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109
votes
0answers
9k views

Grothendieck-Teichmuller conjecture

(1) In "Esquisse d'un programme", Grothendieck conjectures Grothendieck-Teichmuller conjecture: the morphism $$ G_{\mathbb{Q}} \longrightarrow Aut(\widehat{T}) $$ is an isomorphism. Here $G_{\...
78
votes
0answers
5k views

Volumes of Sets of Constant Width in High Dimensions

Background The n dimensional Euclidean ball of radius 1/2 has width 1 in every direction. Namely, when you consider a pair of parallel tangent hyperplanes in any direction the distance between them ...
71
votes
0answers
11k views

Hironaka's proof of resolution of singularities in positive characteristics

Recent publication of Hironaka seems to provoke extended discussions, like Atiyah's proof of almost complex structure of $S^6$ earlier... Unlike Atiyah's paper, Hironaka's paper does not have a ...
67
votes
0answers
2k views

Converse to Euclid's fifth postulate

There is a fascinating open problem in Riemannian Geometry which I would like to advertise here because I do not think that it is as well-known as it deserves to be. Euclid's famous fifth postulate, ...
67
votes
0answers
2k views

Topological cobordisms between smooth manifolds

Wall has calculated enough about the cobordism ring of oriented smooth manifolds that we know that two oriented smooth manifolds are oriented cobordant if and only if they have the same Stiefel--...
64
votes
0answers
3k views

2, 3, and 4 (a possible fixed point result ?)

The question below is related to the classical Browder-Goehde-Kirk fixed point theorem. Let $K$ be the closed unit ball of $\ell^{2}$, and let $T:K\rightarrow K$ be a mapping such that $\Vert Tx-Ty\...
60
votes
0answers
2k views

The exponent of Ш of $y^2 = x^3 + px$, where $p$ is a Fermat prime

For $d$ a non-zero integer, let $E_d$ be the elliptic curve $$ E_d : y^2 = x^3+dx. $$ When we let $d$ be $p = 2^{2^k}+1$, for $k \in \{1,2,3,4\}$, sage tells us that, conditionally on BSD, $$ \# Ш(E_p)...
57
votes
0answers
3k views

Normalizers in symmetric groups

Question: Let $G$ be a finite group. Is it true that there is a subgroup $U$ inside some symmetric group $S_n$, such that $N(U)/U$ is isomorphic to $G$? Here $N(U)$ is the normalizer of $U$ in $S_n$. ...
56
votes
0answers
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 ...
55
votes
0answers
3k views

Constructing non-torsion rational points (over Q) on elliptic curves of rank > 1

Consider an elliptic curve $E$ defined over $\mathbb Q$. Assume that the rank of $E(\mathbb Q)$ is $\geq2$. (Assume the Birch-Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture if needed, so that analytic rank $=$ algebraic ...
53
votes
0answers
1k views

Dualizing the Notion of Topological Space

$\require{AMScd}$ Defining a topological space on a set $X$ is equivalent to designating certain subobjects of $X$ in ${\bf Set}$ (monomorphisms into $X$ up to equivalence) as open. The requirements ...
50
votes
1answer
3k views

(Approximately) bijective proof of $\zeta(2)=\pi^2/6$ ?

Given $A,B\in {\Bbb Z}^2$, write $A \leftrightarrows B$ if the interior of the line segment AB misses ${\Bbb Z}^2$. For $r>0$, define $S_r:=\{ \{A, B\} | A,B\in {\Bbb Z}^2,||A||<r,||B||<r, |...
48
votes
0answers
1k views

What did Gelfand mean by suggesting to study “Heredity Principle” structures instead of categories?

Israel Gelfand wrote in his remarkable talk "Mathematics as an adequate language (a few remarks)", given at "The Unity of Mathematics" Conference in honor of his 90th birthday, the following ...
48
votes
0answers
1k views

Are there periodicity phenomena in manifold topology with odd period?

The study of $n$-manifolds has some well-known periodicities in $n$ with period a power of $2$: $n \bmod 2$ is important. Poincaré duality implies that odd-dimensional compact oriented manifolds ...
48
votes
0answers
2k views

To what extent does Spec R determine Spec of the Witt vector ring over R?

Let $R$ be a perfect $\mathbb{F}_p$-algebra and write $W(R)$ for the Witt ring [i.e., ring of Witt vectors -- PLC] on $R$. I want to know how much we can deduce about $\text{Spec } W(R)$ from ...
46
votes
0answers
13k views

Atiyah's May 2018 paper on the 6-sphere

A couple years ago Atiyah published a claimed proof that $S^6$ has no complex structure. I've heard murmurs and rumors that there are problems with the argument, but just a couple months ago he ...
45
votes
0answers
10k views

Atiyah's paper on complex structures on $S^6$

M. Atiyah has posted a preprint on arXiv on the non-existence of complex structure on the sphere $S^6$. https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.09366 It relies on the topological $K$-theory $KR$ and in ...
44
votes
0answers
2k views

Uniformization over finite fields?

The following is a question I've been asking people on and off for a few years, mostly out of idle curiosity, though I think it's pretty interesting. Since I've made more or less no progress, I ...
44
votes
0answers
2k views

Grothendieck's Period Conjecture and the missing p-adic Hodge Theories

Singular cohomology and algebraic de Rham cohomology are both functors from the category of smooth projective algebraic varieties over $\mathbb Q$ to $\mathbb Q$-vectors spaces. They come with the ...
44
votes
0answers
2k views

Set-theoretic reformulation of the invariant subspace problem

The invariant subspace problem (ISP) for Hilbert spaces asks whether every bounded linear operator $A$ on $l^2$ (with complex scalars) must have a closed invariant subspace other than $\{0\}$ and $l^2$...
44
votes
0answers
795 views

Class function counting solutions of equation in finite group: when is it a virtual character?

Let $w=w(x_1,\dots,x_n)$ be a word in a free group of rank $n$. Let $G$ be a finite group. Then we may define a class function $f=f_w$ of $G$ by $$ f_w(g) = |\{ (x_1,\dots, x_n)\in G^n\mid w(x_1,\dots,...
44
votes
0answers
1k views

Does every triangle-free graph with maximum degree at most 6 have a 5-colouring?

A very specific case of Reed's Conjecture Reed's $\omega$,$\Delta$, $\chi$ conjecture proposes that every graph has $\chi \leq \lceil \tfrac 12(\Delta+1+\omega)\rceil$. Here $\chi$ is the chromatic ...
43
votes
2answers
4k views

Why “open immersion” rather than “open embedding”?

When topologists speak of an "immersion", they are quite deliberately describing something that is not necessarily an "embedding." But I cannot think of any use of the word "embedding" in algebraic ...
42
votes
0answers
985 views

Enriched Categories: Ideals/Submodules and algebraic geometry

While working through Atiyah/MacDonald for my final exams I realized the following: The category(poset) of ideals $I(A)$ of a commutative ring A is a closed symmetric monoidal category if endowed ...
41
votes
0answers
647 views

How many algebraic closures can a field have?

Assuming the axiom of choice given a field $F$, there is an algebraic extension $\overline F$ of $F$ which is algebraically closed. Moreover, if $K$ is a different algebraic extension of $F$ which is ...
41
votes
0answers
15k views

What is the current understanding regarding complex structures on the 6-sphere?

In October 2016, Atiyah famously posted a preprint to the arXiv, "The Non-Existent Complex 6-Sphere" containing a very brief proof $S^6$ admits no complex structure, which I immediately read and ...
40
votes
0answers
3k views

Example of a compact set that isn't the spectrum of an operator

This question is somewhat ill-posed (due to the word easy) and is triggered by idle curiosity: Is there an easy example of a (separable, infinite-dimensional) Banach space $X$ and a nonempty ...
40
votes
0answers
2k views

What does the theta divisor of a number field know about its arithmetic?

This question is about a remark made by van der Geer and Schoof in their beautiful article "Effectivity of Arakelov divisors and the theta divisor of a number field" (from '98) (link). Let me first ...
39
votes
0answers
957 views

What is the “real” meaning of the $\hat A$ class (or the Todd class)?

In the Atiyah-Singer index theorem as well as in the Grothendieck-Riemann-Roch theorem, one encounters either the $\hat A$-class or the Todd class, depending on the context. I want to focus on the ...
39
votes
0answers
645 views

Extending a line-arrangement so that the bounded components of its complement are triangles

Given a finite collection of lines $L_1,\dots,L_m$ in ${\bf{R}}^2$, let $R_1,\dots,R_n$ be the connected components of ${\bf{R}}^2 \setminus (L_1 \cup \dots \cup L_m)$, and say that {$L_1,\dots,L_m$} ...
38
votes
0answers
2k views

What are the potential applications of perfectoid spaces to homotopy theory?

This year's Arizona Winter School was on perfectoid spaces, and there were quite a few homotopy theorists in the audience. I'd like to get a "big list" of reasons homotopy theorists might care about ...
38
votes
0answers
2k views

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 ...
37
votes
0answers
2k views

A three-line proof of global class field theory?

There is an idea (I think originally due to Tate) that class field theory is fundamentally a consequence of Pontrjagin duality and Hilbert Theorem 90. I'm curious whether this can phrased using modern ...
37
votes
0answers
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
votes
0answers
2k views

Concerning the various proofs from the axiom of choice that R^3 admits of surprising geometrical decompositions into circles, skew lines and so on: can we prove in any instance that there are no Borel such decompositions? Or that AC is required?

This question follows up on a comment I made on Joseph O'Rourke's recent question, one of several questions here on mathoverflow concerning surprising geometric partitions of space using the axiom of ...
35
votes
0answers
1k views

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. ...
35
votes
0answers
1k views

Functor that maps to both $KO^n$ and $KO^{-n}$

(my question is also meaningful for complex K-theory, but since Kn(X) is always isomorphic to K-n(X), it's less interesting) I start by recalling the analytic definition of KO-theory: The following ...
34
votes
0answers
810 views

Is there anything to the obvious analogy between Joyal's combinatorial species and Goodwillie calculus?

Combinatorial species and calculus of functors both take the viewpoint that many interesting functors can be expanded in a kind of Taylor series. Many operations familiar from actual calculus can be ...
34
votes
0answers
2k views

Correspondence between eigenvalue distributions of random unitary and random orthogonal matrices

In the course of a physics problem (arXiv:1206.6687), I stumbled on a curious correspondence between the eigenvalue distributions of the matrix product $U\bar{U}$, with $U$ a random unitary matrix and ...
34
votes
0answers
922 views

Computer calculations in A_infinity categories?

Is there a good computer program for doing calculations in A-infinity categories? Explicit calculations in A-infinity categories are an important, useful, yet very tedious task. One has to keep track ...
34
votes
0answers
1k views

Mikhalkin's tropical schemes versus Durov's tropical schemes

In Mikhalkin's unfinished draft book on tropical geometry, (available here) (page 26) he defines a notion of tropical schemes. It seems to me that this definition is not just a wholesale adaptation of ...
34
votes
0answers
1k views

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 ...
34
votes
1answer
2k views

Computing Self-Intersections with Complex Analysis

It is possible to find the winding number of a path $C \subset \mathbb{C}$ using complex analysis: $$n = \oint_C\frac{dz}{z}.$$ You can also count the number of roots of $f(z) = 0$ inside a close ...
32
votes
0answers
718 views

Is there a rigid analytic geometry proof of the functional equation for the Riemann zeta function?

The adèles $\mathbb A$ arise naturally when considering the Berkovich space $\mathcal M(\mathbb Z)$ of the integers. Namely, they are the stalk $\mathbb A = (j_\ast j^{-1} \mathcal O_\mathbb Z)_p$ ...
32
votes
0answers
449 views

Chern character of a Representation

Let $G$ be a finite group. Under the identification of the representation ring $R_{\mathbb{C}}(G)$ with the equivariant K-theory $KU^0_G(\ast)$ of the point, followed by Atiyah-Segal completion-...
32
votes
0answers
963 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 ...
32
votes
0answers
593 views

Are there infinite versions of sporadic groups?

The classification of finite simple groups states roughly that every non-abelian finite simple group is either alternating, a group of Lie type, or a sporadic group. For each of the groups of Lie ...
32
votes
0answers
1k views

Peano Arithmetic and the Field of Rationals

In 1949 Julia Robinson showed the undecidability of the first order theory of the field of rationals by demonstrating that the set of natural numbers $\Bbb{N}$ is first order definable in $(\Bbb{Q}, +,...
32
votes
0answers
2k views

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 ...
32
votes
0answers
1k views

Why are there so few quaternionic representations of simple groups?

Having spent many hours looking through the Atlas of Finite Simple Groups while in Grad school, I recall being rather intrigued by the fact that among the sporadic groups, only one (McLaughlin as I ...

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