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A manifold is a mathematical space which is constructed, like a patchwork, by gluing and bending together copies of simple spaces. For example, a circle can be constructed by bending two line segments into arcs which overlap at their ends and gluing them together where they overlap. The motivation for working with manifolds is that you begin with a relatively simple space which is well understood, and build up a manifold, which may be very complicated, from copies of that simple space. By choosing different spaces as base material, different kinds of manifolds can be constructed, such as topological manifolds and differentiable manifolds.

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