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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Does $\Bbb{CP}^{2n} \# \Bbb{CP}^{2n}$ ever support an almost complex structure?

This question has now been crossposted to MathOverflow, in the hopes that it reaches a larger audience there. $\Bbb{CP}^{2n+1} \# \Bbb{CP}^{2n+1}$ supports a complex structure: $\Bbb{CP}^{2n+1}$ has ...
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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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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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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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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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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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480 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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636 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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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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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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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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Two Grassman manifold problems from Milnor and Stasheff's book

I'm stuck on the following two problems in Milnor and Stasheff's book Characteristic Classes. Really can't get my head around this material and I'm hoping that more worked examples would help. Even ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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386 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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194 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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Given two points on a manifold, is there a chart containing both?

Consider a connected manifold $M$ and two distinct points $p,q$ on the manifold. Is it true that there exists a chart containing both? How can one prove this result? OBS: I've seen an answer on the ...
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Coordinate map from cotangent space is smooth

I know that for a given coordinate system of the tangent space $\partial_1,..,\partial_n$ the coordinate map is smooth, as the coordinate map $\pi_i$ of ${T_xM}$ is nothing but the composition of the ...
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Are these “Stiefel-Whitney numbers” invariants of the (smooth)topology of the total space?

Let $E$ be a smooth real vector bundle over a smooth compact $n$-dimensional manifold $M$. It is relatively easy to see that the Stiefel-Whitney classes $w_i(E)$ are not diffeomorphism invariants of ...
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Manifold, exist smooth nonnegative function with regular value at 0?

If $X$ is any manifold with boundary, then does there exist a smooth nonnegative function $f$ on $X$, with a regular value at $0$, such that $\partial X = f^{-1}(0)$?
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Rigorous definition of an embedded connected sum.

Can someone point me to a rigorous definition of a connected sum of two smooth embeddings? I know about the usual construction, the problem is that I can't find a proof that this construction is well ...
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62 views

Defining a metric in the tangent spaces $ T_xM $

I'm working with a metric $D$ over the manifold of grassman $G_n(\mathbb{R}^{d})$ and have difficulties to extend $D$. Let me explain: If $M$ is a submanifold of dimension $n$ in $\mathbb{R}^{d}$ ...
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103 views

Manifold in Milnors Morse Theory

While reading "Morse Theory" by Milnor, I noticed that certain arguments would not work, if the considered manifolds have nonempty boundary. Example: Proof of 3.5 I could not find the definition ...
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resonance in pde

(I migrated the question from overflow b/c I think it belongs here instead.) About a year back I was in Professor Henry Mckean's office and he told me alot of interesting things. One thing he told me ...
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Homeomorphism between boundaries of open sets is “surjective”

Let $U,V\subset\mathbb{R}^n$ two bounded open sets and let $F:\overline{U}\to\mathbb{R}^n$ be a continuous map. Assume that $F$ maps $\partial U$ homeomorphically onto $\partial V$. The question: is ...
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96 views

Proof of Reeb's theorem without using Morse Lemma

I'm trying to prove Reeb's theorem as stated in Milnor's Morse Theory. That is, suppose we have an $n$-manifold $M$ together with a smooth function $f$ with exactly two critical points (both ...
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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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114 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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56 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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126 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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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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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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273 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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90 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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79 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 ...
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223 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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310 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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344 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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582 views

Ambient Isotopy

From Hirsch's Differential Topology, p. 180. The first of the isotopy extension theorems says; Let $A\subset M$ be a compact submanifold and $F:V\times I \rightarrow S^{3}$ an isotopy of $A$. If ...
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328 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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219 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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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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38 views

Direct sum of $\mathbb{R}(B)$-modules consisting of all cross sections.

Let $B$ be a Tychonoff space and let $\mathbb{R}(B)$ denote the ring of continuous real valued functions on $B$. For any vector bundle $\xi$ over $B$ let $S(\xi)$ denote the $\mathbb{R}(B)$-module ...
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72 views

Manifold is cut along hypersurfaces; how to define a connection on this?

May $M$ be a smooth manifold with boundary $\partial M$. Metrics and Connection can be defined everywhere. But now this manifold is cut by a smooth hypersurface $A$ and the cut goes along $M \cap A$ ...
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141 views

Index of zero of a gradient vector field at a critical point

Let $M$ be a Riemannian manifold with a Morse function $f: M \to \mathbb{R}$. The zeroes of the gradient vector field of $f$ are the critical points of $f$. How do you show that a critical point ...
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111 views

Boileau-Orevkov on the intersection of a complex curve with 3-sphere

Motivation: Feel free to skip. Let $\Sigma$ be a complex curve in $\mathbb{C}^2$. If $\Sigma$ is transverse to a 3-sphere $S^3 \subset \mathbb{C}^2$ of radius $r$, then $\Sigma \cap S^3$ is a link, ...