal to some known small uncountable cardinals?

This question was motivated by an answer to this question of Dominic van der Zypen. It relates to the following classical theorem of Sierpiński. Theorem (Sierpiński, 1921). For any countable ...
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### 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 ...
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### Strongly rigid Hausdorff spaces

A space $(X,\tau)$ is called rigid if $\textrm{Aut}(X)=\{\textrm{id}_X\}$. We say $(X,\tau)$ is strongly rigid if for every continuous map $f:X\to X$ we have that $f = \textrm{id}_X$ or $f$ is ...
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### How many tacks fit in the plane?

Call a tack the one point union of three open intervals. Can you fit an uncountable number of them on the plane? Or is only a countable number?
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### Why are the integers with the cofinite topology not path-connected?

An apparently elementary question that bugs me for quite some time: (1) Why are the integers with the cofinite topology not path-connected? Recall that the open sets in the cofinite topology on a ...
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### solving $f(f(x))=g(x)$

This question is of course inspired by the question How to solve f(f(x))=cosx and Joel David Hamkins' answer, which somehow gives a formal trick for solving equations of the form $f(f(x))=g(x)$ on a ...
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### Non-homeomorphic spaces that have continuous bijections between them

What are nice examples of topological spaces $X$ and $Y$ such that $X$ and $Y$ are not homeomorphic but there do exist continuous bijections $f: X \to Y$ and $g: Y \to X$?
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### When is $L^2(X)$ separable?

I have never studied any measure theory, so apologise in advance, if my question is easy: Let $X$ be a measure space. How can I decide whether $L^2(X)$ is separable? In reality, I am interested in ...
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### Can the Lawvere fixed point theorem be used to prove the Brouwer fixed point theorem?

The Lawvere fixed point theorem asserts that if $X, Y$ are objects in a category with finite products such that the exponential $Y^X$ exists, and if $f : X \to Y^X$ is a morphism which is surjective ...
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### Torsion in homology or fundamental group of subsets of Euclidean 3-space

Here's a problem I've found entertaining. Is it possible to find a subset of 3-dimensional Euclidean space such that its homology groups (integer coefficients) or one of its fundamental groups ...
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### When are there enough projective sheaves on a space X?

This question is being asked on behalf of a colleague of mine. Let $X$ be a topological space. It is well known that the abelian category of sheaves on $X$ has enough injectives: that is, every ...
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### How do you show that $S^{\infty}$ is contractible?

Here I mean the version with all but finitely many components zero.
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### Independent evidence for the classification of topological 4-manifolds?

Is there any evidence for the classification of topological 4-manifolds, aside from Freedman's 1982 paper "The topology of four-dimensional manifolds", Journal of Differential Geometry 17(3) 357–453? ...
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### Continuous bijections vs. Homeomorphisms

This is motivated by an old question of Henno Brandsma. Two topological spaces $X$ and $Y$ are said to be bijectively related, if there exist continuous bijections $f:X \to Y$ and $g:Y \to X$. Let´...
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### The deep significance of the question of the Mandelbrot set's local connectedness?

I am given to understand that the celebrated open problem (MLC) of the Mandelbrot set's local connectness has broader and deeper significance deeper than some mere curiosity of point-set topology. ...
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### Topological characterization of the closed interval $[0,1]$

This question is related to question 92206 "What properties make $[0, 1]$ a good candidate for defining fundamental groups?" but is not exactly equivalent in my opinion. It is even suggested in one ...
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### von neumann algebras and measurable spaces

I've read some pages on links between von neumann (VN) algebras and measurable spaces (Spectra of $C^*$ algebras and Non-commutative geometry from von Neumann algebras?), but I can't get the following:...
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### Compactification of a manifold

This is just a curiosity and the question is really foggy. I'm wondering if there can exist a notion of "minimal smooth compactification" (when I say minimal I think something like adding a finite ...
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### Does every set $X$ have a topology for which the only continuous self-surjection is the identity map?

This question is a special case of Dominic van der Zypen's question Reconstructing relations with the image relation of a topology, as discussed in the comments, particularly the comment of Eric ...
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### Minimal Hausdorff

A Hausdorff space $(X,\tau)$ is said to be minimal Hausdorff if for each topology $\tau' \subseteq \tau$ with $\tau' \neq \tau$ the space $(X,\tau')$ is not Hausdorff. Every compact Hausdorff space ...
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### Coarsest admissible topology on $\text{Cont}(X,Y)$

Let $X, Y$ be topological spaces and let $\text{Cont}(X,Y)$ be the collection of continuous functions $f:X\to Y$. We say that a topology $\tau$ on $\text{Cont}(X,Y)$ is admissible if the evaluation ...
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### Is the boundary $\partial S$ analogous to a derivative?

Without prethought, I mentioned in class once that the reason the symbol $\partial$ is used to represent the boundary operator in topology is that its behavior is akin to a derivative. But after ...
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### Galois Groups vs. Fundamental Groups

In a recent blog post Terry Tao mentions in passing that: "Class groups...are arithmetic analogues of the (abelianised) fundamental groups in topology, with Galois groups serving as the analogue of ...
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### Does the inverse function theorem hold for everywhere differentiable maps?

(This question was posed to me by a colleague; I was unable to answer it, so am posing it here instead.) Let $f: {\bf R}^n \to {\bf R}^n$ be an everywhere differentiable map, and suppose that at each ...