Questions tagged [morse-theory]

In differential topology, Morse theory enables one to analyze the topology of a manifold by studying differentiable functions on that manifold.

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51
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3answers
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Operations via Morse Theory

I am interested in seeing if and how Morse Theory can "do everything". Some core things are handle decomposition, Bott periodicity, and Euler characteristic. But what do the normal (co)homology ...
27
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2answers
3k views

The difference between a handle decomposition and a CW decomposition

Let $M$ be a compact finite-dimensional smooth manifold. I have a question about the relationship between the statements that a Morse function induces a handle decomposition for $M$, and that it ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a Morse theory proof of the Bruhat decomposition?

Let $G$ be a complex connected Lie group, $B$ a Borel subgroup and $W$ the Weyl group. The Bruhat decomposition allows us to write $G$ as a union $\bigcup_{w \in W} BwB$ of cells given by double ...
25
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2answers
3k views

Level sets of Morse functions

Every compact two dimensional manifold admits a Morse function such that any its regular level set is at most two circles. I am interested in a generalization of that phenomenon. Does there exist a ...
20
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2answers
921 views

Is there a discrete Cerf theory?

Towards the end of the 1990's, Robin Forman developed a discrete version of Morse theory, which concerns maps from a simplicial complex to $\mathbb{R}$ satisfying a combinatorial analogue to the ...
12
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1answer
462 views

Easiest example where pseudo-isotopy fails to be the same as isotopy?

This question concerns diffeomorphism of manifolds. Let $f: M \to M$ be a self-diffeomorphism. We will say that it is isotopic to the identity if there is a continuous one-parameter family of ...
11
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2answers
583 views

Existence of Morse functions on simply connected manifolds

Is it true that any simply connected closed manifold possesses a Morse functions that does not have critical points of index one? If the dimension is at least 5, this is a consequence of the results ...
7
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2answers
431 views

Generalizations of the handle trading techniques

As Theorem 8.1 in "Lectures on the h-cobordism theorem (written by J.Milnor)" show, we can choose a handle decomposition of cobordism (satisfying some connectivity and dimensional assumptions) with no ...
6
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1answer
623 views

Is the space of gradient-like vector fields contractible?

Let $M$ be a compact manifold (without boundary) and let $f:M\to \mathbb{R}$ be a fixed Morse-function. Question: Is the space $GVect(M,f)$ of all gradient-like vector-fields for $f$ contractible ...
6
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1answer
156 views

Stable manifolds of a sequence of Morse functions

Let $\ f_n \ $ be a sequence of Morse functions on $\mathbb{R}^d$, adequately converging (in the $C^2$-topology, say) to a limit Morse function $\ f$: $$ f_n \to f \ .$$ At any critical point $\ p\ $...
4
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0answers
91 views

Cylindrical Decomposition vs Morse decomposition

Suppose I have a polynomial Morse function $f: \mathbb{R}^n \to \mathbb{R}$. Consider the ideal $I(\nabla f)$ generated by the partial derivatives $\partial_i f$, and assume that the real zero-set of ...