Questions tagged [gt.geometric-topology]

Topology of cell complexes and manifolds, classification of manifolds (e.g. smoothing, surgery), low dimensional topology (e.g. knot theory, invariants of 4-manifolds), embedding theory, combinatorial and PL topology, geometric group theory, infinite dimensional topology (e.g. Hilbert cube manifolds, theory of retracts).

664 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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39
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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 ...
38
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1k 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 $\mathrm{TOP}(4)/\mathrm{PL}(...
36
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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. ...
30
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474 views

Metrics on the 3-sphere with knotted geodesics

According to answers to this question every metrics on $S^3$ admits a simple closed geodesic. Given a knot (or link) $K$, it's also quite simple to build a metric on $S^3$ such that $K$ is a geodesic (...
28
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Do there exist exotic 4-tori?

More precisely: are there known manifolds which are homeomorphic, but not diffeomorphic to the standard 4-torus? Are there any nice invariants distinguishing such manifolds? Related: if such a ...
24
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1k views

Exotic 4-spheres and the Tate-Shafarevich Group

The title is a talk given by Sir M. Atiyah in a conference with the following abstract: I will explain a deep analogy between 4-dimensional smooth geometry (Donaldson theory)...
23
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901 views

Concordance and homology cobordism

If two knots $K_1$ and $K_2$ in $S^3$ are smoothly concordant, then for any rational number $r$, the $r$-surgeries $S^3_r(K_1)$ and $S^3_r(K_2)$ are homology cobordant. Is the converse true? What if $...
22
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582 views

Smooth thickenings of non-smoothable manifolds

It is known that any closed topological manifold is homotopy equivalent to an open smooth manifold. Question 1. What can be said about the smallest dimension of a smooth manifold that is homotopy ...
22
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753 views

Monoid structure of oriented manifolds with connect sum

Take the class of all compact, connected, boundaryless, smooth oriented $n$-dimensional manifolds, each taken up to orientation-preserving diffeomorphism. This is a commutative monoid with operation ...
22
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1k views

Boundaries of noncompact contractible manifolds

It is known that a manifold $B$ bounds a compact contractible topological manifold if and only if $B$ is a homology sphere. The "only if" direction follows by excising a small ball in the interior of ...
20
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469 views

Is the mapping class group of $\Bbb{CP}^n$ known?

In his paper "Concordance spaces, higher simple homotopy theory, and applications", Hatcher calcuates the smooth, PL, and topological mapping class groups of the $n$-torus $T^n$. This requires an ...
20
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438 views

Topological description of inverting a knot

The first figure shows an offset overhand knot. To tie it, you simply bring the two cords together and make an overhand knot in them. It's more secure than it looks, and several climbers have been ...
20
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523 views

The oriented homeomorphism problem for Haken 3-manifolds

Haken famously described an algorithm to solve the homeomorphism problem for the 3-manifolds that bear his name (fleshed out by many others, including Hemion and Matveev who fixed some gaps). But it'...
19
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529 views

Is there a simpler proof of the key lemma in the paper by Hiroshi Iriyeh and Masataka Shibata on the 3D Mahler conjecture?

In this remarkable paper 30 pages are occupied by the proof of the following innocently looking lemma: Let $K$ be an origin-symmetric convex body in $\mathbb R^3$. There exist three planes through ...
19
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500 views

Homeomorphisms of the sphere mapping a geodesic triangulation to another one

Consider the standard Riemannian 2-sphere $S$, equipped with a geodesic triangulation $T$. Let $L(S,T)$ be the space of homeomorphisms of $S$ which map $T$ to a geodesic triangulation. What is the ...
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787 views

Which manifolds decompose into pants?

In this nice paper Mikhalkin uses certain (more geometrical than algebraic) aspects of tropical geometry to prove that every complex projective hypersurface in $\mathbb C \mathbb P ^n$ decomposes as a ...
19
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540 views

Polynomials with roots in convex position

Let $\mathcal P_n$ denote the set of all monic polynomials of degree $n$ with real or complex coefficients such that $P\in\mathcal P_n$ if for all $k\in\lbrace 0,1,\dots,n-2\rbrace$ the $n-k$ roots of ...
18
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279 views

“High-concept” explanation for proof of a theorem of Ochanine?

See Akhil Mathew's notes on Ochanine's theorem for elliptic genera here and here. Let $\phi: \Omega_{SO} \to \Lambda$ be a genus. We might ask when $\phi$ satisfies the following multiplicative ...
18
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329 views

What do tangles teach us about braids?

A braid is a smooth level-preserving embedding $f\colon\, \{1,2,\ldots,n\}\times[0,1]\hookrightarrow \mathbb{R}^2 \times [0,1]$ such that $f(k,0)=(k,0)$ and $f(k,1) \in \{1,2,\ldots,n\} \times \{1\}$....
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816 views

Almost complex 4-manifolds with a “holomorphic” vector field

Main question. What is the class of smooth orientable 4-dimensional manifolds that admit an almost complex structure $J$ and a vector field v, that preserves $J$? The following sub question is ...
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310 views

What is the centralizer of a Coxeter element?

Let $(W,S)$ be a Coxeter system (of finite rank) and $c \in W$ a Coxeter element. If $W$ is finite, then the centralizer $C_W(c)$ is the cyclic group generated by $c$ (e.g. see the book "Reflection ...
17
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746 views

Horrible sets and blowups in Hubbard's Teichmuller theory

Edit: I can rephrase this question this way: When blowing up every point in the $x$-axis in $\mathbb{C}^2$ by means of an inverse limit of finite blowups, how can anything be 'left over'? The horrible ...
16
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590 views

Are these local systems on $\mathscr{M}_{g,1}$ motivic?

Let $(\Sigma_g, x)$ be a pointed topological surface of genus $g$, and let $MCG(g,1)$ be the mapping class group of this pointed surface. Then $MCG(g,1)$ has a natural action on $\pi_1(\Sigma_g, x)$ $$...
16
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288 views

Finitely generated groups with Hölder-exotic space of ends?

The space of ends of a finitely generated group is always homeomorphic to 0, 1, 2 points, or a Cantor set, and in which of these 4 cases it falls is governed by Stallings' characterization (wikipedia ...
16
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369 views

Do TQFTs give a complete set of invariants of manifolds?

An $n$-dimensional TQFT is a representation of the category $n$Cob of $n$-dimensional cobordisms. TQFTs are important sources of invariants of manifolds, and such invariants are highly computable by ...
15
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564 views

What is the determinant of Poincaré duality?

For a complex $C^{\bullet}$ of finite dimensional vector spaces, one has a determinant $$|C^\bullet|:= \bigotimes \left(\Lambda^{top} C^i\right)^{(-1)^i}$$ functorial with respect to quasi-...
15
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559 views

Does every connected set that is not a line segment cross some dyadic square?

A dyadic square is a subset of $R^2$ of the form $x + 2^{-n} [0,1]^2$ with $x \in 2^{-m} Z^2$, for integers $m,n \geq 0$. We say that a set $A$ crosses a square $S$ if there exists a connected subset ...
15
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399 views

Asymptotics for the number of triangulations of a manifold M

In Gromov's talk at the Clay Math Research from 23:23 to 25:55 Gromov says (slightly paraphrased) I want to emphasize a problem which comes from mathematical physics which is unsolved which is ...
14
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176 views

Hauptvermutung for non-manifolds

The Hauptvermutung proposes the following: if two finite simplicial complexes are homeomorphic then they are PL-homeomorphic, meaning that they have a common refinement. People are mostly interested ...
14
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234 views

Are there exotic twisted doubles of 4-manifolds?

Take a smooth 4-manifold $X$ whose boundary has a diffeomorphism $\tau: \partial X \to \partial X$ that extends to a homeomorphism but not a diffeomorphism of $X$. (By Matveyev and Curtis-Freedman-...
14
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291 views

Are there Alexander-Whitney maps in geometric homology?

When $X$ is a smooth manifold, Lipyanskiy defines a chain complex whose homology is isomorphic to singular homology - let's say $GC_*(X)$ - generated by maps $\sigma: M \to X$ from compact $k$-...
14
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223 views

Is the group $\operatorname{Diff}^1_0(\mathbb R^d)$ connected?

Is the group $$ \operatorname{Diff}^1_0(\mathbb R^d) = \operatorname{Diff}^1(\mathbb R^d) \cap \big(\operatorname{Id}_{\mathbb R^d} + C^1_0(\mathbb R^d,\mathbb R^d)\big) $$ connected? Here $$ C^1_0(\...
14
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728 views

Connected sum is well-defined for surfaces, proof?

EDIT: So my question is distinct from the question asked here because I am asking an easier question. Why should we have to invoke something as powerful as the "Annulus Theorem" to show that the ...
13
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229 views

A geometric interpretation of the odd-primary Kervaire elements

Let $\Omega^\mathrm{fr}_\ast \cong \pi_\ast S$ denote the graded ring of cobordism classes of framed manifolds, which, by the Pontryagin-Thom construction, is isomorphic (as a graded ring) to the ...
13
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300 views

Log symplectic vortex equations in Hamiltonian log GW theory

Hamiltonian Gromov-Witten theory(see Mundet-Tian paper) corresponds to a new type of Symplectic vortex equations: Such type of models gives a connection to Hitchin-Kobayashi correspondence and Floer ...
13
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149 views

Is there a Handle Approximation theorem?

The cellular approximation theorem states that given a continuous map between two CW complexes $f : X \to Y$, then $f$ is homotopic to a cellular map - that is some map $f'$ with $f'(X_n) \subset Y_n$ ...
13
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reference - Grothendieck on Thurston's work

In his 'dernières' years Grothendieck gets "interested" in Thurston's work. "[...] je me suis intéressé ces dernières années - la géométrie hyperbolique à la Thurston et ses relations au groupe de ...
13
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300 views

Structure of Gordian graph of knots

The Gordian graph of knots has the knot isotopy classes as it's vertices, and an edge whenever you can pass from one knot to a other via a "finger move", equivalently if for some diagram of the knot ...
13
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423 views

Aspherical manifold and non-positive curvature

If the fundamental group of a smooth closed aspherical manifold is a hyperbolic group, does that manifold admit a metric with non-positive sectional curvature? If not, what's the obstruction to ...
13
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327 views

What is the cup-product structure like on a hyperbolic 5-manifold?

Let $X$ be a hyperbolic 5-manifold. Can there be any class in $H^2(X;\mathbf{Z})$ that is torsion and whose square in $H^4(X;\mathbf{Z})$ is not zero? For example, are there hyperbolic 5-manifolds ...
13
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438 views

pizza lemma (topology)

given six real-analytic arcs in the unit disk $D$, each of which connects the origin to a boundary point, and no two arcs meet anywhere except at the origin, and the arcs meet at equal (60 degree) ...
13
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0answers
361 views

Which spherical space forms embed in $S^4$?

Is there any hope of getting a classification of which 3-dimensional spherical space forms are smoothly embeddable in $S^4$? I read that lens spaces cannot embed in $S^4$, but some other spherical ...
13
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0answers
513 views

Approximating homeomorphisms of 2-disk by diffeomorphisms

Any homeomorphism of a compact surface can be approximated by diffeomorphisms. Is there a parametrized version of this result, where the parameter space is an $n$-disk? In other words, if $S$ is a ...
13
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0answers
329 views

rigidity of representations of dehn fillings on the figure eight knot

Consider a Dehn filling of the figure eight knot with coprime parameters (p,q) denoted by M. I am interested in the representation space of M in $SU_2$. I wonder wether all such representations are ...
12
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0answers
376 views

The $\infty$-category of $n$-manifolds and open embeddings determined homotopically from that of topological manifolds?

Let $\mathrm{Diff}_n$, $\mathrm{PL}_n$, $\mathrm{Top}_n$ denote the $\infty$-categories of $n$-manifolds which are respectively smooth/PL/topological, and open embeddings (for instance by taking the ...
12
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0answers
115 views

Finite list of neighborhoods to approximate any finite simplicial complex

It is easy to see that any (locally finite) graph is homotopy-equivalent to a trivalent graph. Moreover, this can be achieved by a local construction - take neighborhoods of vertices of degree $> 3$...
12
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0answers
225 views

Counter example to lifting contractibility of a topological space

I'm looking for a simple example of an open proper continuous map between topological spaces $\varphi:X\to Y$ such that : $Y$ is contractible and locally contractible ; for any $y\in Y$, $\varphi^{-1}...
12
votes
0answers
218 views

If two group actions lead to the same orbifold, are they conjugate?

In The Geometry and Topology of Three-Manifolds, Thurston says: "In these examples, it was not hard to construct the quotient space from the group action. In order to go in the opposite direction, we ...
12
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0answers
221 views

Define the 3d Chern-Simons TQFT on a discrete simplicial complex

Question: What is the challenge and the current status to define the 3d Chern-Simons(-Witten) (CSW) theory on a simplicial complex or on a discrete lattice? (Or is there a no-go or an obstruction ...
12
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0answers
191 views

Simply connected homology cobordisms

I'm looking for interesting examples of a homology 3-sphere $Y$ for which there exists a smooth, simply connected homology cobordism from $Y$ to itself (or simply to another homology 3-sphere $Y'$, ...

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