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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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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286 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 ...
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491 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 ...
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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 ...
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112 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 ...
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65 views

Is a compact, simply-connected 3-manifold necessarily $S^3$ with $B^3$'s removed?

Let $M$ be a compact, simply-connected 3-manifold (which is also smooth and connected). Is $M$ diffeomorphic to $S^3$ with a finite number of $B^3$'s removed? This seems like a handy fact, but I ...
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139 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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332 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 ...
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169 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 $U$, ...
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488 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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157 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 $f$. ...
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83 views

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

Is there some kind of intuitive/waving hand argument to explain that $$SO(3)/SO(2) \simeq S^2 \; ?$$
6
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144 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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557 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 ...
6
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106 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 $M$). ...
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392 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 ...
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168 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 ...
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53 views

Prove that there exists a diffeomorphism from an open neighborhood of $Z$ in $N(Z;Y)$ onto an open neighborhood of $Z$ in $Y$.

Prove that there exists a diffeomorphism from an open neighborhood of $Z$ in $N(Z;Y)$ (normal bundle of $Z$ in $Y$) onto an open neighborhood of $Z$ in $Y$. $\epsilon$ neighborhood theorem: For a ...
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108 views

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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43 views

Existence of orientation-reversing automorphisms

Let $M$ be a connected orientable manifold (I don't really care about which category of manifolds we should work in). Since I read that there are nice manidolds without orientation-reversing ...
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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 ...
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77 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 ...
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89 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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114 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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62 views

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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242 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 $v_i$ ...
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81 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 ...
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72 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 ...
5
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191 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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285 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 ...
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281 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 ...
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327 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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305 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 ...
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192 views

Properties of Surgery on Manifolds?

I am trying to give a brief explanation in which I make use of the concept of surgery on an $m$-manifold $M$. This is along the lines of (and taken generously from) the Wikipedia entry on Surgery; ...
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158 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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45 views

Modifying a smooth function with respect to conditions on its partial derivates

Let $\{U_i\}_{i\in I}$ be a locally finite collection of open subsets of $\mathbb{R}^n$, $K_i\subseteq U_i$ compact subsets, $\epsilon_i>0$ positive real numbers and a nonnegative natural number ...
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97 views

Making a gradient-like vector field a gradient vector field via choosing a Riemannian metric.

Let $\xi$ be a vector field on manifold $M^n$ which is a gradient-like vector field for a some Morse function $f$. Prove that there exists a Riemannian metric on $M$ such that $\xi$ is a gradient ...
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46 views

Realizing a Contact Structure on S^1 x S^2 via an Open Book Decomposition

I am trying to learn about Contact Geometry and Open Book Decompositions. I went through the example of the Hopf Fibration for $S^3$ and how you can see a contact structure. I am now trying to do ...
4
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117 views

De Rham Cohomology is Sheaf Cohomology

I'm trying to prove that de Rham cohomology computes the cohomology of the constant sheaf $\mathbb{R}$ of real valued smooth functions on a manifold. I would like to do this without using Čech ...
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63 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 ...
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80 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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81 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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79 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 ...
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53 views

Reference about history of characteristic classes

I'm looking for a good reference about history of characteristic classes. For example, I would like to know how Chern define the Chern class at first in history, or who rewrote the characteristic ...
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49 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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82 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 ...
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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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345 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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102 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 ...
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206 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 ...