For questions on manifolds of dimension $n$, a topological space that near each point resembles $n$-dimensional Euclidean space.

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58
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5answers
2k views

Defining a manifold without reference to the reals

The standard definition I've seen for a manifold is basically that it's something that's locally the same as $\mathbb{R}^n$, without the metric structure normally associated with $\mathbb{R}^n$. ...
42
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the algebraic structure of functions with fixed points?

So I just noticed that the set of functions with a fixed point $$f(x_0)=x_0,$$ are closed under composition $$(f\circ g)(x):=g(f(x)),$$ and with $e(x)=x$, the inverible functions even seem to form ...
39
votes
7answers
3k views

What's the point of studying topological (as opposed to smooth, PL, or PDiff) manifolds?

Part of the reason I think algebraic topology has acquired something of a fearsome reputation is that the terrible properties of the topological category (e.g. the existence of space-filling curves) ...
26
votes
3answers
696 views

Sanity check about Wikipedia definition of differentiable manifold as a locally ringed space

Most textbooks introduce differentiable manifolds via atlases and charts. This has the advantage of being concrete, but the disadvantage that the local coordinates are usually completely irrelevant- ...
26
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2answers
816 views

PDEs on manifold: what changes from Euclidean case?

I know some PDE theory for nice open domains in $\mathbb{R}^n.$ I want to know what the changes are when I switch to other domains like manifolds. For example, do things like Poincare's inequality ...
25
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
21
votes
3answers
450 views

What's the connection between derivatives and boundaries?

The (second) fundamental theorem of calculus says that $$\int_a^b f'(x) dx = f(b) - f(a)$$ which can also be stated, if one knows enough about what's coming next, as: The integral of the ...
21
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1answer
374 views

How much of an $n$-dimensional manifold can we embed into $\mathbb{R}^n$?

I observed some naive examples. Spheres, for example, when we cut out one point, can be embedded into $\mathbb{R}^n$. And if we cut out a measure zero set of a projective space, it can be embedded ...
19
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1answer
208 views

If $S\times\mathbb{R}$ is homeomorphic to $T\times\mathbb{R}$, and $S$ and $T$ are compact, can we conclude that $S$ and $T$ are homeomorphic?

If $S \times \mathbb{R}$ is homeomorphic to $T \times \mathbb{R}$ and $S$ and $T$ are compact, connected manifolds (according to an earlier question if one of them is compact the other one needs to be ...
18
votes
1answer
407 views

Decomposition of a manifold

As a kind of aside to this question, where one of the answers assumed that if $S^n=X \times Y$ then we can assume that $X$ and $Y$ are manifolds. If we have a manifold $M$, such that $M$ is ...
17
votes
2answers
394 views

No hypersurface with odd Euler characteristic

Here is a classic problem which I encountered and could not solve: Prove that a simply connected closed smooth manifold has no closed sub-manifold of co-dimension $1$ with odd Euler ...
17
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1answer
151 views

Reconstructing a manifold from critical points

I am teaching theoretical calculus this semester, and on the last discussion section we were discussing critical points of functions. I explained the idea of Morse theory, and a student of mine asked ...
16
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2answers
298 views

Is this surface diffeomorphic to a 2-sphere?

Let $f:\mathbb{R}^3\to \mathbb{R}$ be defined by $f(x,y,z)=x^4+y^6+z^8$. Let $M=f^{−1}(1)$. Is $M$ is diffeomorphic to a sphere $S^2$? I tried to solve this problem, but I realized that I ...
16
votes
3answers
926 views

concrete examples of tangent bundles of smooth manifolds for standard spaces

I'm having trouble visualizing what the topology/atlas of a tangent bundle $TM$ looks like, for a smooth manifold $M$. I know that $$\dim(TM)=2\dim(M).$$ Do the tangent bundles of the following ...
16
votes
1answer
302 views

Is the fixed point set of an involution on a topological manifold a submanifold?

Let $f:X\to X$ be a homeomorphism of a topological manifold with $f^2=\mathrm{id}$. Is each connected component of $\{x\in X \mid f(x)=x\}$ a topological submanifold?
15
votes
1answer
324 views

Is there any holomorphic version of the tubular neighborhood theorem?

This question arised when I was studying Beauville's book 'Complex Algebraic Surfaces'. Castelnuovo's theorem says that a smooth rational curve $E$ on an algebraic surface $S$ is an exceptional ...
14
votes
2answers
530 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
482 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. ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Is every embedded submanifold globally a level set?

It's a well-known theorem (Corollary 8.10 in Lee Smooth) that given a smooth map of manifolds $\phi:M\rightarrow N$ and a regular value $p\in N$ of $\phi$, the level set $\phi^{-1}(p)\subset M$ is a ...
14
votes
1answer
189 views

Are locally homotopic functions homotopic?

Suppose we have two (smooth) functions $f,g:X\to Y$, where $X,Y$ are smooth (second-countable, Hausdorff) manifolds which are locally homotopic (that is, any point in $X$ has a neighbourhood $U$ such ...
13
votes
2answers
831 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
544 views

Showing $[0,1] \times [0,1]$ is a manifold with boundary

I'm familiarizing myself with manifolds. I tried to show $[0,1]\times[0,1]$ is a manifold with a boundary. Can you please tell me if my proof is correct: The definition for manifold with boundary: ...
13
votes
1answer
323 views

Manifold of Density Matrices

Let $\mathrm{M}_{d\times d}\left(\mathbb{C}\right)$ denote the set of all $d\times d$-matrices with complex entries. My goal is to show that the set $\mathcal{M}:= \left\{ \rho\in \mathrm{M}_{d\times ...
13
votes
1answer
274 views

Can we generalize the regular value theorem even beyond the Ehresmann's theorem?

The formulation is complicated, but the answer may be some clever usage of the partition of unity, because locally the answer is given by the regular value theorem and the whole problem is to glue it ...
12
votes
2answers
744 views

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. Why is ...
11
votes
1answer
651 views

is triangle a manifold?

Is a triangle (its sides and the region enclosed by its sides) in a 2D Euclidean space $\mathbb{E}^2$ a manifold? I was thinking to use the identity mapping as its charts, but for each point on the ...
11
votes
1answer
357 views

Second Stiefel-Whitney Class of a 3 Manifold

This is exercise 12.4 in Characteristic Classes by Milnor and Stasheff. The essential content of the exercise is to show that $w_2(TM)=0$, where $M$ is a closed, oriented 3-manifold, $TM$ its tangent ...
11
votes
1answer
261 views

Product of spaces is a manifold with boundary. What can be said about the spaces themselves?

Suppose I have two topological spaces $X,Y$ and I know that $X\times Y$ is homeomorphic to a manifold with boundary. Can I conclude that $X$ and $Y$ are manifolds (maybe with boundary)? If not, ...
11
votes
1answer
497 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
983 views

Is the Nash Embedding Theorem a special case of the Whitney Embedding Theorem?

The Whitney Embedding Theorem states that every smooth manifold can be embedded in Euclidean space. The Nash Embedding Theorem states that every Riemannian manifold can be embedded in Euclidean ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the importance of the Poincaré conjecture?

The Poincaré conjecture is listed as one of the Millennium Prize Problems and has received significant attention from the media a few years ago when Grigori Perelman presented a proof of this ...
10
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4answers
1k views

Reference on Geometric Topology

Geometric topology is more motivated by objects it wants to prove theorems about. Geometric topology is very much motivated by low-dimensional phenomena -- and the very notion of low-dimensional ...
10
votes
1answer
158 views

Proof of $H^k(X,\mathbf k) = H^k(X,\mathbb Z) \otimes \mathbf k$

Let $X$ be a compact manifold and denote $H^k(X,G)$ the $k$-th cohomology group with coefficients in the abelian group $G$. Using Cech cohomology one can prove that there is a natural isomorphism $ ...
10
votes
2answers
792 views

Question about Singular Homology section in Hatcher

From Hatcher, "Algebraic Topology," Chapter 2, "Singular Homology" section (p. 108-109 in my copy): Cycles in singular homology are defined algebraically, but they can be given a somewhat more ...
10
votes
2answers
369 views

Fiber products of manifolds

Let $\mathsf{Man}$ be the category of smooth manifolds. Denote by $|~|$ the forgetful functor to $\mathsf{Top}$. If $X \to S$ and $Y \to S$ are morphisms in $\mathsf{Man}$, then $X \times_S Y$ exists ...
10
votes
1answer
368 views

uniqueness of the smooth structure on a manifold obtained by gluing

I've just read a proof that If $M$, $N$ are smooth manifolds with boundary and $f: \partial M\rightarrow \partial N$ is a diffeomorphism then $M \cup_f N$ has a smooth manifold structure such that ...
10
votes
1answer
199 views

Applications of TQFTs beyond physics

I'm giving a talk at a postgrad seminar on the topic of topological quantum field theories (TQFTs) with a mixed audience of pure and applied mathematicians. As such, I'd like to be able to offer some ...
10
votes
1answer
165 views

Topological manifolds (dimension)

I am taking an introductory course to topology and the professor defined a topological manifold of dimension $n$ if it is hausdorff and if for every point $x$ there exists an open set $U$ around $x$ ...
10
votes
1answer
92 views

Is the E8 manifold homeomorphic to a CW complex?

Is the E8 manifold homeomorphic to a CW complex? (I know that it is not triangulable) Edit: The E8 manifold is the unique compact (without boundary), simply connected topological 4-manifold, whose ...
10
votes
1answer
240 views

Infinite dimensional constant rank theorem

Suppose you have an analytic map $\phi : E \rightarrow \mathbb{C}^n$, where $E$ is a complex Banach space, and such that the rank of $D \phi$ is constant. Is it true then that the set ...
10
votes
2answers
316 views

geometric interpretation of Lie bracket

On page 159 of "A Comprehensive Introduction To Differential Geometry Vol.1" by Spivak has written: We thus see that the bracket $[X,Y]$ measures, in some sense, the extent to which the integral ...
10
votes
0answers
135 views

Soft question: How does basic differential geometry “fit together”?

I'm self-studying diff geom from Lee's Introduction to Smooth Manifolds. He warns the reader that there's a lot of machinery to construct, which is fine, and he explains things with wonderful clarity. ...
10
votes
1answer
190 views

Invariant submanifolds

Let $M$ be a smooth manifold, and let $N$ be a submanifold. Let $V$ be a smooth vector field on $M$ which generates a flow $\Phi_t$ on $M$. My intuition tells me (perhaps modulo some technical ...
9
votes
3answers
274 views

Residual Finiteness of Fundamental Groups of Seifert Fibered Spaces

I'm trying to understand why, if $S$ is a Seifert fibered space, then $\pi_1(S)$ is residually finite. From theorems 12.2 and 11.10 in Hempel's "3-manifolds", we can work with a finite-sheeted ...
9
votes
2answers
191 views

Is there a retraction of a non-orientable manifold to its boundary?

It's easy to show using Stokes theorem that a compact orientable manifold with boundary cannot retract to its boundary, by choosing a volume form. But for the non-orientable case I don't know if this ...
9
votes
1answer
197 views

Are these equivalent characterizations of closed manifolds?

Let $M$ be a connected smooth manifold without boundary. Are the following equivalent? $M$ is compact $M$ cannot be realized as a proper open subset $M\subset N$ of another connected manifold $N$. ...
9
votes
2answers
665 views

Under what conditions the quotient space of a manifold is a manifold?

Well, there are many operations we can do with topological spaces that when we apply on topological manifolds gives us back topological manifolds. The disjoint union and the product are examples of ...
9
votes
1answer
414 views

intrinsic proof that the grassmannian is a manifold

I was trying to prove that the grassmannian is a manifold without picking bases, is that possible? Here's what I've got, let's start from projective space. Take $V$ a vector space of dimension n, and ...
9
votes
1answer
395 views

Is Zorn's lemma required to prove the existence of a maximal atlas on a manifold?

In the definition of smooth manifolds, complex manifolds, and similar constructions, one starts by defining a property on neighborhoods in the space, specifying how they relate on overlapping ...
9
votes
1answer
382 views

The only 1-manifolds are $\mathbb R$ and $S^1$

I recall having heard somewhere that the only 1-manifolds (second countable, Hausdorff, connected spaces locally homeomorphic to $\mathbb R$) are $\mathbb R$ and $S^1$. Is this true? If so, is there a ...