# Questions tagged [morse-theory]

For questions about Morse theory, which is a branch of differential topology to analyze topology of manifolds by studying differentiable functions on them.

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### When does gradient flow not converge?

I've been thinking about gradient flows in the context of Morse theory, where we take a differentiable-enough function $f$ on some space (for now let's say a compact Riemannian manifold $M$) and use ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 have no ...
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### Question about the proof of the index theorem appearing in Milnor's Morse Theory

I am trying to get through the proof of the index theorem. The background: I have been stuck for quite a while on the following point which Milnor says is evident: Let $\gamma: [0,1]\rightarrow M$ be ...
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### 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 non-...
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Let $M$ be a compact manifold (without boundary) and let $f:M\to \mathbb{R}$ be a fixed Morse-function. My goal is to better understand gradient-like vector fields for $f$. Question: Do any two ...
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### Proving $\partial ^ 2 = 0$ for the case of Morse-Complex with $\mathbb{Z}$ using orientation of the moduli space

I was going through the book Morse theory and Floer homology by Audin-Damian and got stuck where they talk about defining the complex for $\mathbb{Z}$ coefficient. Assume that $a,b,c$ are critical ...
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### Is Gauss curvature a Morse function?

Given a Gauss map $\nu: M \rightarrow S^k$ of a orientable, compact manifold, we define the shape operator $S_p = -d \nu: T_p M \rightarrow T_{\nu(p)} S^k$ to be the negative differential. Define the ...
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### Manifolds with diffeomorphic boundaries

Suppose $X$, $Y$ are two $2n$-dimensional manifolds with handles of index $0$ and $n$. In particular, $X$ and $Y$ have boundary. Suppose that $X$, $Y$ have isomorphic homology and intersection form ...
Exercise: Let $M$ be a $3$-dimensional smooth manifold with boundary $\partial M$ which is a surface of genus $g$. Moreover let $f:M\longrightarrow [0,1]$ be a Morse function with the following ...
Given a smooth ($C^{\infty}$) map $\phi: V \rightarrow SU(n)$ where $V$ is a (finite dim, real) vector space (of potentially very large dimension) and $SU(n)$ is the special unitary Lie group, what ...