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On manifolds containing a submanifold whose complement is contractible

  • G. M. Kelly (a1)

The problem discussed here arose in the course of some reflections on the critical point theory of Lusternik and Schnirelmann (4). In (4) it is shown how it is possible to associate, with a suitably differentifiable real-valued function f defined on a compact manifold M, a set of real numbers λ1 ≤ λ2 ≤ … λc, which are critical levels of f and which in certain respects are analogous to, and indeed generalizations of, the eigenvalues of a quadratic form. The number c depends on M and is called the category of M. If Rn is Euclidean n-space, Sn the unit sphere of Rn+1, and Pn the real projective n-space obtained from Sn by identifying opposite points, then a quadratic form φ in the (n + 1) coordinates of Rn+1 defines a real function on Sn and, by passage to the quotient, on Pn. Pn has category n + 1, and the numbers λ in this case are just the eigenvalues of the quadratic form.

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(1)Adem, J.The iteration of the Steenrod squares in algebraic topology. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., Wash., 38 (1952), 720–6.
(2)Cartan, H.Sur l'iteration des opérations de Steenrod. Comm. Helv. Math. 29 (1955), 4058.
(3)Hilton, P. J.An introduction to homotopy theory (Cambridge, 1953).
(4)Lusternik, L. and Schnirelmann, L.Méthodes topologiques dans les problèmes variationnels (Paris, 1934).
(5)Whitehead, J. H. C.Duality in topology. J. Lond. Math. Soc. 31 (1956), 134–48.
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Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • ISSN: 0305-0041
  • EISSN: 1469-8064
  • URL: /core/journals/mathematical-proceedings-of-the-cambridge-philosophical-society
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