Differential geometry is the application of differential calculus in the setting of smooth manifolds (curves, surfaces and higher dimensional examples). Modern differential geometry focuses "geometric structures" on such manifolds, such as bundles and connections; for questions not concerning such ...

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865 views

Motivation behind the definition of a Manifold.

A manifold $M$ of dimension n is a topological space with the following properties: a) $M$ is Hausdorff b)$M$ is locally Euclidean of dimension n c) $M$ has a countable basis of open sets. Why is ...
12
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1answer
752 views

Car movement - differential geometry interpretation

The problem presented below is from my differential geometry course. The initial reference is Nelson, Tensor Analysis 1967. The car is modelled as follows: Denote by $C(x,y)$ the center of the ...
6
votes
4answers
320 views

Line bundles of the circle

Up to isomorphism, I think there exist only two line bundles of the circle: the trivial bundle (diffeomorphic to a cylinder) and a bundle that looks like to a Möbius band. Although it seems obvious ...
4
votes
0answers
359 views

Tensors as mutlilinear maps

I am aware that many books on differential geometry define tensors as multilinear maps. Namely $$ V\otimes W := L_2(V^*\times W^*,\Bbb F) $$ I am also aware that this space is isomorphic to the tensor ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Geometric intuition behind the Lie bracket of vector fields

I understand the definition of the Lie bracket and I know how to compute it in local coordinates. But is there a way to "guess" what is the Lie bracket of two vector fields ? What is the geometric ...
11
votes
1answer
588 views

Visualizing Commutator of Two Vector Fields

I'm reading a book on calculus, the part about vector fields on manifolds. It's a nice book, but with a severe drawback --- it has no pictures. I like how vectors are treated algebraically, as ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Topology of the tangent bundle of a smooth manifold

I am having trouble to understand what topology is given to the tangent bundle of a smooth manifold that allows it to be a smooth manifold itself. In my understanding, among other things the topology ...
8
votes
1answer
209 views

Equivalence of Definitions of Principal $G$-bundle

I've finally gotten around to learning about principal $G$-bundles. In the literature, I've encountered (more than) four different definitions. Since I'm still a beginner, it's unclear to me whether ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Existence of a local geodesic frame

Let $(M,g)$ be a Riemannian manifold of dimension $n$ with Riemannian connection $\nabla,$ and let $p \in M.$ Show that there exists a neighborhood $U \subset M$ of $p$ and $n$ (smooth) vector fields ...
20
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3answers
264 views

Is an isometric embedding of a disk determined by the boundary?

Suppose we cut a disk out of a flat piece of paper and then manipulate it in three dimensions (folding, bending, etc.) Can we determine where the paper is from the position of the boundary circle? ...
11
votes
3answers
665 views

What is the motivation for differential forms?

I am that point in my mathematical career where I am learning differential forms. I am reading from M.Spivak's Calculus on Manifolds. So far I have gone over the tensor and wedge products and their ...
9
votes
3answers
875 views

Texts on Principal Bundles, Characteristic Classes, Intro to 4-manifolds / Gauge Theory

I am looking for a textbook that might serve as an introduction to principal bundles, curvature forms and characteristic classes, and perhaps towards 4-manifolds and gauge theory. Currently, the only ...
8
votes
2answers
372 views

Trying to understand the use of the “word” pullback/pushforward.

Essentially, my question is the following : Is everything we call "pullback" or "pushforward" an actual categorical pullback/pushout? I have seen tons of pullbacks in differential geometry but we ...
8
votes
1answer
974 views

Showing a subset of the torus is dense

Let $T^2\subset\mathbb{C}^2$ denote the (usual) torus. Let $a\in\mathbb{R}$ be an irrational number and define a map $f(t)=(e^{2\pi it}, e^{2\pi i at})$. Prove that: (a) $f$ is injective (b) $f$ is ...
7
votes
1answer
881 views

General form of Integration by Parts

This is a question just out of interest to know the power of integration by parts. There are various level of integration by parts. What are some of the most general form of integration by parts? I ...
6
votes
2answers
495 views

Special case of the Hodge decomposition theorem

I am trying to prove the following special case of the Hodge decomposition theorem in differential geometry for an $n$ component vector field $V_i$ in $\mathbb{R}^n$. I have very little knowledge of ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Riemann, Ricci curvature tensor and Ricci scalar of the n dimensional sphere

I am calculating the Riemann curvature tensor, Ricci curvature tensor, and Ricci scalar of the n sphere $x_0^2 + x_1^2 + ....+x_n^2=R^2$, whose metric is $$ds^2=R^2(d\phi_1^2 + \sin{\phi_1}^2 ...
12
votes
2answers
327 views

How to compute $I(d\omega)$? (Poincaré's Lemma)

Suppose I have an $\ell$-form in $\Bbb R^n$ $$\omega=\sum_{i_1<\cdots<i_\ell}\omega_{i_1\cdots i_\ell} dx_{i_1}\wedge\cdots\wedge dx_{i_\ell}$$ I will say this is written in the canonical form. ...
11
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2answers
248 views

What's special about $C^\infty$ functions?

In my experience, people usually use "smooth" to mean "as smooth as I need for the upcoming proofs." Those who want to be more formal might insist on smooth meaning $C^\infty$. While the operator ...
11
votes
2answers
299 views

Is the map $S^{2n+1}\rightarrow \mathbb{C}P^n \rightarrow \mathbb{C}P^n/\mathbb{C}P^{n-1}\cong S^{2n}$ essential?

This question is motivated solely by idle curiousity. There is a natural map $p:S^{2n+1}\rightarrow \mathbb{C}P^n$ mapping a point on $S^{2n+1}\subseteq \mathbb{C}^{n+1}$ to the unique complex line ...
10
votes
2answers
264 views

Applications of Geometry to Computer Science

How is differential geometry (or any type of theoretical math) being used in computer science? Any research I have done on this topic leads me to some sort of applied math concept. I know that there ...
10
votes
1answer
264 views

Infinite dimensional constant rank theorem

Suppose you have an analytic map $\phi : E \rightarrow \mathbb{C}^n$, where $E$ is a complex Banach space, and such that the rank of $D \phi$ is constant. Is it true then that the set ...
8
votes
1answer
168 views

Relations between curvature and area of simple closed plane curves.

Let $\gamma$ be a simple closed plane curve. We know that a curve with constant curvature $\kappa$ will trace a circle in the plane. The radius of this circle is the inverse of its curvature. Now, ...
8
votes
1answer
235 views

When can a functional be written as the integral of a 1-form?

Let a real, smooth manifold $M$ be given. Let $\Gamma$ denote the set of all path segments on $M$, namely the set of all paths of the form $\gamma:[a,b]\to M$. Let $Q:\Gamma\to\mathbb R$ be a ...
8
votes
1answer
508 views

Closed not exact form on $\mathbb{R}^n\setminus\{0\}$

I'd like to construct a closed but not exact $n-1$-form $\omega$ on $\mathbb{R}^n\setminus\{0\}$ in analogy to the winding form: $$\frac{x~dy-y~dx}{x^2+y^2}$$ I think something like ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

Connected sum in an ambient space

Let $M$ be a smooth c connected $m$-manifold, $N_1$, $N_2$ two smooth disjoint connected $n$-submanifolds with boundary, both contained in the interior of $M$ (if necessary). Assume that $M\setminus ...
7
votes
2answers
241 views

Definition of the principal symbol of a differential operator on a real vector bundle.

I'm trying to understand the construction of the dirac operator on a manifold, but actually I guess that doesn't really matter for the question at stake. I'm interested in understanding a definition ...
7
votes
1answer
517 views

how to understand the tensor product canonical line bundle $\otimes$ dual bundle

Suppose we have a Riemann surface $M$ together with a holomorphic vector bundle $E \to M$ of rank n. let $K$ denote the canonical line bundle and let $E^*$ denote the dual bundle I am trying to ...
7
votes
4answers
599 views

What does the symbol $\operatorname{Tr}$ in the Yang-Mills action mean?

I find that many authors write the Yang-Mills action as follows: $$\mathcal{J}= \int \operatorname{Tr}(F \wedge \star F).$$ I have yet to find a formal description of the symbol $\operatorname{Tr}$ ...
6
votes
2answers
437 views

Why does the volume of a hypersphere decrease in higher dimensions? [duplicate]

First let us define an $n$-ball as the euclidean sphere in $\mathbb{R}^n$ including its interior and its surface where $n$ refers to the number of coordinates needed to describe the object (the ...
6
votes
1answer
326 views

Are these definitions of submanifold equivalent?

Let $M$ be a manifold – by which I mean a second countable Hausdorff smooth manifold. Here's an "obviously" correct definition of (embedded) submanifold: Definition A. A subspace $S$ of $M$ is a ...
6
votes
3answers
422 views

$\Omega=x\;dy \wedge dz+y\;dz\wedge dx+z\;dx \wedge dy$ is never zero when restricted to $\mathbb{S^2}$

We define a 2-form $\Omega$ on $\mathbb{R^3}$ by $\Omega=x\;dy \wedge dz+y\;dz\wedge dx+z\;dx \wedge dy$. How can I show that $\Omega|_\mathbb{S^2}$ is nowhere zero? Before proving that how can I ...
6
votes
1answer
297 views

An example of a derivation at a point on a $C^k$-manifold which is not a tangent vector

Let $M$ be a real $C^k$-manifold, $\mathscr{H}_x$ be the $\mathbb{R}$-algebra of germs of $C^k$-differentiable functions at $x \in M$. It is easy to show that $T_x M$ can be embedded into the space of ...
5
votes
2answers
512 views

Geodesics on the product of manifolds

Given two Riemannian manifolds $(M, g_1)$ and $(N, g_2)$, and geodesic curves $\gamma(t)$ in $M$ and $\chi(t)$ in $N$. Is the curve $\Gamma(t) = (\gamma(t),\chi(t))$ a geodesic in the product manifold ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Relation between two Riemannain connections

Let $g$ be a Riemannian metric on $M$ and let $\tilde{g}=f^{2}g$ where $f$ is a smooth function that is never zero. let $\nabla$ and $\nabla'$ be the Riemannain connections of $g$ and $\tilde{g}$ on ...
4
votes
4answers
672 views

help in understanding tangent vectors

In Aaron's answer here... "Given a manifold $M$, and a point $p\in M$, we have a vector space $T_pM$ of the tangent vectors to $M$ at $p$. For example, if you take the hollow sphere sitting inside ...
3
votes
1answer
319 views

Integral of a curve with respect to its curvature?

I've been struggling with this one for about $3$ weeks: What is the integral of a $\mathbb{R}^3$ curve with respect to its curvature? I though about approaching it with the Ferret-S formulas, and ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Lie derivative of a vector field equals the lie bracket

Let $X$ and $Y$ be vector fields on a smooth manifold $M$, and let $\phi_t$ be the flow of $X$, i.e. $\frac{d}{dt} \phi_t(p) = X_p$. I am trying to prove the following formula: $\frac{d}{dt} ...
14
votes
0answers
934 views

What is magical about Cartan's magic formula?

Why is Cartan's magic formula $$\mathscr{L}_X\omega = i_Xd\omega + d(i_X\omega)$$ called "magic"? Should it be considered a highly surprising result? Does it "magically" prove several other ...
13
votes
1answer
653 views

Tautological 1-form on the cotangent bundle

I'm trying to understand a little bit about symplectic geometry, in particular the tautological 1-form on the cotangent bundle. I'm following Ana Canas Da Silva's notes. On page 10 she describes the ...
13
votes
3answers
593 views

Where do we need the axiom of choice in Riemannian geometry?

A friend of mine is a differential geometer, and keeps insisting that he doesn't need the axiom of choice for the things he does. I'm fairly certain that's not true, though I haven't dug into the ...
12
votes
1answer
444 views

Local triviality of principal bundles

Suppose I define a principal $G$-bundle as a map $\pi: P \to M$ with a smooth right action of $G$ on $P$ that acts freely and transitively on the fibers of $\pi$. Does it follow that $P$ is locally ...
11
votes
2answers
573 views

Is there a Stokes theorem for covariant derivatives?

A $V$-valued differential form on $M$ is a smooth map $\omega : TM \to V$ such that $\omega$ restricted to any tangent space $T_p M$ is an element of the $V$-valued exterior algebra $\Lambda^n (T_p M, ...
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2answers
760 views

What is the relation between connections on principal bundles and connections on vector bundles?

I'm reading Kobayashi / Nomizu 's vol. I. I am reading about connections in principal G-bundles. After that chapter there's a chapter on (linear) connections on Vector bundles. Since we can associate ...
9
votes
1answer
259 views

Prove the curvature of a level set equals divergence of the normalized gradient

Suppose we have a function $\phi : \mathbb{R}^2 \to \mathbb{R}$, and a curve $\gamma:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}^2$ defined by a level set of $\phi$, ie. the codomain of $\gamma$ is ...
9
votes
1answer
208 views

Which coefficients of the characteristic polynomial of the shape operator are isometric invariants?

Let $M^n \subset \mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ be an isometrically immersed Riemannian hypersurface. The shape operator $s$ is the $(1,1)$ tensor field characterized by $$\langle X, sY \rangle = \langle ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Intuitive explanation of Left invariant Vector Field

Intuitively what is meant by a left invariant vector field on a manifold?
7
votes
2answers
181 views

Interpretation of $p$-forms

Let $M$ be a smooth manifold, let $C^{\infty}(M)$ be set of all smooth functions from $M$ to $\mathbb R$ and let $Vec(M)$ denote the set of all vector fields on $M$. A $1$-form on $M$ is a ...
7
votes
1answer
146 views

Uniqueness of curve of minimal length in a closed $X\subset \mathbb R^2$

Suppose $X$ is a simply connected closed subset of $\mathbb R^2$. Let $a,b$ belong to $X$. Is it true that there is at most one curve inside $X$ from $a$ to $b$ such that the length of the curve is ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

how to compute the de Rham cohomology of the punctured plane just by Calculus?

I have a classmate learning algebra.He ask me how to compute the de Rham cohomology of the punctured plane $\mathbb{R}^2\setminus\{0\}$ by an elementary way,without homotopy type,without ...