Let K be a convex body in Rn (i.e., a compact convex set with nonempty interior). Given a point p in the interior of K, a hyperplane h passing through p is called barycentric if p is the barycenter of K∩h. In 1961, Grünbaum raised the question whether, for every K, there exists an interior point p through which there are at least n+1 distinct barycentric hyperplanes. Two years later, this was seemingly resolved affirmatively by showing that this is the case if p=p0 is the point of maximal depth in K. However, while working on a related question, we noticed that one of the auxiliary claims in the proof is incorrect. Here, we provide a counterexample; this re-opens Grünbaum’s question. It follows from known results that for n≥2, there are always at least three distinct barycentric cuts through the point p0∈K of maximal depth. Using tools related to Morse theory we are able to improve this bound: four distinct barycentric cuts through p0 are guaranteed if n≥3.
Discrete and Computational Geometry
The work by Zuzana Patáková has been partially supported by Charles University Research Center Program No. UNCE/SCI/022, and part of it was done during her research stay at IST Austria. The work by Martin Tancer is supported by the GAČR Grant 19-04113Y and by the Charles University Projects PRIMUS/17/SCI/3 and UNCE/SCI/004.
Patakova Z, Tancer M, Wagner U. Barycentric cuts through a convex body. Discrete and Computational Geometry. 2022;68:1133-1154. doi:10.1007/s00454-021-00364-7
Patakova, Z., Tancer, M., & Wagner, U. (2022). Barycentric cuts through a convex body. Discrete and Computational Geometry. Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00454-021-00364-7
Patakova, Zuzana, Martin Tancer, and Uli Wagner. “Barycentric Cuts through a Convex Body.” Discrete and Computational Geometry. Springer Nature, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00454-021-00364-7.
Z. Patakova, M. Tancer, and U. Wagner, “Barycentric cuts through a convex body,” Discrete and Computational Geometry, vol. 68. Springer Nature, pp. 1133–1154, 2022.
Patakova Z, Tancer M, Wagner U. 2022. Barycentric cuts through a convex body. Discrete and Computational Geometry. 68, 1133–1154.
Patakova, Zuzana, et al. “Barycentric Cuts through a Convex Body.” Discrete and Computational Geometry, vol. 68, Springer Nature, 2022, pp. 1133–54, doi:10.1007/s00454-021-00364-7.