Contact Info
Pure MathematicsUniversity of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
N2L 3G1
Departmental office: MC 5304
Phone: 519 888 4567 x33484
Fax: 519 725 0160
Email: puremath@uwaterloo.ca
Topology studies properties of spaces that are invariant under any continuous deformation. It is sometimes called "rubber-sheet geometry" because the objects can be stretched and contracted like rubber, but cannot be broken. For example, a square can be deformed into a circle without breaking it, but a figure 8 cannot. Hence a square is topologically equivalent to a circle, but different from a figure 8.
Here are some examples of typical questions in topology: How many holes are there in an object? How can you define the holes in a torus or sphere? What is the boundary of an object? Is a space connected? Does every continuous function from the space to itself have a fixed point?
Topology is a relatively new branch of mathematics; most of the research in topology has been done since 1900. The following are some of the subfields of topology.
Torus |
Klein Bottle |
Algebraic topology sometimes uses the combinatorial structure of a space to calculate the various groups associated to that space.
Topology is used in many branches of mathematics, such as differentiable equations, dynamical systems, knot theory, and Riemann surfaces in complex analysis. It is also used in string theory in physics, and for describing the space-time structure of universe.
Departmental office: MC 5304
Phone: 519 888 4567 x33484
Fax: 519 725 0160
Email: puremath@uwaterloo.ca