# 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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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Homotopy type of spaces of functions with few critical points

Given a closed manifold $M$ and an integer $k\geq 0$, let $G_k(M)$ denote the space of smooth functions $f:M\to\mathbb R$ with at most $k$ critical points. To what extend has the topology of the ...
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### Good introduction to Morse-Novikov theory?

Morse theory investigates the topology of compact manifolds using critical points of real-valued functions $f\colon\, M\to \mathbb{R}$. Motivated by problems in dynamical systems, Novikov (Multivalued ...
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### Null-homotopies in the space of framed functions on a surface

Let $M$ be a smooth manifold. Morse functions on $M$ are smooth functions $M \to \mathbb{R}$ with only very nice singularities. Fact: The space of Morse functions on $M$ is not, in general, ...
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### diameter as a Morse function

Consider the space $X_1$ of closed subsets not containing a pair of antipodal points of the unit circle. Here we have a kind of degenerate Morse function, defined by the diameter of the pointset. ...
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### Connections between spectral geometry and critical point/Morse theory

I am researching electrostatic knot theory, which is essentially the theory of harmonic functions on knot complements. I want to understand the number of critical points of the electric potential, ...
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### Parametrized cancelations in stable Morse theory

Let $B$ be a closed manifold. Let $\pi : M\to B$ be a submersion such that each fiber is a manifold without boundary. Let $f : M \to \mathbb{R}$ be a function such that the restrictions $f_x$ to each ...
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### Intersection of plus/minus cells in Bialynicki-Birula decomposition

Let $X$ be a projective variety endowed with an algebraic $\mathbb{C}^*$-action. Assume the fixed point set $W$ is discrete. Then we have two cell decompositions of $X$: $X = \bigsqcup_{w\in W} C_w$ ...
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### Is the deformation along flow lines a simple homotopy equivalence?

Let $(M,g)$ be a compact, smooth $n$-manifold with boundary $\partial M$ and let $f: M \to [a,b]$ be a Morse function, whose critical points are interior and which satisfies $f^{-1}(b) = \partial M$. ...
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### $A_{\infty}$ multiplications on Morse cochain complex

Can the higher order $A_{\infty}$ multiplications defined by Fukaya be made trivial(by perturbing gradient trees) when Morse cochain complex is isomorphic to Morse cohomology, in which case the cup ...
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### Gradient flows on Hilbert manifolds

I would like to know if gradient flows of Morse-Bott functions on a Riemannian manifold always converge towards a unique critical point, provided that the flow line is bounded. To be more precise, a ...
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### Elementary questions about Morse-Bott functions

Let $M$ be a manifold, $F$ be a Morse-Bott function, $c$ be a critical level, and $M_c$ be the corresponding critical submanifold. Let us assume that $M_c$ is connected, and the index of $M_c$ is ...
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### Existence of a perfect discrete Morse function

Let $X$ denote a regular cell structure on a closed (orientable) $n$-manifold (If it helps, the cells are polytopal and the attaching maps are affine). Recall that a discrete Morse function on this ...
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### Bott-Samelson construction of a perfect Morse function on G/T

An undergraduate student of mine is interested in writing a "senior" thesis on the topology of Lie groups. Let $G$ be a simply connected compact Lie group and $T$ a maximal torus. One way of ...
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### Smooth morse theory of Riemannian distance functions

Let $(M,g)$ be a Riemannian manifold, and $p\in M$. As $R>0$ increases, the topology of the ball $B(p,R)$ changes, but the changes happen only at a Lebesgue measure zero set of $R$. For instance, ...
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### Morse theory for pairs of submanifolds of complementary dimension

If you have a closed monotone symplectic manifold $M$, then to any pair of closed monotone Lagrangian submanifolds $L_1$, $L_2$ you can associate (modulo some bubbling assumptions) a $\mathbb{Z}_N$-...
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### Pullback of Morse form satisfies Palais Smale

Let $(\alpha,g)$ be a Morse-Smale pair on a closed smooth manifold $M$, i.e. $\alpha$ is a Morse form and $g$ a Riemannian metric on $M$ such that stable and unstable manifolds of the gradient vector ...
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### On unstable manifold and incidence number of Novikov complex

Novikov complex is an extension of Morse theory to (closed) Morse 1-form $\omega$, which is not necessarily exact. Suppose for simplicity, $\omega$ is in the integer cohomology class and the universal ...
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### Generic properties of Jacobians of smooth functions

Let $f = (f_1, \dotso, f_n):\mathbb{R}^n \to \mathbb{R}^n$ be a smooth map and let $J$ be its Jacobian (determinant of the matrix with $ij$-th entry $\partial_i f_j$). We introduce the zero sets of $J$...
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### Cap product for (co)homology from handle decompositions/Kirby diagrams

Since handle decompositions and Morse functions are intimately related, I'm imagining that a given explicit handle decomposition allows for an explicit description of the cellular complex and thus of (...
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### 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 ...
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### Topological version of two results in smooth Morse theory

Morse theory is generally presented in the DIFF category. However, there is a version of Morse theory in TOP (see the post Morse theory in TOP and PL categories? for references). It is well known ...
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### What mathematical background to i need in order to understand proofs of the h-cobordism theorem?

I am about to finish my undergraduate studies and I really enjoyed the topology and differential-geometry classes. I'd love to continue studying differentialtopology and i considered doing some ...
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### Existence of connections in a vector bundle whose parallel transport preserves a function on a total space

Let $p:E \to M$ be a vector bundle over a smooth manifold $M$, $M\times 0$ be the image of its zero section of $p$, $\mathcal{X}(M)$ be the space of vector fields on $M$, and $\Gamma(E)$ be the space ...
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### What's a completely computational/syntactical model for handle decompositions of manifolds?

Simplicial sets, CW complexes Simplicial sets can be described completely algebraically, by specifying a family of sets, and maps between them satisfying certain relations. This description can be ...
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### Is there a finite dimensional subcomplex of the Morse-Bott complex that computes the cohomology of a manifold?

In the paper Morse-Bott theory and equivariant cohomology, Austin and Braam built the Morse-Bott (geometric) complex which computes the de Rham cohomology of the manifold $M$ (this paper can be found ...
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### Decompositions from torus actions and compactness of (sub-)level sets

Let $T=\mathbb{C}^{*}$ act on a smooth complex quasi-projective variety $X$. Assume that the limit point $\lim_{t\to 0}t\cdot x$ exists for every $x\in X$. From the induced $U(1)$-action and its (...
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### Morse-Bott functions without critical manifolds of index 1 and n-1

I am now reading the article of M.F.Atiyah "Convexity and commuting hamiltonians" and I can't understand lemma 2.1. which says that if $\varphi \colon M \to \mathbb R$ is a Morse-Bott function without ...
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### Number of critical points of a smooth function

Are there any examples of closed manifolds with the property that the minimal number of critical points (possibly degenerate) of a smooth function on this manifold is strictly bigger than the stable ...
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### If $M$ is a globally symmetric space, do we need it to be compact to prove that all the critical submanifolds in $\Lambda M$ are nondegenerate?

In "The free loop space of globally symmetric spaces" by Ziller, he proves the following theorem: Theorem 2. For a globally symmetric space the critical submanifolds in $\Lambda M$ are all ...
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### Morse index in variational calculus

Let $f(t,x,v)$ be a smooth function on $\mathbb{R}\times \mathbb{R}^n\times \mathbb{R}^n$, $\mathcal{C}_{x,y}$ be the set of smooth paths $c:[0,1]\to \mathbb{R}^n$ with $c(0)=x,c(1)=y$, $E(c)$ be a ...
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### Perturbation of Morse functions at critical points leaving stable manifolds invariant

Let $f$ be a given Morse-Smale function $f$ on $\mathbb R^n$ with finite many critical points and sufficient growth at $\infty$ like $\langle x, f(x)\rangle \geq |x|$ (cp. MO120858). Is there a way ...
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### Transversality and isolated degenerate critical points

Maybe some of the following statements are not precise. Please correct them. Let $M$ be a compact smooth manifold. Let $f: M \to {\mathbb R}$ be a Morse function. Then a generic Riemannian metric $g$ ...
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### Is the Hessian almost everywhere nondegenerate?

Let $M$ be a complete Riemannian manifold. For a fixed point $p$ in $M$, the Riemannian distance to $p$ is denoted by $d_p$. Fix a strongly convex geodesic ball $B(o,R)$ in $M$ and some disjoint ...
Using the Sard-Smale theorem, it is relatively easy to show that Morse-Smale pairs on a manifold $M$ (i.e. pairs $(f,g)$ where $g$ is a metric on $M$, $f$ is a Morse function on $M$, and the stable/...