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The course will give an introduction to Morse Theory. This theory studies the topology of smooth manifolds through real-valued smooth functions whose critical points satisfy a certain non-degeneracy condition. We will investigate how the homotopy type is related to critical points and how the homology of a manifold can be calculated through Morse functions.


Autumn 2016 (Monday, October 3 to Friday, December 9)


  • Wed 13:05 - 13:55


Basic knowledge of Differentiable Manifolds and Algebraic Topology is necessary. This can be obtained through the Core Courses MAGIC063 and MAGIC064.


  • Smooth functions, non-degenerate critical points, Morse functions.
  • Morse Lemma.
  • Morse functions on spheres, projective spaces, orthogonal groups, configuration spaces of linkages.
  • Homotopy type, cell decompositions of manifolds.
  • Existence of Morse functions, cobordisms.
  • gradient flows, stable and unstable manifolds.
  • resonant Morse functions, ordered Morse functions.
  • Morse homology, Morse inequalities.
  • Calculations for projective spaces.
  • Introduction to the h-cobordism theorem.


Dirk Schuetz
Phone (0191) 334 3089
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Lectures on the h-cobordism theoremMilnor
An Invitation to Morse TheoryNicolaescu
Morse theoryMilnor
Lectures on Morse homologyBanyaga and Hurtubise
Topology and GeometryBredon
Foundations of differentiable manifolds and Lie groupsWarner


Clicking on the link for a book will take you to the relevant Google Book Search page. You may be able to preview the book there. On the right hand side you will see links to places where you can buy the book. There is also link marked 'Find this book in a library'. This sometimes works well, but not always. (You will need to enter your location, but it will be saved after you do that for the first time.)


The Assessment for this course will be via a take-home examination, to be taken during the official assessment period. The examination will consists of five questions, and you will need to obtain the equivalent of two questions to pass the course.

Final Exam of the Morse theory course

Files:Exam paper
Released: Monday 9 January 2017 (501.9 days ago)
Deadline: Sunday 22 January 2017 (487.9 days ago)

Answer all questions on separate pages. All fi ve questions carry the same mark. To pass you need to get 40% of the total score. You are allowed to use the materials provided through the course website. You need to upload the answers to the MAGIC website by 22 January.

Recorded Lectures

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