Differential topology is the field dealing with differentiable functions on differentiable manifolds. It is closely related to differential geometry and together they make up the geometric theory of differentiable manifolds.

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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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2answers
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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 ...
28
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1answer
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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 ...
14
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2answers
967 views

Why maximal atlas

This has been on the back of my mind for one whole semester now. Its possible that in my stupidity I am missing out on something simple. But, here goes: Let $M$ be a topological manifold. Now, even ...
26
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3answers
2k views

Consequences of Degree Theory

I'm preparing a presentation on an overview of algebraic and differential topology, and my introduction includes some motivational material on Degree Theory. I have two fundamental and invaluable ...
27
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
19
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2answers
970 views

Applications of Pseudodifferential Operators

I am very interested in just about anything that has to do with PDE's, and inevitably pseudodifferential operators comes up. Its obvious that such a novel way of looking at PDE's would be important, ...
2
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2answers
204 views

$f^*(w \wedge \theta) = (f^*w) \wedge (f^* \theta)$

I am reading Guillemin and Pollack's Differential Topology. For the proof on Page 164, I was not able to get through the last step. $$f^*(w \wedge \theta) = (f^*w) \wedge (f^* \theta)$$ ...
2
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1answer
547 views

The degree of antipodal map.

I am trying to solve the problem A map without fixed points. But I am not certain about the degree of antipodal map. I my thought, since the preimage of a point $y \in S^k$ is just $-y$, the degree ...
36
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2answers
2k views

How do different definitions of “degree” coincide?

I've recently read about a number of different notions of "degree." Reading over Javier Álvarez' excellent answer for the thousandth time finally prompted me to ask this question: How exactly do ...
11
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1answer
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Computing the homology and cohomology of connected sum

Suppose $M$ and $N$ are two connected oriented smooth manifolds of dimension $n$. Conventionally, people use $M\#N$ to denote the connecte sum of the two. (The connected sum is constructed from ...
18
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2answers
949 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 $\theta_t$ ...
8
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3answers
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$f^*dx_i = \sum_{j=1}^l \frac{\partial f_i}{\partial y_j} dy_j = df_i$

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 ...
6
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4answers
281 views

Prove no existing a smooth function satisfying … related to Morse Theory

i) Show that there does not exist a smooth function $f:\mathbb{R} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$, s.t. $f(x) \geq 0$, $\forall x \in \mathbb{R}$, $f$ has exactly two critical points, $x_1,x_2\in\mathbb{R}$ ...
16
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2answers
610 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
175 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 ...
5
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1answer
304 views

Functionally structured spaces and manifolds

The question requires some definitions that I have listed below for your convenience. They can be found in Chapter VI, pages 297-298 of Bredon's Introduction to Compact Transformation Groups. On a ...
5
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2answers
353 views

Intuition for smooth manifolds

Consider the graphs of the functions $f_1(x) = |x|$, and $f_2(x) = x$ under the subspace topology of $\mathbb{R}^2$. Both of these graphs are smooth manifolds, just pick coordinate charts to be $(x, ...
20
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1answer
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Cohomology of projective plane

How I can compute cohomology de Rham of the projective plane $P^{2}(\mathbb{R})$ using Mayer vietoris or any other methods?
26
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4answers
740 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 ...
17
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2answers
636 views

The “Easiest” non-smoothable manifold

In 1960, Kervaire found the first example of a PL-manifold which does not admit a smooth structure. Since then, I understand that there are many examples of non-smoothable manifolds that can be built. ...
7
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2answers
765 views

map of arbitrary degree from compact oriented manifold into sphere

This is a question from a qualifying exam. Let $X$ be a compact, oriented $n$-dimensional manifold. Show that for any $k \in \mathbb{Z}$, there exists a continuous map $f: X \to S^n$ of degree $k$. I ...
8
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1answer
453 views

embedding of $\mathbb{RP}^2$ in $\mathbb{R}^4$

Consider the classic map $$F:\mathbb{RP}^2\rightarrow \mathbb{R}^4$$ defined by $$F[x,y,z]=(x^2-y^2,xy,xz,yz)$$. This defines a smooth embedding of $\mathbb{RP}^2$ in $\mathbb{R}^4$. It is clearly ...
3
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1answer
267 views

Given a local diffeomorphism $f: N \to M$ with $M$ orientable, then $N$ is orientable.

Given a local diffeomorphism $f: N \to M$ with $M$ orientable. Why is $N$ orientable? My professor wrote this in class without giving a proof and said "you should try to prove this for fun :)". I ...
6
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1answer
207 views

Obstructions to lifting a map for the Hopf fibration

This is a bit of an elementary question, but suppose $\pi: \mathbb{S}^3\to \mathbb{S}^2$ is the Hopf fibration, are there reasonably computable obstructions to when a map $f:M\to \mathbb{S}^2$ can be ...
3
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2answers
406 views

Solving problem 3-29 in Spivak´s Calculus on Manifolds without using change of variables

Problem 3-29 (p. 61) in the section treating Fubini´s theorem reads: Use Fubini´s theorem to derive an expression for the volume of a set of $\mathbb{R}^{3}$ obtained by revolving a Jordan-measurable ...
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2answers
65 views

$f: X \to Y$ is a smooth map and $\omega$ is a $p$-form on $Y$, what is $\omega[f(x)]$?

I am reading Guillemin and Pollack's Differential Topology Page 163: If $f: X \to Y$ is a smooth map and $\omega$ is a $p$-form on $Y$, define a $p$-form $f^*\omega$ on $X$ as follows: ...
1
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1answer
224 views

Preimage orientation.

On Guillemin and Pollack's Differential Topology Page 100. Let $f: X \to Y$ be a smooth map with $f \pitchfork Z$ and $\partial f \pitchfork Z$, where $X,Y,Z$ are oriented and the last two are ...
27
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10answers
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“Immediate” Applications of Differential Geometry

My professor asked us to find and make a list of things/facts from real life which have a differential geometry interpretation or justification. One example is this older question of mine. Another ...
8
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2answers
960 views

Let $G$ be a Lie group. Show that there is a diffeomorphism $TG \cong G \times T_e G$.

Since $T_p G$ is isomorphic to $T_e G$ for all $p\in G$, it makes sense that each vector in $T_p G$ can be identified with a vector in $T_e G$. Hence, to make the map from $TG$ one to one, we must ...
11
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1answer
549 views

If $f\!: X\simeq Y$, then $X\!\cup_\varphi\!\mathbb{B}^k \simeq Y\!\cup_{f\circ\varphi}\!\mathbb{B}^k$.

How can I prove that if two spaces $X$ and $Y$ are homotopy equivalent, then the corresponding spaces obtained by gluing a $k$-cell are also equivalent? In detail, if ...
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7answers
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Why abstract manifolds?

If we can use Whitney embedding to smoothly embed every manifold into Euclidean space, then why do we bother studying abstract manifolds, instead of their embeddings in $\mathbb{R}^n$? A vague ...
7
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0answers
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Higher-order derivatives in manifolds

If $E, F$ are real finite dimensional vector spaces and $\mu\colon E \to F$, we can speak of a (total) derivative of $\mu$ in Fréchet sense: $D\mu$, if it exists, is the unique mapping from $E$ to ...
13
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2answers
532 views

Product of spheres embeds in Euclidean space of 1 dimension higher

This problem was given to me by a friend: Prove that $\Pi_{i=1}^m \mathbb{S}^{n_i}$ can be smoothly embedded in a Euclidean space of dimension $1+\sum_{i=1}^m n_i$. The solution is apparently ...
7
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1answer
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Inverse of regular value is a submanifold, Milnor's proof

In Milnor's famous book "Topology from the Differential Viewpoint" he proves the following on page 11: If $f: M\to N$ is a smooth map between manifolds of dimension $m\geq n$ and if $y\in N$ is a ...
6
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1answer
446 views

Intuition about pullbacks in differential geometry

I am struggling to understand the role of pullbacks after noticing that they are used when defining an integral of $k$-forms on a manifold. Let $F:M \to N$ be a map between differentiable manifolds. ...
4
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2answers
204 views

Any N dimensional manifold as a boundary of some N+1 dimensional manifold?

Is this statement true: Question: Can any N dimensional manifold be realized as a boundary of some N+1 dimensional manifold? If so/not, how to prove/disprove it? I read a TQFT paper from Edward ...
8
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2answers
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Showing that a level set is not a submanifold

Is there a criterion to show that a level set of some map is not an (embedded) submanifold? In particular, an exercise in Lee's smooth manifolds book asks to show that the sets defined by $x^3 - y^2 = ...
6
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1answer
246 views

Question on “up to isotopy” when attaching two spaces

Let $M$, $N$, $A$, $B$ be topological spaces (or manifold) such that $A$ and $B$ are subspaces in $M$, $N$ respectively. Let $f: A \to B$ and $g:A \to B$ be homeomorphism and assume that $f$ and $g$ ...
4
votes
4answers
494 views

What is the codimension of matrices of rank $r$ as a manifold?

I'm reading through G&P's Differential Topology book, but I hit a wall at the end of section 4. There is a result stating The set $X=\{A\in M_{m\times n}(\mathbb{R}):\mathrm{rk}(A)=r\}$ is a ...
4
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1answer
163 views

Closed and exact.

I tried this question, but I have no idea if I got it correctly. On $\mathbb{R}^2$, let $\omega = (\sin^4 \pi x + \sin^2 \pi(x + y))dx - \cos^2 \pi(x + y)dy$. Let $\eta$ be the unique $1$-form on ...
4
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1answer
367 views

How does handle attachment work in Morse Theory

I am reading R.E.Gompf and A.I. Stipsicz, 4-Manifolds and Kirby Calculus. I can't understand the 2nd-paragraph of p.101, where they explain framings on the attaching sphere. In particular I cannot ...
3
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2answers
144 views

tensor product of two vector bundles

Let $\xi$ and $\eta$ be two vector bundles over the same base space $B$. Then $\xi\otimes \eta$ is orientable if and only if $\xi$ and $\eta$ are both orientable. How to prove this true or not true? ...
3
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0answers
575 views

Local diffeomorphism is diffeomorphism provided one-to-one.

For the problem Guillemin & Pallock's Differential Topology 1.3.5, I am not confident with my proof. Prove that a local diffeomorphism $f: X \rightarrow Y$ is actually a diffeomorphism of $X$ ...
2
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1answer
123 views

Sphere turned inside out

How can I turn a sphere inside out? I saw this video on YouTube and I didn't understood how can i turn a sphere inside out. any help will be appreciated. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_w4HYXuo9M
2
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2answers
352 views

A map without fixed points - two wrong approaches

For the unit sphere $S^n \subset \mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ let $f : S^n \to S^n$ be the map reversing the signs of all but one coordinate, $$f(x_0, x_1, \dots, x_n) = (x_0, -x_1, \dots, -x_n):$$ (a) ...
11
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1answer
602 views

Problem 3-38 in Spivak´s Calculus on Manifolds

This is not homework. Problem 3-38 reads: Let $A_{n}$ be a closed set contained in $(n,n+1)$. Suppose that $f:\mathbb{R}\rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ satisfies $\int_{A_{n}}f=(-1)^{n}/n$ and $f(x)=0$ for ...
7
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2answers
780 views

Classification Theorem for Non-Compact 2-Manifolds? 2-Manifolds With Boundary?

I recently learned about the Classification Theorem for compact 2-manifolds. Is there a similar classification theorem for ALL 2-manifolds, not just the compact ones? Moreover, is there a theorem ...
5
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2answers
123 views

Is $\{(x,y,z,0)\in\mathbb{R}^4:x^4+y^2+z^2=1\}$ diffeomorphic to $S^2$?

I was working on Problem 5-1 of Smooth Manifolds by Professor John Lee, and it lead me to wanting to show that $\{(x,y,z,0)\in\mathbb{R}^4:x^4+y^2+z^2=1\}$ is diffeomorphic to $S^2$, and that is ...
3
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1answer
307 views

Knot with genus $1$ and trivial Alexander polynomial?

I would like to know whether there exists a knot $K$ with genus $g(K)=1$ and trivial Alexander polynomial $\Delta(K) \doteq 1$. A linked question could be: does there exist a Whitehead double with ...