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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

55
votes
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 $\mathbb{R}^n$. ...
40
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 ...
38
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) ...
25
votes
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 ...
25
votes
3answers
652 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- ...
25
votes
2answers
767 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
355 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
419 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
372 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
votes
1answer
124 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
votes
1answer
395 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
274 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
1answer
266 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
304 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
1answer
180 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
486 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 ...
13
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 point $p\in N$ of $\phi$, the level set $\phi^{-1}(p)\subset M$ is a ...
13
votes
1answer
496 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
291 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
219 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
3answers
848 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
665 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
2answers
789 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
258 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
210 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. ...
11
votes
1answer
437 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
836 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
votes
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
626 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
149 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
733 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
300 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
171 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
0answers
164 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
264 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
1answer
195 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
1answer
394 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
355 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
309 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
401 views

What are topological manifolds for you?

In this question different people understood different things when talking about topological manifolds. Some argued they they have to be Hausdorff, some that they have to be second countable and some, ...
9
votes
1answer
145 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 $x$ ...
9
votes
1answer
165 views

When does the quotient of a manifold with boundary become a manifold?

Given a manifold $M$ with boundary $\partial M \neq \varnothing$, when can we form a manifold $\tilde M$ from $M$ by collapsing the boundary? In the examples I've considered it seems like collapsing ...
9
votes
1answer
254 views

Vector Bundle Over Contractible Manifold

The problem comes from Liviu Nicolaescu's book Lectures on the Geometry of Manifolds. He asks the reader to prove that any vector bundle $E$ over $\mathbb{R}^n$ is trivializable. The idea he gives is ...
9
votes
0answers
221 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
727 views

How to apply Stokes' Theorem for manifolds with boundary

Original motivation: How can I apply Stokes' Theorem to the annulus $1 < r < 2$ in $\mathbb{R}^2$? Concerns: Since the annulus is a manifold without boundary, it would seem that Stokes' ...
8
votes
5answers
496 views

Uncountable disjoint union of $\mathbb{R}$

I'm doing 1.2 in Lee's Introduction to smooth manifolds: Prove that the disjoint union of uncountably many copies of $\mathbb{R}$ is not second countable. So first, let $I$ be the set over which we ...
8
votes
2answers
159 views

Demonstrating the value of abstracting away from elements/subsets to maps

Given a set $S$, here are 5 ways of thinking about elements of $S$, in increasing abstraction: an actual element, e.g. $s\in S$ an inclusion map, e.g. $i_s:\{s\}\hookrightarrow S$ an ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How many dimensions does a circle have?

Is a circle just a line (therefore 1 dimension) or is it a 2-dimensional object because it occupies some surface? Thanks in advance!