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Preprint

04 September 2023

Many important theorems in differential topology relate properties of manifolds to properties of their underlying homotopy types -- defined e.g. using the total singular complex or the \v{C}ech nerve of a good open cover. Upon embedding the category of manifolds into the \(\infty\)-topos \(\mathbf{Diff}^\infty\) of differentiable sheaves one gains a further notion of underlying homotopy type: the shape of the corresponding differentiable sheaf. In a first series of results we prove using simple cofinality and descent arguments that the shape of any manifold coincides with many other notions of underlying homotopy types such as the ones mentioned above. Our techniques moreover allow for computations, such as the homotopy type of the Haefliger stack, following Carchedi. This leads to more refined questions, such as what it means for a mapping differential sheaf to have the correct shape. To answer these we construct model structures as well as more general homotopical calculi on the \(\infty\)-category \(\mathbf{Diff}^\infty\) (which restrict to its full subcategory of \(0\)-truncated objects,\(\mathbf{Diff}^\infty_{\leq 0}\)) with shape equivalences as the weak equivalences. These tools are moreover developed in such a way so as to be highly customisable, with a view towards future applications, e.g. in geometric topology. Finally, working with the \(\infty\)-topos \(\mathbf{Diff}^0\) of sheaves on topological manifolds, we give new and conceptual proofs of some classical statements in algebraic topology. These include Dugger and Isaksen's hypercovering theorem, and the fact that the Quillen adjunction between simplicial sets and topological spaces is a Quillen equivalence.