Low-dimensional topology generally refers to the study of 3 or 4 dimensional topological manifolds and knot theory.

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Trying to understand Heegaard diagrams

I have been looking through Rolfsen's "Knots and Links" and I have come across some questions that I am confused about regarding Heegaard diagrams. Let $H_1$ and $H_2$ be genus $g$ handlebodies and ...
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Compact 3-manifolds with boundary an orientable surface

The usual embedding of the closed orientable surface $M_g$ of genus $g$ in $\mathbb{R}^3$ bounds a compact orientable $3$-manifold which is homotopically equivalent to a bouquet of $g$ circles. If a ...
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Is Whitehead's manifold with a point removed homotopy equivalent to a sphere?

A contractible open subset of $\mathbb{R}^n$ need not be homeomorphic to $\mathbb{R}^n$. The Whitehead manifold is an open subset of $\mathbb{R}^3$ which is contractible but not homeomorphic to ...
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Embeddings of surfaces into a 3-manifold

Say we are given a disconnected closed orientable surface $S=S_1\coprod S_2$ with $f=f_1\coprod f_2:S\rightarrow M$ such that the $f_i$ are embeddings and the images are incompressible. Suppose that ...
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Homology, addition of homology classes in construction of Poicare Sphere

I am working through Greenberg and Harper, Lecture notes on Algebraic Topology, and I am having trouble with one exercise. I have spoken with a professor and he encouraged me to ask here or look for ...
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Non-compact 3-manifold with incompressible boundary

Is there an orientable, irreducible, non-compact, 3-manifold $M$ with $\partial M\cong \Sigma_2$ , genus 2 orientable surface, with $\pi_1(M)\cong \pi_1(\Sigma_2)$ and $M$ not $\Sigma_2\times ...
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a diffeomorphism on a 3-manifold

Assume we have an embedded torus $T=S^1\times S^1$ in $3$-manifold $M$. We construct a diffeomorphism $f$ of $M$ as follows: Take a neighborhood $T\times I$ of the torus and set ...
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Understanding Hempel's proof of uniqueness of cube with handles

In Hempel's 3-Manifolds book, Theorem 2.2 says that if $P$ and $Q$ are two cubes, both with $n$ handles, and both are orientable, then they are homeomorphic. He defines a cube with handles as a ...
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Representing the $2$-homology classes of a $4$ manifold. Last passage of a Proof

I found a few occurrences of the same proof about representability of elements of $H_2(M,\mathbb{Z})$ for $M$ a closed orientable smooth $4$-manifold. All of them stop at the very end claiming that ...
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78 views

Existence of incompressible surface in a non-orientable manifold.

Let $M$ be a compact $P^2$ -irreducible 3-manifold. If $M$ is non-orientable, then there is a compact surface $F$ properly embedded in $M$ such that $F$ is two-sided, non-separating and ...
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figure-8 knot complement

The figure-8 knot seen as a 2-bridge knot with two maxima and two minima of the height function, has a complement in $S^3$ with one 0-handle,two 1-handles, two 2-handles and a 3-handle which cancels ...
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Perburb the Monodromy of Lefschetz fibration over a disk

Suppose that $\pi:E \to D$ is a 4-dimensional Lefschetz fibration over a disk,(more general, Lefschetz fibration over a surface with boundary ) and let $\Omega$ be a closed 2-form on $E$ such that it ...
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991 views

Blowing Up a Circle To a Hemisphere?

Can you blow up a circle drawn in the Euclidean plane to a hemisphere in Euclidean 3-space ? I am not concerned about preserving surface area or angles. I am interested in preserving an arrangement ...
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End of 3-manifold

Let $M$ be an irreducible, orientable, open 3-manifold with finitely generated fundamental group, this gives us a Scott's Core $C\hookrightarrow M$ so that the inclusion is an homotopy equivalence and ...
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113 views

Characterization of open sets in $R^3$ homeomorphic to $R^3$.

Background: By the Riemann mapping theorem, for any non-empty, simply connected open subset $U \subset \mathbb{C}$, $U \neq \mathbb{C}$ there exists a biholomorphic map (in particular a ...
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One-sided submanifolds in Hempel's 3-Manifolds

Early on in Hempel's book 3-Manifolds, he discusses two-sided submanifolds: if $N$ is a manifold of dimension $n$, and $M$ is a submanifold of dimension $(n-1)$, then $M$ is two-sided if there is an ...
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Exterior of a torus knot is Seifert-fibered.

I am trying to show that if $K\subset S^3$ is a $(p,q)$ torus knot, then the knot exterior $X_K=S^3\setminus N(K)$ is Seifert-fibered space, where $N(K)$ is a tubular neighborhood of $K$ in $S^3$. ...
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Restriction of ${\rm spin}^c$ structures

Suppose I have an oriented 4-manifold $X$ with boundary $\partial X$ an rational homology 3-sphere. If the restriction map $${\rm Spin}^c(X) \rightarrow {\rm Spin}^c(\partial X) $$ is surjective then ...
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planarity of trivalent graphs with a cyclic ordering on the edges in each vertex

Let $G$ be an (undirected) trivalent graph. For each vertex $v$ of $G$ we choose a cyclic ordering on the edges coming into $v$ (so if vertex $A$ has neighbors $B, C$ and $D$ we decide whether the ...
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Homeomorphic surfaces embedded in 4-space

A surface-knot is a closed connected surface embedded in the Euclidean 4-space $\mathbb{R}^4$. We consider the projection of the surface-knot into $\mathbb{R}^3$ with the singularity set contains of ...
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Regular neighbourhoods of non-orintable surfaces in $S^4$

Suppose that $F \subset S^4$ is a non-orientable surface. Let $N \subset S^4$ be a regular neighbourhood of $F$. Clearly, the boundary of $N$ is a circle bundle over $F$. Which is its Euler number? My ...
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Plane curves admitting several ways to seal it up by the disc

Let $\gamma:S^1\to\mathbb R^2$ be an immersed closed curve with only isolated transversal self-intersections. Say that $\gamma$ is sealed by the disc if there is an immersion $f:D^2\to\mathbb R^2$ ...
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Components of the space of immersions 2-manifold into $\mathbb R^3$

Let $M$ be a $2$-sphere with $g$ handles. Consider the space of maps $M\to \mathbb R^3$, which are immersions [i.e. smooth maps with nondegenerate differential in each point $x\in M$], with ...
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What's true in $\mathbb{R}^4$, false in $\mathbb{R}^3$ and uninteresting in $\mathbb{R}^5$?

What are some interesting and easy-to-understand (for non-differential geometers) facts about subobjects of $\mathbb{R}^4$ that are not only false in $\mathbb{R}^3$, but also specific to the structure ...
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Reducible Heegaard splittings can be written as connected sums

Recall that a Heegaard splitting is a decomposition of a three manifold into a triple $(V,W,S)$ where V and W are solid handlebodies meeting along their common boundary S. A Heegaard splitting is ...
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Is $(\#^k \Bbb{RP}^2) \times I$ an $\mathbb{RP}^2$-irreducible 3-manifold?

Consider $S$ a surface homeomorphic to a connected sum of $n$ projective planes, $n \geq 2$. Can there be a two sided projective plane embedded in $[-\epsilon,\epsilon]\times S$?
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Platonic Hopf. Given the vertices of a tetrahedron circumscribed by unit sphere, find the stereographic projection of inverse Hopf fibers

I am trying to find the equations in $\mathbb{R}^3$ for the fibers of the four vertices of the tetrahedron circumscribed by the unit sphere. I want to find $s\circ h^{-1}$, where $s$ is the ...
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49 views

Reference for low-dimensional topology

I have read topology and algebraic topology by Munkres and I want to start low-dimensional topology. What is a good reference for stating low-dimensional topology?
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What closed 3-manifolds have fundamental group $\Bbb Z$?

For certain small groups, it is easy (and desirable) to classify closed (and orientable if necessary) 3-manifolds with that group as their fundamental group. (Essentially due to Waldhausen is that for ...
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The composition of a tricolorable knot with another knot is always tricolorable

Prove that the composition of a tricolorable knot and another knot (except the unknot, whether tricolorable or not) is tricolorable. I understand that the composition of two tricolorable knots ...
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Does the Dirac belt trick work in higher dimensions?

If the Dirac belt is in 4-space, is it still true that when the belt is initially given a 360 degree twist then it cannot be untwisted? I assume this is so because SO(n) is not simply connected, but ...
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The shape of a room that's bigger on the inside

I have an advanced facility with many floors containing experimental technology. One of these floors goes on forever. What shape is it? More specifically: within the room, you can move as far as you ...
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If $M$ is a nonorientable $3$-manifold, why is $H_1(M, \mathbb{Z})$ infinite? [duplicate]

Let $M$ be a compact connected $3$-manifold with boundary $\partial M$. If $M$ is nonorientable and $\partial M$ is empty, then how do I see that $H_1(M, \mathbb{Z})$ is infinite?
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$3$-manifold has same homology groups as a $3$-sphere. [closed]

Let $M$ be a compact connected $3$-manifold with boundary $\partial M$. If $M$ is orientable, $\partial M$ is empty, and $H_1(M; \mathbb{Z}) = 0$, does it follow that $M$ has the same homology groups ...
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Example of a doubly degenerate Kleinian group which does not come from a mapping torus

Doubly degenerate Kleinian groups are discrete subgroups of $PSL(2,\mathbb{C})$ whose limit set is all of $S^2$, the boundary of $\mathbb{H}^3$. A standard example of such a group is given as ...
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Prerequisites for studying Perelman's proof of the Geometrization Conjecture

I want to set a course toward understanding Perelman's proof of the Geometrization Conjecture. I realize this will be a lengthy undertaking, but hopefully only on the order of one to two years. I am ...
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Homotopically trivial $2$-sphere on $3$-manifold

Let $S^2$ be an embedded sphere in a $3$-manifold $M^3$ such that $[S^2]$ is trivial in $\pi_2(M)$. Can we find an embedded disk $D^3$ in $M$ such that $\partial D^3=S^2$?
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The Developing Map

I am looking for resources to learn about the developing map, but the only source I know is Thurston's book. Could anyone direct me to other sources? Lecture notes, articles, books, etc? Thanks in ...
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281 views

Knot Group and the Unknot

Hi I am stuck in trying to show that given a knot $K$ such that the knot group $\pi_1(K)=\mathbb Z$ then $K\simeq U$. I tried to use the fact that the infinite cyclic cover is the universal cover but ...
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101 views

Existence of a vector field with one singularity on a surface

In a paper I'm reading, it is stated that "It is known that on a compact, connected, oriented two dimensional manifold, there exists a vector field with only one singularity". Where can I find a ...
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Euler Integral of a self-overlapping tube with a cusp singularity

I am studying in depth the following paper on Euler calculus applied to target enumeration: https://www.math.upenn.edu/~ghrist/preprints/eulerenumerationpart1.pdf Within this paper there is an ...
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Covering maps between Seifert fibered manifolds

Let $M$ and $\widetilde{M}$ be two Seifert fibered three manifolds. Suppose that there exists a covering projection $p: \widetilde{M} \to M$ preserving the Seifert structure. What is the relation ...
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Casson handles neighborhoods are representable by $D^2$-bundles over $S^2$.

On 250 page of Scorpan's book Wild world of 4-manifolds. there is a construction of an exotic $\mathbb{R}^4$. It starts from taking manifold $M = \mathbb{C}P^2 \# 9 \overline{\mathbb{C}P}^2$ and ...
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on branched covers

Consider a branched cover $f:M\to N$ with branch set $A\subset M$ and $B\subset N$. In Rolfsen's book Knots and Links, it is assumed as part of the definition of a branched cover that the dimension ...
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Embedding 3-manifolds in Euclidean space

By the Whitney Embedding theorem, every 3-manifold can be embedded in $\mathbb{R}^6$. It's my understand that it's an interesting problem to see which 3-manifolds embed in $\mathbb{R}^4$; some do and ...
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Space of $G$-connections; respecting a spin structure

If I want to have a space of $G$-connections on a Riemann surface, I can take the fundamental group on the surface, represent its generators on $G$ and take (up to conjugation) those representation ...
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theorem relating the genus of a surface to the Euler characteristic

One of the most basic facts of the theory of surfaces is $$ \chi = 2-2g $$ where $$ \chi \triangleq V - E + F $$ for orientables surfaces. Does this result have a name? I am also after a proof or a ...
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p-simplex spanned by elements in the boundary of the unit ball of Thurston norm is in the the boundary of this unit ball.

in completing my thesis I have reached a momentary impass. I am trying to solve an exercise given in the book "Foliations II" by Candel and Conlon. In particular, Exercise 10.4.1, and I can't seem to ...
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How can a Kirby diagram fail to determine a handle decomposition?

I've read that a handle decomposition for 4-manifold determines a unique smooth structure, and I've also read that every 4-manifold admits a Kirby diagram. So when does a Kirby diagram fail to ...
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Gluing 3 dimensional tetrahedra with orientation reversing edge

I am not sure how to proceed on exercise 3.2.3 in Thurston's book "Three Dimensional Geometry and Topology". The wording is as follows: "In a gluing of three dimensional simplices, each edge enters ...