# 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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### 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 ...
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### Height function on 2-torus with only 3 critical points

It is well-known that a Morse function on $T^2$ has at least $4$ critical points, but also that there exist functions $f\colon T^2\to\mathbb R$ with only 3 critical points (the least possible number ...
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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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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### How does the Framed Function Theorem simplify Cerf Theory?

A handle decomposition of a manifold $M$ is a useful structure to carry around. It is induced by a Morse function $f\colon\, M\to \mathbb{R}$. How are two handle decompositions of $M$ related? The ...
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### Graphs, K-theory and combinatorial balls: conjectures

The following conjectures from Kapranov and Saito's Hidden Stasheff polytopes in algebraic K-theory and in the space of Morse functions aren't as well-known as they aught to be, so I'd like to state ...
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### Arithmetic Morse theory?

Is there any analogue of Morse theory in Number theory? Naive idea arising in my head is that defining a Morse function on scheme and find etale cohomology using that function. Since I'm not an expert ...
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### Can the constant rank theorem for smooth manifolds be generalized to nonconstant rank?

The constant rank theorem says that if $f\colon M→N$ is a smooth map whose rank equals some fixed $k≥0$ at any point of $M$, then, locally with respect to $M$ and $N$, the map $f$ assumes the easiest ...
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### 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 ...
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### Searching for an unabridged proof of “The Basic Theorem of Morse Theory”

Steven Smale labels the following statement "The Basic Theorem of Morse Theory" in A Survey of some Recent Developments in Differential Topology: Let f be a $C^\infty$ function on a closed manifold ...
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### How difficult is Morse theory on stacks?

The title is a little tongue-in-cheek, since I have a very particular question, but I don't know how to condense it into a pithy title. If you have suggestions, let me know. Suppose I have a Lie ...
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### Any algebraic substitute for Morse theory (and homology) in arbitrary characteristic?

As far as I know, Morse theory yields much information on the topology of smooth manifolds; in particular, it can be used to prove Artin's vanishing (that the singular cohomology of smooth complex ...
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### Conjugate points in Lie groups with left-invariant metrics

For any Lie group $G$ there exist many left-invariant Riemannian metrics, namely, one just takes any inner product on the tangent space at the identity $T_eG$ and then left translate it to the other ...
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### Morse theory in TOP and PL categories?

Apparently there are topological and piecewise linear versions of Morse theory. I would like to know of references that treat these topics. How is a Morse function defined for compact manifolds (with ...
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### Has Witten's perturbation on de Rham complex been studied on other elliptic complexes?

In his famous work, Supersymmetry and Morse theory, Witten perturbs de Rham complex by perturbing the exterior derivative $$d_h=e^{-ht}de^{ht}.$$ And he proves Morse inequality using some spectral ...
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### CW-structures and Morse functions: a reference request

The following is probably well known, but I wasn't able to locate a reference in the literature. Let $f$ be a Morse function on a smooth compact manifold $M$ without boundary and let $\rho$ be a ...
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### Nice'' metrics for a Morse gradient field: counterexample request

Ralph Cohen (professor at Stanford) is teaching a class on algebraic topology and moduli spaces this quarter, beginning by reviewing his perspective of Morse theory. He defined "nice" metrics, proved ...
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### Unstable manifolds of a Morse function give a CW complex

A coauthor of mine and I want to use the following innocent looking statement in a forthcoming paper: Statement. Let $M^{2n}$ be a compact manifold and let $f$ be a Morse function with critical ...
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### Constructing ($\infty, 1)$-category from Morse theory on a manifold

It is well known that a topological space is more or less the same as an $\infty$-groupoid. I'm wondering if there is an analogous construction which starts with a manifold endowed with Morse theory (...
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### Equivariant version of Morse theory

Is there some variant on Morse or Morse-Bott theory yielding equivariant (co)homology instead of singular homology? Any reference/idea would be greatly appreciated. Crossposted on StackExchange.
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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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### Nonisotopic homotopy equivalent Morse functions

One can cut a manifold up along the critical levels of a Morse function and deduce something about the topology. In particular the critical points (and the connecting gradient flowlines) define a ...
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### Yang-Mills and Chern-Simons functionals as Morse functions

Can the Yang-Mills or Chern-Simons action functionals be considered as [possibly perfect] Morse functions? I assume we would be in an equivariant scenario due to considering the configuration spaces ...
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### What are good Morse Theory lecture notes and books?

Searching on the net I couldnt find any recent lecture/course notes on Morse Theory. I found an old set of notes (http://www.math.toronto.edu/mgualt/Morse%20Theory/mfp.pdf) by Mike Hutchings and these ...
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### CW complex of iterated loop spaces

In Milnor's book Morse Theory, it is proved that the loop space $\Omega S^n$ of the n sphere has the homotopy type of a CW complex with one cell each in the dimensions 0, n-1, 2n-2, 3n-3, ... Or more ...
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### 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 ...
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### Most general context for the Morse Lemmas

Among the foundational results in differential topology are the Morse lemmas: Suppose that $f\colon\, M\to \mathbb{R}$ is a smooth function on a closed manifold M, that $f^{−1}[-\epsilon,\epsilon]$ ...
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### What is the analogue of a Lefschetz Thimble for Morse-Bott critical components (sets of non-isolated critical points)?

Small pre-face: I did an applied math PhD in the UK, but the problem I ended up studying has important ramifications in pure math, specifically to do with the Gauss-Manin connection in the presence of ...
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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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### 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 ...
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### Discrete Morse function from smooth one

Suppose I have a smooth manifold $M$ and a smooth Morse function $f$ on $M$. Is there a standard way to replace $M$ with a cell complex and $f$ with a discrete Morse function such the resulting ...
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### First order decidability of limit of gradient flow?

Let $f: \mathbb{R}^n\to\mathbb{R}$ be a polynomial function, and let $p$ be a critical point. Consider the ascending manifold $A_p$ consisting of all points whose limit under the gradient flow of $f$ ...
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### Is there a holomorphic Morse-Bott lemma?

It asks for a generalization of the question in the post Normal form for a holomorphic Morse function Suppose $f$ is a holomorphic function on a complex manifold $M$ which has Bott type critical ...
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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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### Morse number of the Poincaré homology sphere

What is the Morse number of the Poincaré homology sphere? What about the stable Morse number?
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### Relation between Morse Theory and integration against Euler Characteristic

I'm studying Robert Ghrist papers on integration against Euler Characteristic. I am particularly interested in the relation with Morse Theory. I am trying to understand the proof of Theorem 25.1 (page ...
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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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### Is there a Morse theory for sections of bundles or more generally for maps?

This question was prompted by my interpretation of a question by cosmologist Berian James. Background Some cosmologists have suggested using the cosmological dark matter density, which defines a ...
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### Intuition behind the Morse inequalities?

Forgive me if this is sort of a vague question, but can someone supply me with their intuition behind the Morse inequalities?
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### Why not develop a Hamiltonian-based Morse theory?

I have begun to learn the basics of Morse theory and Floer homology. I understand that Floer homology is the natural theory for symplectic manifolds, but from my preliminary knowledge of Morse theory ...
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### When is the determinant a Morse function?

This might be ridiculously obvious, but... For each $n \in \mathbb{N}$, let $M_n$ denote the manifold of $n \times n$ matrices with real entries. It is well known that the $n$-dimensional determinant ...
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### Regular CW complex arising from a Morse decomposition

Suppose $(M,g)$ is a Riemannian manifold equipped with a Morse function $f: M \rightarrow \mathbb R$. It's been shown that $f$ gives rise to a CW decomposition homeomorphic to $M$ under the generic ...
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### Notes for Bott's 1963 lectures on Morse theory

Would anybody happen to know where I could obtain a scanned version of Lectures on Morse theory - [revised and expanded version of notes of lectures delivered at Professor R. Bott's topology seminar ...
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### Stratification of smooth maps from R^n to R?

I'm interested in stratifications of smooth maps $\mathbb{R}^n\to\mathbb{R}$ (or more generally of any $n$-manifold $M^n\to\mathbb{R}$). The codimension 0 stratum should be Morse functions, and the ...