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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What's so special about a homotopy $15$-sphere?

I just saw a table which counts diffeomorphism classes of homotopy $n$-spheres (that is, spaces homotopy equivalent to $n$-dimensional spheres). Such a table can be seen on the first page of this ...
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240 views

On the Constant Rank Theorem and the Frobenius Theorem for differential equations.

Recently I was reading chapter $4$ (p. $60$) of The Implicit Function Theorem: History, Theorem, and Applications (By Steven George Krantz, Harold R. Parks) on proof's of the equivalence of the ...
10
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438 views

A fiber bundle over Euclidean space is trivial.

What's the easiest way to see this? The only thing I could think to do was try to patch together trivializations. I couldn't find a way to make that work. Thank you! edit: For the record, here's why ...
9
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164 views

Am I reading Bott - Tu right?

Summary: I'm finding Bott - Tu to be too brief and terse. I constantly have to look elsewhere to fill in details. This is not time-efficient. Am I missing something? If not - what other books do ...
8
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173 views

Reality check: $\mathcal{O}_{\mathbb{P}_\mathbb{R}^1}(1)$ and $\mathcal{O}_{\mathbb{P}_\mathbb{R}^1}(-1)$ are both Möbius strips?

This question follows up this previous question, which has an accepted answer that I am having trouble believing. (Edit: the answer has now been fixed; thanks Georges!) I have been working on giving ...
7
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128 views

If a thread is pulled out of a floating blob of water, must the thread be tangent to the surface of the blob at some point?

My motivation is the recent question I just answered, and my answer use too many hypothesis that I considered superfluous: Always "one double root" between "no root" and "at ...
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78 views

Definition of bordism - gluing manifolds with structure

In general, when you have a "cobordism category" (as defined in Stong's Notes on Cobordism Theory) you define two objects $M,N$ to be bordant when there exist $U,V$ such that $M \amalg \partial U ...
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When $f\colon M\to N\times N$ satisfies that $f^{-1}(\Delta)$ is a ball?

Let $M$, $N$ be smooth manifolds of dimension $m+n$ and $n$, respectively. Suppose that $f\colon M\to N\times N$ is a smooth map and $f$ is transversal to the diagonal $\Delta=\{(x,x)\in N\times ...
7
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298 views

Trying to Understand Lefschetz Pencils

I'm reading on Lefschetz pencils, and I'm trying to understand condition ii) better, tho I would appreciate insights on condition i), and in general. A Lefschetz pencil on a $4$-manifold $X$ is a ...
7
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301 views

When is a fibration a fiber bundle?

In this question I am using Wiki's definitions for fibration and fiber bundle. I want to be general in asking my question, but I am mostly interested in smooth compact manifolds and smooth fibrations ...
7
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87 views

Conditions for a group to admit the structure of a Lie group

This question is motivated by a previous one: Conditions for a smooth manifold to admit the structure of a Lie group and wants to be a sort of "converse". Here I am taking an abstract group $G$ and ...
7
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149 views

Lemma 6.3 of Milnor's Lectures on the h-cobordism theorem

Milnor's statement is: "Let $M^r$ and $N^s$ be sub-manifolds of $V^{r+s}$ which are all smooth, compact, oriented and without boundary. If $p$ is a point of $M^r$ contained in an $r$-cell $U$, ...
6
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130 views

Which manifolds are zero sets of $\mathbb R^n$ valued maps

If $M$ is a smooth manifold, then any framed submanifold $N$ is the preimage $f^{-1}(y) $ for a smooth sphere-valued map $f$ transversal to $y$, with the framing of the normal bundle induced by $f$. ...
6
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129 views

1-form with positive integral over a path

Given any smooth path $\gamma$ on a manifold $M$, when can we construct a 1-form $\omega \in \Omega^1(M)$ so that $\int_{\gamma} \omega > 0$? It is easy to see that such $\omega$ exists if the path ...
6
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100 views

Identification of integration on smooth chains with ordinary integration

Let $M$ be a smooth oriented $n$-dimensional manifold and denote by $A \in H_n(M;\mathbb{Z})$ the fundamental class of $M$ (a generator of singular homology consistent with the orientation of $M$). ...
6
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301 views

Characterization of gradient vector fields

Let $V$ be a vector field on a smooth manifold $M$. Are there nice conditions under which there exists a (Riemannian) metric on $M$ such that $V$ is the gradient of some smooth function on $M$? One ...
5
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42 views

How to kill homotopy groups using framed cobordism

Let $M$ be an orientable manifold (with or without boundary), $N$ a framed submanifold in the interior of $M$ and assume (if necessary) that $\dim N<(\dim M)/2$. If some low-dimensional homotopy ...
5
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60 views

Picture behind $SO(3)/SO(2)\simeq S^2$

Is there some kind of intuitive/waving hand argument to explain that $$SO(3)/SO(2) \simeq S^2 \; ?$$
5
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81 views

Does there exist a vector field s.t. all orbits are dense on $\mathbb{R}^2$

Is there a complete vector field such that the all orbits are dense on a contractible manifold? For example, $\mathbb{R}^2$,the interior of a $n$-unit ball.
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93 views

Cohomology of covering space

Let $B$ be a base space and $E$ be a covering space of $B$ what is the relation between $H^2(B,\mathbb{Z})$ and $H^2(E,\mathbb{Z})$.?
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The space of paths

Let $ (M,g) $ be a compact Riemannian manifold, and let the path space $ \Omega $ of $ M $ be the set of equivalence class of smooth maps $ \gamma : [0,1] \rightarrow M $ (equivalent under ...
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396 views

Poincaré-Hopf theorem and its applications

I'm reading the basics of differential topology to try to understand the Poincaré-Hopf theorem, its proof and its applications. My plan is as follows: 1) Study transversality: its homotopy stability ...
5
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215 views

Partial derivative of a composite function $\mathbb{R}^n \to \mathbb{R}^n$

I am trying to understand a proof but I am stuck on this technical bit: Apart from the small typo highlighted, I don't really see how to get the big formula for the partial derivative of $v_i$ ...
5
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75 views

how to cover a manifold almost everywhere?

I pose the following question: Given a connected (maybe we need compactness) manifold or regular surface, can we find a single parametrization $\chi:B\to M$ from the open ball to the manifold, such ...
5
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160 views

Does every non-compact manifold admit an incomplete vector field?

I know that every vector field on a compact manifold is complete. The question of whether every non-compact manifold admits an incomplete vector field seems to follow naturally. I'd hazard a guess ...
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188 views

Examples of special sphere bundles

I'm interested in examples of sphere bundles which do not arise from vector bundles. I'm not quite clear about the following. So please let me know if anything is false. I believe that a ...
5
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256 views

How to prove a manifold is diffeomorphic to Euclidean space?

Problem is this: suppose a manifold $$M=\bigcup_{n\in\mathbb{N}} U_n,$$ where each $U_n$ is diffeomorphic to Euclidean space, and $U_n$ is contained in $U_{n+1}$. Then please show that $M$ is ...
5
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224 views

Self Intersection and Euler characteristic

Reading the "Differential Topology" of V.Guillemin and A.Pollack, i found a definition of the Euler Characteristic different from the other one using the simplicial complex and betti number (ex. for ...
5
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191 views

Why does the Gauss-Bonnet theorem apply only to even number of dimensons?

One can use the Gauss-Bonnet theorem in 2D or 4D to deduce topological characteristics of a manifold by doing integrals over the curvature at each point. First, why isn't there an equivalent theorem ...
5
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279 views

Definition of Reshetikhin-Turaev TQFT

I am studying Reshetikhin-Turaev TQFT. In their paper or in the book " Quantum invariants of knots and 3-manifolds", they first define an invariant $\tau(M)$ for a closed orientable 3-manifold $M$ and ...
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365 views

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 ...
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288 views

Definition of Cobordism

I am currently trying to read Quillen's Cobordism paper - On the formal group laws of unoriented and complex cobordism theory Bull. Amer. Math. Soc, 75 (1969) pp. 1293–1298. Still on the first page ...
5
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143 views

non-orientable 4-manifolds

Most of the books and texts I read about classfication problems surrounding 4-manifolds which are closed and orientable (with a occasional side-track to open orientable 4-manifolds). This is ...
5
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145 views

Invariance of Wall's self-intersection under the regular homotopy

For an immersion $f\colon N^n\to M^{2n}$ with fixed lift $\tilde{f}\colon N\to \tilde{M}$ and $N,M,\tilde{M}$ are oriented, first we define a unordered double point set $S_2[f]=\lbrace(x_1,x_2)\in ...
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88 views
+50

Surgery presentations and gluing

It is well known that every closed oriented 3dimensional manifold can be obtained from a framed link in $S^3$. Let $M$ and $N$ be topological 3-manifolds with boundary such that boundaries $\partial ...
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50 views

Gluing two solid tori along their boundary resulting in a topological manifold

The following question is from a past qualifying exam. Take two solid tori $D^2 \times S^1$, and construct the space $X$ by identifying their boundaries via the map $f \colon \partial D^2 \times S^1 ...
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74 views

Generalizing the Hopf invariant to arbitrary manifolds

I recently ran across a qual question about a generalization the Hopf invariant to smooth maps $f: M^{4n-1} \to N^{2n}$ between arbitrary closed connected oriented manifolds of the indicated ...
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62 views

A question on harmonic two-forms

Let $(M^4,g)$ be a closed Riemannian four-manifold with $b_2^+>0$ and $b_2^->0$, is it possible to find two harmonic two-forms $\alpha\in H^2_+(M)$ and $\beta\in H^2_-(M)$, such that ...
4
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61 views

show that $\omega$ is exact if and only if the integral of $\omega$ over every p-cycle is 0

Let $M$ be an oriented smooth manifold and $\omega$ a closed $p$-form on $M$. Show that $\omega$ is exact if and only if the integral of $\omega$ over every $p$-cycle is $0$. In particular, how to ...
4
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45 views

Is there always a smooth variant of a homoeomorphism between smooth manifolds?

Let $M$ and $N$ be smooth homeomorphic manifolds. Let $h:M\rightarrow N$ a homeomorphism. Does there exist $r:M\rightarrow N$ that is still a homeomorphism and additionaly smooth? Can it be chosen ...
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44 views

Second Stiefel-Whitney Class of a Five Manifold

There is a unique rank 4 nontrivial orientable vector bundle over the 2-torus, denote this by $p:E\rightarrow T^2$. Denote the associated sphere bundle by $S(E)$. Then since $S(E)$ is orientable, the ...
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64 views

Homotopic maps to $S^n$

I'm working through a proof that, given an oriented compact (connected) $n$-manifold $M$ with boundary, any two continuous maps $f,g:M\to S^n$ are homotopic. The proof uses the double of $M$, which is ...
4
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58 views

Which is harder to compute: $\pi_{n+k}$ or $\Omega^{fr}_n$?

Denote the $n+k$-th homotopy group of $S^n$ by $\pi_{n+k}(S^n)$ and the group of framed cobordism classes by $\Omega_n^{fr}(S^k)$. A central problem of algebraic topology is to compute $\pi_i(S^j)$ ...
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231 views

Soft question: why are there non-smooth manifolds?

Topologists are often very good at explaining the geometric intuition behind certain results and programs of research. For instance, the particular interest in 4 manifolds is often explained by ...
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97 views

Extending metrics

Let $\pi:E\to M$ be a rank $k$ vector bundle over the compact manifold $M$ and let $i:M\hookrightarrow E$ denote the zero-section. Then we have a splitting of the restriction of $TE$ to the ...
4
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64 views

How to use the Prontrjagin-Thom construction to obtain the Gysin map?

I need help to understand the diagram in Miller's script Vector Fields on Spheres, etc. Chapter 23, p.82 on the bottom of the page. Before, Miller introduces the Prontrjagin-Thom construction: It is ...
4
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142 views

Variants of isotopy extensions

I am interested in slight variations of the usual isotopy extension theorems. In short, my question is the following : Can one extend isotopies of $C \subseteq M$, where $C$ is compact and $M$ is a ...
4
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206 views

Morse theory and homology of an algebraic surface (example)

Let $T_n$ denote the $n$-th Chebyshev polynomial and define $f_n(x,y,z)\!:=\!T_n(x)\!+\!T_n(y)\!+\!T_n(z)$ and $$Z_n:=\mathcal{Z}(f_n) \subseteq \mathbb{R}^3,$$ the Bachoff-Chmutov surface, where in ...
4
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187 views

A curve in a submanifold with a tangent vector not necessarily in the submanifold's tangent space

I came across this exercise in Warner's Foundations of Differential Manifolds and Lie Groups, Let $N \in M$ be a submanifold. Let $\gamma \colon (a,b) \to M$ be a $C^{\infty}$ curve such that ...
3
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44 views

How does a differential act when we identify $T_p(M\times N)\cong T_{p_1}M\times T_{p_2}N$?

It's fairly common to identify the tangent space of a product manifold as $$ T_p(M\times N)\cong T_{p_1}M\times T_{p_2}N $$ where $p=(p_1,p_2)$, and the actual isomorphism is given by $v\in ...