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Concept# Surface (topology)

Summary

In the part of mathematics referred to as topology, a surface is a two-dimensional manifold. Some surfaces arise as the boundaries of three-dimensional solid figures; for example, the sphere is the boundary of the solid ball. Other surfaces arise as graphs of functions of two variables; see the figure at right. However, surfaces can also be defined abstractly, without reference to any ambient space. For example, the Klein bottle is a surface that cannot be embedded in three-dimensional Euclidean space.
Topological surfaces are sometimes equipped with additional information, such as a Riemannian metric or a complex structure, that connects them to other disciplines within mathematics, such as differential geometry and complex analysis. The various mathematical notions of surface can be used to model surfaces in the physical world.
In mathematics, a surface is a geometrical shape that resembles a deformed plane. The most familiar examples arise as boundaries of solid objects in ordinary three-dimensional Euclidean space R3, such as spheres. The exact definition of a surface may depend on the context. Typically, in algebraic geometry, a surface may cross itself (and may have other singularities), while, in topology and differential geometry, it may not.
A surface is a two-dimensional space; this means that a moving point on a surface may move in two directions (it has two degrees of freedom). In other words, around almost every point, there is a coordinate patch on which a two-dimensional coordinate system is defined. For example, the surface of the Earth resembles (ideally) a two-dimensional sphere, and latitude and longitude provide two-dimensional coordinates on it (except at the poles and along the 180th meridian).
The concept of surface is widely used in physics, engineering, computer graphics, and many other disciplines, primarily in representing the surfaces of physical objects. For example, in analyzing the aerodynamic properties of an airplane, the central consideration is the flow of air along its surface.

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In mathematics, a manifold is a topological space that locally resembles Euclidean space near each point. More precisely, an -dimensional manifold, or -manifold for short, is a topological space with the property that each point has a neighborhood that is homeomorphic to an open subset of -dimensional Euclidean space. One-dimensional manifolds include lines and circles, but not lemniscates. Two-dimensional manifolds are also called surfaces. Examples include the plane, the sphere, and the torus, and also the Klein bottle and real projective plane.

In geometry, a torus (: tori or toruses) is a surface of revolution generated by revolving a circle in three-dimensional space one full revolution about an axis that is coplanar with the circle. The main types of toruses include ring toruses, horn toruses, and spindle toruses. A ring torus is sometimes colloquially referred to as a donut or doughnut. If the axis of revolution does not touch the circle, the surface has a ring shape and is called a torus of revolution, also known as a ring torus.

In mathematics, the Klein bottle (ˈklaɪn) is an example of a non-orientable surface; that is, informally, a one-sided surface which, if traveled upon, could be followed back to the point of origin while flipping the traveler upside down. More formally, the Klein bottle is a two-dimensional manifold on which one cannot define a normal vector at each point that varies continuously over the whole manifold. Other related non-orientable surfaces include the Möbius strip and the real projective plane.

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