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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Teaching myself differential topology and differential geometry

I have a hazy notion of some stuff in differential geometry and a better, but still not quite rigorous understanding of basics of differential topology. I have decided to fix this lacuna once for ...
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Is there an easy way to show which spheres can be Lie groups?

I heard that using some relatively basic differential geometry, you can show that the only spheres which are Lie groups are $S^0$, $S^1$, and $S^3$. My friend who told me this thought that it ...
5
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Determining the angle degree of an arc in ellipse?

Is it possible to determine the angle in degree of an arc in ellipse by knowing the arc length, ellipse semi-major and semi-minor axis ? If I have an arc length at the first quarter of an ellipse and ...
35
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Which manifolds are parallelizable?

Recall that a manifold $M$ of dimension $n$ is parallelizable if there are $n$ vector fields that form a basis of the tangent space $T_x M$ at every point $x \in M$. This is equivalent to the tangent ...
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Why are smooth manifolds defined to be paracompact?

The way I understand things, roughly speaking, the importance of smooth manifolds is that they form the category of topological spaces on which we can do calculus. The definition of smooth manifolds ...
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Elementary proof of the fact that any orientable 3-manifold is parallelizable

A parallelizable manifold $M$ is a smooth manifold such that there exist smooth vector fields $V_1,...,V_n$ where $n$ is the dimension of $M$, such that at any point $p\in M$, the tangent vectors ...
19
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2answers
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Is $M=\{(x,|x|): x \in (-1, 1)\}$ not a differentiable manifold?

Let $M=\{(x,|x|): x \in (-1, 1)\}$. Then there is an atlas with only one coordinate chart $(M, (x, |x|) \mapsto x)$ for $M$. We don't need any coordinate transformation maps to worry about ...
65
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5answers
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Why is a circle in a plane surrounded by 6 other circles?

When you draw a circle in a plane you can perfectly surround it with 6 other circles of the same radius. This works for any radius. What's the significance of 6? Why not some other numbers? I'm ...
10
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2answers
324 views

Smooth surfaces that isn't the zero-set of $f(x,y,z)$

The zero-set of any smooth function $f(x,y,z)$ with a non-vanishing gradient is a smooth surface. I was wondering if the reverse is true: is every smooth surface in $E^3$ the zero-set of some smooth ...
10
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Question about Angle-Preserving Operators

This an exercise out of Spivak's "Calculus on Manifolds". Edit: There was a typo in the exercise as is noted below in the answers. The statement has been edited to reflect this. Given ...
8
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2answers
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About connected Lie Groups

How can I prove that a connected Lie Group is generated by any neighborhood of the identity? The result is almost trivial for $R^n$ but I tried using the open subgroup generated by this ...
5
votes
1answer
356 views

Orientation of hypersurface

Some books on mean curvature flow (e.g. Mantegazza, Ecker) state that an embedded hypersurface in $\mathbb{R}^{k+1}$ is orientable (Mantegazza page 3, Ecker page 110). In other words, they assume the ...
33
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3answers
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Roadmap to study Atiyah-Singer index theorem

I am a physics undergrad and want to pursue a PhD in Math (geometry or topology). I study it almost completely by myself, as the program in my country offers very less flexibility to take non ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

Relationship between the zeros of a vector field and the fixed points of its flow

I'm having a little trouble here and would appreciate some hints. Let $M$ be a compact manifold without boundary and let $X$ be a smooth vector field on $M$ with only isolated zeros. Let $\theta_t$ ...
12
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2answers
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On surjectivity of exponential map for Lie groups

A recent question made me realize I didn't know any proof that exponential of a Lie algebra $\mathfrak g$ of a compact connected Lie group $G$ is surjective. After a bit of thinking I've come up with ...
11
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3answers
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How to determine the arc length of ellipse?

I want to determine the arc length of a ellipse. So what data should I know ? And what law should I use ? For example I have this ellipse on picture below: How can I determine the $d$ length of ...
3
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2answers
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An application of partitions of unity: integrating over open sets.

In Spivak's "Calculus on Manifolds", Spivak first defines integration over rectangles, then bounded Jordan-measurable sets (for functions whose discontinuities form a Lebesgue null set). He then uses ...
7
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1answer
280 views

Finding a smooth function less than some given (positive) continuous function

Let $M$ be a smooth manifold ($dim\ge 1$). Let $f:M\to\mathbb{R}$ be a positive continuous function. Prove there is a smooth map $g\in C^{\infty}(M)$ such that $0<g<f$. I knew this would ...
5
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2answers
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Definition of “a topological manifold with corners”.

How can we define a topological manifold with corners and its corners? Then, do we use "invariance of domain" to define corners, as we really need this theorem in order to define "boundaries of a ...
41
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2answers
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Integration of forms and integration on a measure space

In Terence Tao's PCM article: DIFFERENTIAL FORMS AND INTEGRATION, it is pointed out that there are three concepts of integration which appear in the subject (single-variable calculus): the ...
26
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4answers
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What is a covector and what is it used for?

From what I understand, a covector is an object that takes a vector and returns a number. So given a vector $v \in V$ and a covector $\phi \in V^*$, you can act on $v$ with $\phi$ to get a real number ...
27
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Introductory texts on manifolds

I was studying some hyperbolic geometry previously and realised that I needed to understand things in a more general setting in terms of a "manifold" which I don't yet know of. I was wondering if ...
18
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3answers
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Geometrical interpretation of Ricci curvature

I see the scalar curvature $R$ as an indicator of how a manifold curves locally (the easiest example is for a $2$-dimensional manifold $M$, where the $R=0$ in a point means that it is flat there, ...
44
votes
3answers
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Why is the Möbius strip not orientable?

I am trying to understand the notion of an orientable manifold. Let M be a smooth n-manifold. We say that M is orientable if and only if there exists an atlas $A = \{(U_{\alpha}, \phi_{\alpha})\}$ ...
29
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1answer
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How to calculate the pullback of a $k$-form explicitly

I'm having trouble doing actual computations of the pullback of a $k$-form. I know that a given differentiable map $\alpha: \mathbb{R}^{m} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^{n}$ induces a map $\alpha^{*}: ...
17
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3answers
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The space of Riemannian metrics on a given manifold.

For a finite-dimensional smooth (Hausdorff, second-countable) manifold $M$, consider the set $$\mathcal{Met}(M) = \{ g : g \text{ is a Riemannian metric on }M \}.$$ I'd like to know about the typical ...
7
votes
2answers
858 views

Notation to work with vector-valued differential forms

What it the standard notation used while working with vector-valued differential forms? I tried using abstract index notation, for example denoting a $1$-form valued $2$-form as $P_{i[bc]}$, but I'm ...
9
votes
3answers
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Vector bundle transitions and Čech cohomology

I have read that transition maps $g_{\alpha\beta}:U_\alpha\cap U_\beta\to GL(n)$ of a vector bundle of rank $n$ are related to the Čech cohomology group $H^1\left(M,GL(n,\mathcal{C}^\infty_M)\right)$ ...
8
votes
3answers
534 views

$f^*dx_i = \sum_{j=1}^l \frac{\partial f_i}{\partial y_j} dy_j = df_i$

Guillemin and Pollack's Differential Topology Page 164: $U \subset \mathbb{R}^k$ and $V \subset \mathbb{R}^l$ be open subsets. Let $f: V \to U$ to smooth. Use $x_1, \dots, x_k$ for the standard ...
27
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4answers
856 views

Is every Compact $n$-Manifold a Compactification of $\mathbb{R}^n$?

I read the result that every compact $n$-manifold is a compactification of $\mathbb{R}^n$. Now, for surfaces, this seems clear: we take an n-gon, whose interior (i.e., everything in the n-gon except ...
6
votes
5answers
982 views

Differential Geometry of curves and surfaces: bibliography?

Dear all, next year, I will probably teach a one-semester course of Differential Geomtry of curves and surfaces. Its content must be something along the lines of the first four chapters of Do Carmo's ...
5
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2answers
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Understanding tangent vectors

I just checked out this thread: help in understanding tangent vectors and I still have some problems understanding this. The tangent vector on a manifold at point $t_0$ is intuivitely $$\dot ...
7
votes
1answer
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Conformal transformation of the curvature and related quantities

Suppose we have a Riemannian manifold ${(M,g)}$, where ${g}$ is the metric of ${M}$. If ${f}$ ${\in}$ ${D(M)}$ (i.e. smooth function on ${M}$), and ${f}$ is positive. So, we can define a new metric ...
5
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1answer
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What is the practical difference between abstract index notation and “ordinary” index notation

I understand that in "normal" index notation the indexes can be thought of as coordinates of scalar values inside a tabular data structure, while in the abstract index notation they can not. However, ...
6
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1answer
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Properly Defining a Smooth Curve

I have seen many different definitions of what it means for a curve to be "smooth". In this question, for instance, a curve $\gamma \colon [a,b] \longrightarrow \mathbb{R^n}$ is defined to be smooth ...
6
votes
1answer
966 views

Are all connected manifolds homogeneous

A topological space $X$ is called homogeneous, if for every two points $x,y \in X$ there exists a homeomorphism $\phi : X \rightarrow X$ s.t. $\phi(x) = y$. It is not hard to prove that all connected ...
4
votes
3answers
240 views

Curves with constant curvature and constant torsion

Describe all curves in $\mathbb{R}^3$ which have constant curvature $κ > 0$ and constant torsion $τ$. Any ideas what we can do to describe all such curves? Do we have to use the formulas of the ...
2
votes
2answers
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having a question on the symbol $dN_p$ when writing down its correspondence matrix

My question is about the differential of the gauss map $dN_{p}$, to start the convenient expression of the symbol and formula, I have to construct some functions(maps). First, there is a one ...
8
votes
3answers
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Curvature of geodesic circles on surface with constant curvature

I am trying to solve the following exercise: Prove that on a surface of constant curvature the geodesic circles have constant curvature. "Constant curvature" in case of the surface I take to ...
7
votes
3answers
256 views

For $n$ even, antipodal map of $S^n$ is homotopic to reflection and has degree $-1$?

How do I see that for $n$ even, the antipodal map of $S^n$ is homotopic to the reflection$$r(x_1, \dots, x_{n+1}) = (-x_1, x_2, \dots, x_{n+1}),$$and therefore has degree $-1$? Thanks for your time. ...
4
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1answer
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surjective immersion $\mathbb{R}^2 \to \mathbb{R}^2$ which is not a diffeomorphism

Does there exist a surjective immersion $\mathbb{R}^2 \to \mathbb{R}^2$ which is not a diffeomorphism? I tried to modify $\exp: \mathbb{C} \to \mathbb{C}$ to be surjective, but I find it hard to ...
2
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1answer
85 views

different possible definitions of the exterior derivative?

In Helgason, "Differential Geometry, Lie Groups and Symmetric Spaces" we have the formula for the exterior derivative $(p+1)d\omega(X_{1}, \ldots X_{p+1})=\Sigma_{i=1}^{p+1} (-1)^{i+1} X_{i} \cdot ...
1
vote
1answer
508 views

gaussian and mean curvatures

I am trying to review, and learn about how to compute and gaussian and mean curvature. Given $\frac{x^2}{a^2} + \frac{y^2}{b^2} + \frac{z^2}{c^2} = 1$, how can I compute the gaussian and mean ...
85
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Exterior Derivative vs. Covariant Derivative vs. Lie Derivative

In differential geometry, there are several notions of differentiation, namely: Exterior Derivative, $d$ Covariant Derivative/Connection, $\nabla$ Lie Derivative, $\mathcal{L}$. I have listed them ...
51
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1answer
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What is the solution to Nash's problem presented in “A Beautiful Mind”?

I was watching the said movie the other night, and I started thinking about the equation posed by Nash in the movie. More specifically, the one he said would take some students a lifetime to solve ...
22
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2answers
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Definitions of Hessian in Riemannian Geometry

I am wondering is there any quick way to see the following two definitions of Hessian are coinside with each othere without using local coordinates? $\operatorname{Hess}(f)(X,Y)= \langle \nabla_X ...
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2answers
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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. ...
8
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2answers
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Classsifying 1- and 2- dimensional Algebras, up to Isomorphism

I am trying to find all 1- or 2- dimensional Lie Algebras "a" up to isomorphism. This is what I have so far: If a is 1-dimensional, then every vector (and therefore every tangent vector field) is of ...
8
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3answers
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Shortest proof for 'hairy ball' theorem

I want to make a project at differential geometry about the Hairy Ball theorem and its applications. I was thinking of including a proof of the theorem in the project. Using the Poincare-Hopf Theorem ...
12
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Why the interest in locally Euclidean spaces?

A lot of mathematics as far as I know is interested in the study of Euclidean and locally Euclidean spaces (manifolds). What is the special feature of Euclidean spaces that makes them interesting? ...