Questions tagged [open-problems]

If it turns out that a problem is equivalent to a known open problem, then the open-problem tag is added. After that, the question essentially becomes, "What is known about this problem? What are some possible ways to approach this problem? What are some ways that people have tried to attack it before, and with what results?"

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305
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105answers
66k views

Not especially famous, long-open problems which anyone can understand

Question: I'm asking for a big list of not especially famous, long open problems that anyone can understand. Community wiki, so one problem per answer, please. Motivation: I plan to use this list ...
44
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1answer
2k views

improving known bounds for Pierce expansions; cash prize

Here's a problem that I thought of back in 1978 or so, and only a little progress has been made on it since then. I still think about it from time to time, but probably not that many people have ...
7
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0answers
478 views

Limit cycles as closed geodesics(2)

Hilbert 16th problem asks for a uniform upper bound $H(n)$ for the number of limit cycles of a polynomial vector field of degree $n$ on the plane. Here is an updated proof of the ...
76
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11answers
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Is there a complex structure on the 6-sphere?

I don't know who first asked this question, but it's a question that I think many differential and complex geometers have tried to answer because it sounds so simple and fundamental. There are even a ...
73
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6answers
11k views

Can we cover the unit square by these rectangles?

The following question was a research exercise (i.e. an open problem) in R. Graham, D.E. Knuth, and O. Patashnik, "Concrete Mathematics", 1988, chapter 1. It is easy to show that $$\sum_{1 \leq k } (...
33
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5answers
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Are nontrivial integer solutions known for $x^3+y^3+z^3=3$?

The Diophantine equation $$x^3+y^3+z^3=3$$ has four easy integer solutions: $(1,1,1)$ and the three permutations of $(4,4,-5)$. Elsenhans and Jahnel wrote in 2007 that these were all the solutions ...
14
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2answers
663 views

Is a smooth closed surface in Euclidean 3-space rigid?

Classical theorem of Cohn-Vossen: A closed convex surface in Euclidean 3-space cannot be deformed isometrically. Robert Connelly found an example of a polyhedral surface that can be deformed ...
11
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0answers
517 views

Hilbert 16th problem and dynamical Lefschetz trace formula

I would like to apply the known version of the conjectural formula (11) page !0 of the paper Number theory and dynamical Lefschetz trace formula. Disclaimer: I do not have a complete ...
460
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2answers
42k views

Polynomial bijection from $\mathbb Q\times\mathbb Q$ to $\mathbb Q$?

Is there any polynomial $f(x,y)\in{\mathbb Q}[x,y]{}$ such that $f\colon\mathbb{Q}\times\mathbb{Q} \rightarrow\mathbb{Q}$ is a bijection?
154
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30answers
28k views

Proposals for polymath projects

Background Polymath projects are a form of open Internet collaboration aimed towards a major mathematical goal, usually to settle a major mathematical problem. This is a concept introduced in 2009 by ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Integer-distance sets

Let $S$ be a set of points in $\mathbb{R}^d$; I am especially interested in $d=2$. Say that $S$ is an integer-distance set if every pair of points in $S$ is separated by an integer Euclidean distance. ...
4
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0answers
393 views

Limit cycles of quadratic systems and closed geodesics(Finitness of $H(2)$)

This question is inspired by this answer to the question Finding a 1-form adapted to a smooth flow. Assume that $V$ is a polynomial vector field of degree $2$ as follows:$$\begin{cases} x'=P(...
50
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14answers
14k views

Open problems in Euclidean geometry?

What are some (research level) open problems in Euclidean geometry ? (Edit: I ask just out of curiosity, to understand how -and if- nowadays this is not a "dead" field yet) I should clarify a bit ...
67
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1answer
4k views

Nontrivial finite group with trivial group homologies?

I stumbled across this question in a seminar-paper a long time ago: Does there exist a positive integer $N$ such that if $G$ is a finite group with $\bigoplus_{i=1}^NH_i(G)=0$ then $G=\lbrace 1\...
40
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12answers
2k views

Can a discrete set of the plane of uniform density intersect all large triangles?

Let S be a discrete subset of the Euclidean plane such that the number of points in a large disc is approximately equal to the area of the disc. Does the complement of S necessarily contain triangles ...
23
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7answers
4k views

Convex hull in CAT(0)

Let $X$ be complete $\mathop{CAT}(0)$-space and $K\subset X$ be a compact subset. Is it true that convex hull of $K$ is compact? Comments: Convex hull of $K$ = intersection of all closed convex sets ...
37
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5answers
2k views

Surfaces filled densely by a geodesic

Which smooth, closed surfaces $S \subset \mathbb{R}^3$ have no single geodesic $\gamma$ that fills $S$ densely? Say a geodesic $\gamma$ "fills $S$ densely" if the closure of the set of points ...
30
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4answers
2k views

Are most cubic plane curves over the rationals elliptic?

%This is a new version of the original question modified in the light of the answers and comments. The word 'most' in the title is ambiguous. The following is one way of making it precise. Question1:...
37
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3answers
1k views

Is the fixed point property for posets preserved by products?

Recall that a partially ordered set (poset) $P$ has the fixed point property (FPP) if any order preserving function $f:P\longrightarrow P$ has a fixed point. Theorem. Suppose $P$ and $Q$ are posets ...
22
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0answers
926 views

Given a lattice L with n elements, are there finite groups H < G such that L $\cong$ the lattice of subgroups between H and G?

If there is no restriction on $n$, this is a famous open problem. I'm wondering if any recent work has been done for small $n>6$. I believe the question is answered (positively) for $n=6$ by ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Minimal graphs with a prescribed number of spanning trees

As its long ago since Erdős died and mathoverflow is the second best alternative to him (for discussing personal problems), I'd like to start a fruitful discussion about the following problem ...
2
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2answers
524 views

If all real conjugacy classes are strongly real, then all real irreps are “strongly real”(symmetric), true?

Question Is true that if all real conjugacy classes of a finite group are strongly real, then all its real irreducible representations (irreps) are "strongly real" (symmetric)? And vice versa? ...
12
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1answer
608 views

A maximal element, where Schur gives a minimal element

Let me recall a result due to I. Schur, which I learnt from F. Goldberg's answer to my MO question Hadamard-like inequalites for positive definite symmetric matrices. If $H$ is a subgroup of $\frak ...
5
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0answers
432 views

Forcing with c.c.c forcing notions, Cohen reals and Random reals

I think the following question is due to Prikry: Question. Is it consistent that any non-trivial c.c.c forcing notion adds a Cohen real or a Random real? Is the question still open? What partial ...
180
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8answers
10k views

Two commuting mappings in the disk

Suppose that $f$ and $g$ are two commuting continuous mappings from the closed unit disk (or, if you prefer, the closed unit ball in $R^n$) to itself. Does there always exist a point $x$ such that $f(...
96
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13answers
34k views

What are the big problems in probability theory?

Most branches of mathematics have big, sexy famous open problems. Number theory has the Riemann hypothesis and the Langlands program, among many others. Geometry had the Poincaré conjecture for a long ...
52
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11answers
14k views

What are some open problems in algebraic geometry?

What are the open big problems in algebraic geometry and vector bundles? More specifically, I would like to know what are interesting problems related to moduli spaces of vector bundles over ...
118
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4answers
9k views

If $2^x $and $3^x$ are integers, must $x$ be as well?

I'm fascinated by this open problem (if it is indeed still that) and every few years I try to check up on its status. Some background: Let $x$ be a positive real number. If $n^x$ is an integer for ...
106
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0answers
5k views

Why polynomials with coefficients $0,1$ like to have only factors with $0,1$ coefficients?

Conjecture. Let $P(x),Q(x) \in \mathbb{R}[x]$ be two monic polynomials with non-negative coefficients. If $R(x)=P(x)Q(x)$ is $0,1$ polynomial (coefficients only from $\{0,1\}$), then $P(x)$ and $Q(x)$ ...
40
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2answers
6k views

Open problems/questions in representation theory and around?

What are open problems in representation theory? What are the sources (books/papers/sites) discussing this? Any kinds of problems/questions are welcome - big/small, vague/concrete. Some estimation ...
68
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16answers
4k views

Important open problems that have already been reduced to a finite but infeasible amount of computation

Most open problems, when formalized, naturally involve quantification over infinite sets, thereby obviating the possibility, even in principle, of "just putting it on a computer." Some questions (e.g....
44
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3answers
2k views

Shortest closed curve to inspect a sphere

Let $S$ be a sphere in $\mathbb{R}^3$. Let $C$ be a closed curve in $\mathbb{R}^3$ disjoint from and exterior to $S$ which has the property that every point $x$ on $S$ is visible to some point $y$ of $...
43
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5answers
4k views

Is Lebesgue's “universal covering” problem still open?

The following problem has been attributed to Lebesgue. Let "set" denote any subset of the Euclidean plane. What is the greatest lower bound of the diameter of any set which contains a subset congruent ...
23
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2answers
3k views

Are there Ricci-flat riemannian manifolds with generic holonomy?

This may well be an open problem, I'm not sure. In Berger's classification (refined by Simons, Alekseevsky, Bryant,...) of the holonomy representations of irreducible non-symmetric complete simply-...
58
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1answer
1k views

Which region in the plane with a given area has the most domino tilings?

I just finished teaching a class in combinatorics in which I included a fairly easy upper bound on the number of domino tilings of a region in the plane as a function of its area. So this led to ...
36
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4answers
2k views

Does there exist a comprehensive compilation of Erdos's open problems?

Fan Chung and Ron Graham's book Erdos on Graphs: His Legacy of Unsolved Problems (A. K. Peters, 1998) collects together all of Erdos's open problems in graph theory that they could find into a single ...
15
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10answers
4k views

Not especially famous, long-open problems which higher mathematics beginners can understand

This is a pair to Not especially famous, long-open problems which anyone can understand So this time I'm asking for open questions so easy to state for students of subjects such as undergraduate ...
26
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3answers
5k views

Work on independence of pi and e

It is an open problem to prove that $\pi$ and $e$ are algebraically independent over $\mathbb{Q}$. What are some of the important results leading toward proving this? What are the most promising ...
46
votes
2answers
1k views

Local structure of rational varieties

I've been asked this question by a colleague who's not an algebraic geometer; we both feel that the answer should be "no", but I don't have a clue how to prove it. Here's the question: let $X$ be a ...
21
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2answers
2k views

unboundedness of number of integral points on elliptic curves?

If $E/\mathbf{Q}$ is an elliptic curve and we put it into minimal Weierstrass form, we can count how many integral points it has. A theorem of Siegel tells us that this number $n(E)$ is finite, and ...
24
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7answers
7k views

Solving NP problems in (usually) Polynomial time?

Just because a problem is NP-complete doesn't mean it can't be usually solved quickly. The best example of this is probably the traveling salesman problem, for which extraordinarily large instances ...
21
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3answers
1k views

Periodic Automorphism Towers

In Scott's classic textbook on Group Theory, he asks: Suppose that $G$ is a finite group. Is the sequence of isomorphism types of the groups $Aut^{(n)}(G)$ for $n \in \mathbb{N}$ eventually periodic? ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Transcendentality of all irrationals in the Cantor set

Hi, I am a student researcher trying to prove that all irrationals within the Cantor set are transcendental. This is grounded, intuitively, in Cantor set members' being non-normal; since algebraic ...
32
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0answers
994 views

Converse of the Archimedean property of the sphere

In his remarkable book On the Sphere and Cylinder, where he came tantalizingly close to discovering calculus, Archimedes showed that the area of the portion of the sphere contained between a pair of ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Is $\varliminf_{n \rightarrow +\infty} |n \sin n| = 0$ correct, where $n$ is an integer?

Is it true that $\varliminf_{n \rightarrow +\infty} |n \sin n| = 0$, where $n$ runs over the integers? The existence of the limes inferior follows from Dirichlet's approximation theorem, but the ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Is the Steiner ratio Gilbert–Pollak conjecture still open?

Gilbert-Pollak conjecture on the Steiner ratio: Consider a set $P$ of $n$ points on the euclidean plane. A shortest network interconnecting $P$ must be a tree, which is called a Steiner minimum ...
14
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3answers
606 views

Kaplansky's 6th conjecture: dim(Irrep) | dim(algebra) - for semi-simple Hopf algebras

Let $H$ be a semisimple Hopf algebra. One of the Kaplansky's conjectures states that the dimension of any irreducible $H$-module divides the dimension of $H$. In which cases the conjecture is known ...
13
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0answers
2k views

3-piece dissection of square to equilateral triangle?

At a workshop it was suggested that it likely remains an open problem whether or not there is a 3- or 2 -piece dissection of a square to an equilateral triangle. Can anyone confirm that this is ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Re: Mordell's Equation $y^2 = x^3 + k$ and Perfect Numbers

I have already tried a somewhat exhaustive search of the literature, but couldn't find anything close to the problem that I am working on. My question is: When does Mordell's Equation $$y^2 = x^3 +...
3
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0answers
759 views

Automorphisms of the L-function associated to an elliptic $\mathbb{Q}$-curve

Edited after Noam Elkies' comment: From what I understand (very few actually), there exist elliptic curves defined over some number fields $\mathbb{K}$ Galois over $\mathbb{Q}$ which are isogenous to ...