smooth structure


Differential geometry

synthetic differential geometry


from point-set topology to differentiable manifolds

geometry of physics: coordinate systems, smooth spaces, manifolds, smooth homotopy types, supergeometry



smooth space


The magic algebraic facts




  • (shape modality \dashv flat modality \dashv sharp modality)

    (ʃ)(ʃ \dashv \flat \dashv \sharp )

  • dR-shape modality\dashv dR-flat modality

    ʃ dR dRʃ_{dR} \dashv \flat_{dR}

  • tangent cohesion

    • differential cohomology diagram
    • differential cohesion

      • (reduction modality \dashv infinitesimal shape modality \dashv infinitesimal flat modality)

        (&)(\Re \dashv \Im \dashv \&)

      • graded differential cohesion

        • fermionic modality\dashv bosonic modality \dashv rheonomy modality

          (Rh)(\rightrightarrows \dashv \rightsquigarrow \dashv Rh)

        • id id fermionic bosonic bosonic Rh rheonomic reduced infinitesimal infinitesimal & étale cohesive ʃ discrete discrete continuous *

          \array{ && id &\dashv& id \ && \vee && \vee \ &\stackrel{fermionic}{}& \rightrightarrows &\dashv& \rightsquigarrow & \stackrel{bosonic}{} \ && \bot && \bot \ &\stackrel{bosonic}{} & \rightsquigarrow &\dashv& Rh & \stackrel{rheonomic}{} \ && \vee && \vee \ &\stackrel{reduced}{} & \Re &\dashv& \Im & \stackrel{infinitesimal}{} \ && \bot && \bot \ &\stackrel{infinitesimal}{}& \Im &\dashv& \& & \stackrel{\text{étale}}{} \ && \vee && \vee \ &\stackrel{cohesive}{}& ʃ &\dashv& \flat & \stackrel{discrete}{} \ && \bot && \bot \ &\stackrel{discrete}{}& \flat &\dashv& \sharp & \stackrel{continuous}{} \ && \vee && \vee \ && \emptyset &\dashv& \ast }



          Lie theory, ∞-Lie theory

          differential equations, variational calculus

          Chern-Weil theory, ∞-Chern-Weil theory

          Cartan geometry (super, higher)

          Manifolds and cobordisms



          A differential structure on a topological space XX is the extra structure of a differential manifold on XX. A smooth structure on XX is the extra structure of a smooth manifold.



          (smooth structure)

          Let XX be a topological manifold and let

          ( nϕ iU iX) iIAAAandAAA( nψ jV jX) jJ \left( \mathbb{R}^n \underoverset{\simeq}{\phi_i}{\longrightarrow} U_i \subset X \right)_{i \in I} \phantom{AAA} \text{and} \phantom{AAA} \left( \mathbb{R}^{n} \underoverset{\simeq}{\psi_j}{\longrightarrow} V_j \subset X \right)_{j \in J}

          be two atlases, both making XX into a smooth manifold (this def.).

          Then there is a diffeomorphism of the form

          f:(X,( nϕ iU iX) iI)(X,( nψ jV jX) jJ) f \;\colon\; \left( X \;,\; \left( \mathbb{R}^n \underoverset{\simeq}{\phi_i}{\longrightarrow} U_i \subset X \right)_{i \in I} \right) \overset{\simeq}{\longrightarrow} \left( X\;,\; \left( \mathbb{R}^{n} \underoverset{\simeq}{\psi_j}{\longrightarrow} V_j \subset X \right)_{j \in J} \right)

          precisely if the identity function on the underlying set of XX constitutes such a diffeomorphism. (Because if ff is a diffeomorphism, then also f 1f=id Xf^{-1}\circ f = id_X is a diffeomorphism.)

          That the identity function is a diffeomorphism between XX equipped with these two atlases means (by definition) that

          iIjJ(ϕ i 1(V j)ϕ iV jψ j 1 nAAis smooth). \underset{{i \in I} \atop {j \in J}}{\forall} \left( \phi_i^{-1}(V_j) \overset{\phi_i}{\longrightarrow} V_j \overset{\psi_j^{-1}}{\longrightarrow} \mathbb{R}^n \phantom{AA} \text{is smooth} \right) \,.

          Hence diffeomorphsm induces an equivalence relation on the set of smooth atlases that exist on a given topological manifold XX. An equivalence class with respect to this equivalence relation is called a smooth structure on XX.



          (uniqueness of smooth structure on Euclidean space in d4d \neq 4)

          For nn \in \mathbb{N} a natural number with n4n \neq 4, there is a unique (up to isomorphism) smooth structure on the Cartesian space n\mathbb{R}^n.

          This was shown in (Stallings 62).


          In d=4d = 4 the analog of this statement is false. One says that on 4\mathbb{R}^4 there exist exotic smooth structures.

          Exotic smooth structures

          Many topological spaces have canonical or “obvious” smooth structures. For instance a Cartesian space n\mathbb{R}^n has the evident smooth structure induced from the fact that it can be covered by a single chart – itself.

          From this example, various topological spaces inherit a canonical smooth structure by embedding. For instance the nn-sphere may naturally be thought of as the collection of points

          S n n S^n \hookrightarrow \mathbb{R}^n

          given by S n={x n| i(x i) 2=1}S^n = \{\vec x \in \mathbb{R}^n | \sum_i (x^i)^2 = 1\} and this induces a smooth structure of 𝕊 n\mathbb{S}^n.

          But there may be other, non-equivalent smooth structures than these canonical ones. These are called exotic smooth structures. See there for more details.


          • John Stallings, The piecewise linear structure of Euclidean space , Proc. Cambridge Philos. Soc. 58 (1962), 481-488. (pdf)

          See also

          Last revised on June 21, 2017 at 16:12:34. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.