Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!

<-- Previous | Newer --> | Current: 980664343 JoshuaGrosse at Sun, 28 Jan 2001 06:45:43 +0000.

ManiFold

A continuous n-ManiFold is a topological space where there is some open set around each point that is isomorphic to the ProductTopology R^n.  That is, the space looks locally Euclidean.  These isomorphisms are called charts, and the collection of all of them is called an atlas; by only including charts that relate smoothly to one another, we get a differentiable ManiFold.

One of the most important kinds of ManiFold is a LieGroup.  These can always be made differentiable.

The classification of all ManiFold''s'' is an open problem.  We know that every connected 1-D manifold is isomorphic either to R or the circle S.  Connected, compact 2-Manifolds can be divided into three infinite series:

* Orientable with characteristic 2-2n (spheres with n handles)
* Non-orientable with characteristic 1-2n (projective planes with n handles)
* Non-orientable with characteristic -2n (klein bottles with n handles)

Non-compact connected 2-manifolds are just these with one or more punctures (missing points).  A 2-manifold can be embedded in R^3 if it is orientable or if it has at least one puncture.  All can be embedded in R^4.