# Differential manifold without connection: Is it possible?

• ayan849
In summary: I am told that this is the first example ever discovered. It is a ten dimensional manifold. I do not understand the paper but would be willing to read it through with you.many thanks for the discussion.
ayan849
We all are familiar with the kind of differential geometry where some affine connection always exists to relate various tangent spaces distributed over the manifold, and from this connection two fundamental tensors, namely the Cartan's torsion and the Riemann-Christoffel curvature, arise.
Is it possible to have a differential manifold, where due to some topological anomaly, a connection cannot exist?
Of course there exists symplectic manifolds where no connection property is required.
But my question is related to the existence of non-metricity --- as in non-metric case, metric property id there but the connection is not metric. Similarly, can we have some property called non-connectivity where the affine connection is there but somehow it is lacking some fundamental connection requirements?

ayan849 said:
We all are familiar with the kind of differential geometry where some affine connection always exists to relate various tangent spaces distributed over the manifold, and from this connection two fundamental tensors, namely the Cartan's torsion and the Riemann-Christoffel curvature, arise.
Is it possible to have a differential manifold, where due to some topological anomaly, a connection cannot exist?
Of course there exists symplectic manifolds where no connection property is required.
But my question is related to the existence of non-metricity --- as in non-metric case, metric property id there but the connection is not metric. Similarly, can we have some property called non-connectivity where the affine connection is there but somehow it is lacking some fundamental connection requirements?

Every smooth manifold can be given a Riemannian metric. The proof glues local metrics together using a partition of unity. I suppose you need to show that there is an open cover by coordinante charts such that each point of the manifold is contained in only finitely many of the charts.

...hence, if by manifold you mean, as differential geometers do, a space which is paracompact (or something stronger like second countability), then every (smooth) manifold admits a Riemannian metric and a connection compatible with it.

Last edited:
quasar987 said:
...hence, if by manifold you mean, as differential geometers do, a space which is paracompact (or something stronger like second countability), then every manifold admits a Riemannian metric and a connection compatible with it.

there are manifolds that do no admit a differentiable structure. These can not have a connection.

lavinia said:
there are manifolds that do no admit a differentiable structure. These can not have a connection.

can you give me some examples where we cannot define a connection?
I'm an engineering student. I asked these question regarding non-Riemannian description of defects in solids. In this field, there arises a manifold which is composed of disjoint non-compact parts and you cannot form a compact Euclidean subset from these parts by an unique global diffeomorphism.

ayan849 said:
can you give me some examples where we cannot define a connection?
I'm an engineering student. I asked these question regarding non-Riemannian description of defects in solids. In this field, there arises a manifold which is composed of disjoint non-compact parts and you cannot form a compact Euclidean subset from these parts by an unique global diffeomorphism.

examples are difficult to produce and high dimensional - I think.

Could you give more information about this manifold? If it's a manifold, every point has a compact neighborhood about it. The proof that every manifold has a connection is based on the assumption that you can form a partition of unity. If your manifold is not paracompact, this fails. However, most definitions of manifold assume this to begin with.

zhentil said:
Could you give more information about this manifold? If it's a manifold, every point has a compact neighborhood about it. The proof that every manifold has a connection is based on the assumption that you can form a partition of unity. If your manifold is not paracompact, this fails. However, most definitions of manifold assume this to begin with.

I would be glad to research it. These manifolds do not have differentiable structures so can not have a connection. They are paracompact though - in fact compact.

zhentil said:
Could you give more information about this manifold? If it's a manifold, every point has a compact neighborhood about it. The proof that every manifold has a connection is based on the assumption that you can form a partition of unity. If your manifold is not paracompact, this fails. However, most definitions of manifold assume this to begin with.

http://www.math.rochester.edu/u/faculty/doug/otherpapers/kervaire_AMSRev.pdf

I am told that this is the first example ever discovered. It is a ten dimensional manifold. I do not understand the paper but would be willing to read it through with you.

Last edited by a moderator:
many thanks for the discussion.

## 1. What is a differential manifold without connection?

A differential manifold without connection is a mathematical concept that describes a space that is locally similar to Euclidean space, but may have a more complicated global structure. It is a generalization of the concept of a smooth manifold, but without the addition of a connection structure.

## 2. Can a differential manifold exist without a connection?

Yes, a differential manifold without connection is a valid mathematical construct. It is often used in areas such as differential geometry and mathematical physics, where the absence of a connection structure can simplify calculations and make certain geometric properties more apparent.

## 3. What is the difference between a differential manifold with and without connection?

The main difference between a differential manifold with and without connection is the presence or absence of a connection structure. A connection allows for the concept of parallel transport, which is used to define the curvature of a manifold. Without a connection, this concept cannot be applied and certain geometric properties may not be well-defined.

## 4. Can a connection be added to a differential manifold without one?

Yes, a connection can be added to a differential manifold without one. This is known as the process of "connecting" a manifold and involves defining a connection structure on the manifold. However, this addition may change the geometric properties of the manifold and make it more complicated to work with.

## 5. What are some applications of a differential manifold without connection?

Differential manifolds without connection are often used in various areas of mathematics and physics. They have applications in differential geometry, general relativity, and gauge theory, among others. They are particularly useful in studying systems with symmetries, as the absence of a connection can simplify calculations and reveal underlying geometric structures.

• Differential Geometry
Replies
5
Views
368
• Differential Geometry
Replies
16
Views
2K
• Differential Geometry
Replies
6
Views
2K
• Differential Geometry
Replies
4
Views
3K
• Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
7
Views
2K
• Differential Geometry
Replies
42
Views
12K
• Special and General Relativity
Replies
24
Views
690
• Differential Geometry
Replies
3
Views
2K
• Differential Geometry
Replies
15
Views
3K
• Differential Geometry
Replies
4
Views
3K