Questions to get the "big picture" about a subject.

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2
votes
1answer
54 views

A question on the generalization of Cartesian Product

In Halmos’s Book, it is written that, The notation of families is the one normally used in generalizing the concept of Cartesian product. The Cartesian product of two sets $X$ and $Y$ was defined ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

A map $h:S^1\to X$ Induces a Trivial Homomorphism of Fundamental Groups Iff it is Nullhomotopic.

I recently started reading Algebraic Topology from Part II of Munkres' book Topology(Second Edition). A part of Lemma 55.3 in the book proves the following: Let $h:S^1\to X$ be a continuous ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Boolean algebras, Stone theorem and being isomorphic to a field of sets

I'm a little bit confused about duality between boolean algebras and topological spaces or sets. I know the following theorem (which is due to Stone, as far as I know): Every boolean algebra $B$ ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Interpretation of alternative group structures on a given group

Let $(G,e,\circ) $ be a group with $e$ the identity element and $a \in G$ and $\circ$ the group operation. Then we can form a new group $(G_a,a,\circ_a)$ with the same underlying set as $G$ and $x ...
6
votes
5answers
313 views

How is the concept of the limit the foundation of calculus?

My casual study of mathematics and calculus introduced me to the notion that calculus didn't find a firm foundation until Cauchy, Weierstrauss (et al) developed set theory some ~100 years after Newton ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

What is the prerequisite knowledge for Navier–Stokes Existence and Smoothness problem?

I am highly interested in the Millennium Problem of Navier–Stokes Existence and Smoothness (also here) and my aim is to reach some level of knowledge to do research on it. The problem seems simple to ...
11
votes
3answers
794 views

What's so special about the group axioms?

I've only just begun studying group theory (up to Lagrange) following on from vector spaces and I am still finding them almost frustratingly arbitrary. I'm not sure what exactly it is about the ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Embedding of classical Lie groups

This is somehow very natural question so I'm sure that the answer should be well known: Whitney theorem states that each (say paracompact) $n$-dimensional manifold could be embedded in ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Protomodular categories

The axioms for abelian categories are nice and clear. The axioms for protomodular categories - and therefore semi-abelian categories - are beyond me entirely. I'm looking for a breakdown of the ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Role of functional equations in current panorama of pure mathematics

It seems that currently functional equations are greatly explored as a research field. I would like to know what is the importance and role of such a field in the panorama of the current development ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Are there logical arguments against modern $\sf ZFC$ set theory?

As of asking this question, my knowledge of set theory is quite pedestrian. I've read about it in numerous nontechnical papers and even worked through three chapters of Jech - Set Theory, but in terms ...
3
votes
1answer
158 views

Cramer and Riemann Conjecture Implication

Cramer's conjecture gives $$p_{n+1}-p_n= O(\log^2 p_n)$$ while Riemann Hypothesis yields just $$p_{n+1}-p_n= O(\sqrt p_n\log^2 p_n).$$ Does Cramer conjecture on prime gaps imply Riemann Hypothesis ...
-1
votes
1answer
294 views

I need help organising these books by topic [closed]

Okay, this should be a quick and easy question for those of you who've studied calculus. I have a list of books that I want to order by topic, the books are as follows: Michael Spivak - ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do we need to learn Set Theory?

I was planning to write some article for the Mathematics magazine of our college and it occurred to me that it will be a good idea to write about the impact and importance of Set Theory. I plan ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Does the concept of “dynamic average” makes any sense?

While making an excel table about how many times an event happens per day I thought that it could be interesting to see what is the growth rate of those events. If in $2$ days the event happens two ...
1
vote
0answers
108 views

Is this a general structure for constructs?

Here a construct is a category where the objects are sets and the morphisms are structure preserving functions. Common examples are groups, graphs and topological spaces. As far as I can see there is ...
7
votes
1answer
262 views

Euler characteristic, genus and cohomology: a deep connection?

For a smooth projective curve $V$ over the complex numbers, the algebraic genus, defined as the dimension of the linear system $L(\omega)$, where $\omega$ is the canonical divisor, coincides with the ...
44
votes
14answers
4k views

Largest “leap-to-generality” in math history?

Grothendieck, who is famous inter alia for his capacity/tendency to look for the most general formulation of a problem, introduced a number of new concepts (with topos maybe the most famous ?) that ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

Why are infinite sums so much harder to calculate than the associated infinite integral?

It seems that with continuous functions, we have in calculus an apparatus for "short cutting" an infinite sum. However, when we move to the discrete case, it seems that we don't have the equivalent ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Relationship between measure theory and real analysis

Does measure theory generalize real analysis to abstract spaces? For example, you can now talk about convergence even on unordered fields.
9
votes
1answer
268 views

What is the overall idea of Galois theory?

I am a third year undergraduate, doing a course on Field and Galois theory. Now, while I seem to understand most of the concepts locally, I do not seem to get the 'Whole picture' of what is happening ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

Motivation behind study of martingales

Today I wanted to ask a question which I am sure has been answered in multiple places but for which I do not yet have a very clear understanding. Though martingales is a very well explored area of ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Canonical Structure to figure out proof strategy

Even though the integers form a Euclidean domain, most results about can be derived from the weaker fact that it is a PID (I do realize that establishing it forms a PID uses the fact that it is an ED, ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Power spectral density and measure in continuous time

Let $X_t$ be a continuous-time wide-sense-stationary stochastic process. The name of the power spectral density (defined as the Fourier transform of the auto-correlation function) suggests it can be ...
1
vote
4answers
112 views

Physical meaning of limit

Does the concept of "limit" have a well-defined physical meaning (like, for example, the derivative)?
1
vote
0answers
112 views

An adequate difference between $\forall x\in A:P(x)$ and $(\forall x)(x\in A\rightarrow P(x))$?

Ever since I was a young student I have felt doubts about the traditional $(\forall x)$-expression: starting a statement with such an irrational lack of focus doesn't seems reasonable! I mean, all $x$ ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Enlightening ideas and methods that change one's appoach to problems, theorems or mathematics as a whole

I would like to collect a "big-list" of ideas and methods from different areas (although I'm particularly interested in elementary number theory, algebra, calculus, linear algebra, geometry, physics, ...
5
votes
2answers
167 views

Problems in elementary number theory and methods from physics

I was wondering if there are intuitive "physical" arguments to solve problems from number theory (elementary number theory in particular, but also advanced topics). To make an example, a proof of ...
0
votes
2answers
114 views

Does axiom of foundation/regularity protect against Russell-like paradoxes?

In ZF set theory the axiom of regularity (also called axiom of foundation) says that: In all nonempty sets x there is an element y such that x∩y=∅ As I been told that the intention of the axiom ...
5
votes
0answers
207 views

Classification of Geometry [closed]

I'm asking for big picture in geometry here. I've studied the first three chapters of John Lee's smooth manifolds but still I cannot see the path ahead. My questions are mainly about classification of ...
0
votes
2answers
163 views

What is global differential geometry?

What is the difference between local and global differential geometry? I cannot find their (exact) definitions. There are some other terms in geometry like "rigid" (e.g. that structure is more rigid ...
4
votes
4answers
189 views

Why is differential geometry called differential geometry?

Why is differential geometry called differential geometry? Why it is not called differential and integral geometry? Isn't integration and finding areas as important as differentiation? Is it the case ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Morphisms of $\mathsf{Meas}$ and Dynamical Systems

The morphisms of a category $\mathsf{Meas}$ whose objects are measure spaces are defined to be equivalence classes of a.e-equal measurable maps that pull back null sets to null sets. Why is pulling ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Loop spaces have the homotopy type of a topological groups

Every based loop space has the homotopy type of a topological group. I would like to understand this fact, and this is what this question is about : why is it true, and how does one prove it? I ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Quote objects in concrete categories

I refer to 'Analogy of ideals with Normal subgroups in groups' which was a very enlightening question for me. When I was young I was too avid on abstract algebra and I did too many courses at the same ...
2
votes
0answers
120 views

Must diagrams be commutative?

Given a category C and a function $ \Theta : Mor(\textbf{C}) \times Mor(\textbf{C}) \longrightarrow Mor(\textbf{Rel}) $ and suppose that the relation, with $(r,s)\in\Theta(u,\bar{u})$ and so forth, ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

Mathematics - The big picture

My knowledge in math sums up to several university level courses and a lot of self-study. Sometimes it feels like Mathematics is a huge subject with a lot of different areas which some of them ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

What makes “the topos $\mathbf{M}_2$” such a good counterexample?

I'd like to ask this question sooner rather than later; it might be a bit half-baked. So I'm sorry. It's just that there's a chance I'll be side-tracked from Topos Theory for a couple of months (with ...
8
votes
1answer
244 views

How did Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem affect the mathematical world?

Hi I am looking not to understand the Incompleteness Theorem, but to find out more about how and what this has effected the mathematics world. I am in high school, in Honors Algebra II, and I am ...
41
votes
5answers
2k views

Understanding the Laplace operator conceptually

The Laplace operator: those of you who now understand it, how would you explain what it "does" conceptually? How do you wish you had been taught it? Any good essays (combining both history and ...
22
votes
4answers
556 views

Why there is much interest in the study of $\operatorname{Gal}\left(\overline{\mathbb Q}/\mathbb Q\right)$?

Let's start for a simple quote from wikipedia: "No direct description is known for the absolute Galois group of the rational numbers. In this case, it follows from Belyi's theorem that the ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

Finite-case symmetry leads to infinite-case asymmetry

Formulas for sines or cosines of sums superficially appear to have a certain symmetry, specifically it looks as if sine and cosine play something like symmetrical roles: $$ \begin{align} & ...
0
votes
4answers
203 views

Is mathematics a science? [duplicate]

Is mathematics a science? I have long considered this to be open to debate, but my professor said that he once heard the quote, ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

When is a series expansion related to its derivative by a polynomial equation?

Is there some common theory behind the following two examples? Example 1. Let $p(t) = \sum_{n \geq 0} (-1)^k t^{2k}/(2k)!$, and $x = p(t), y = p'(t)$. Then $x^2 + y^2 = 1$ identically. Example 2. ...
4
votes
2answers
404 views

What is the importance of the spectral theorem?

I know that the spectral theorem tells us that in the case of a real inner product space, an operator is self adjoint if and only if there is an orthonormal basis with only eigenvectors of that ...
8
votes
1answer
94 views

Non-polynomial representations of $GL_n$

Recall that every finite-dimensional rational representation of $GL_n$ is of the form $(\det)^{-k} \varrho$ for some integer $k\geq 0$ and polynomial representation $\varrho$ (and $\det$ is the ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Relation: Modular Forms and hyperbolic geometry, or, why do they map from $\mathbb{H}$?

In my very young mathematical career, I have worked a lot with modular forms. Recently, I worked as a teaching assistant in a course about geometry. At the end of the course, we dealt with hyperbolic ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Characterisations of the RSK correspondence

I know of the following three definitions of the RSK correspondence: (i) Row insertion (or more generally, plactic insertion) (ii) Viennot's construction (iii) Fomin's growth diagrams However, all ...
8
votes
1answer
526 views

“All math is useful eventually”

We have all heard the argument : a lot of mathematics that was thought to be useless, abstract constructions with no links to the real world ended up being of use, like some arithmetic is useful in ...
6
votes
2answers
399 views

Is there a field of 'real analytic geometry'?

I am wondering whether there is a field of 'real analytic geometry', and if not, why not? There are branches of geometry corresponding to increasingly large sets of functions: polynomial (algebraic ...