1
vote
2answers
24 views

Questions about the Nature of Chirality (with some focus on dimensionality)

Are all chiralities the same? (Not in the sense of "is the right hand the same as the left hand?" but in the sense of "is the way in which X is chiral the same (or negative of the same) as the way in ...
8
votes
1answer
208 views

Surgery results in a cylinder

While reading a proof of a theorem about Reshetikhin Turaev topological quantum field theory, I encountered the following problem. Suppose we have several unlinked unknots $K_i$, $i=1, \dots, g$ in ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

How to distinguish between knots and links based on knot diagrams/projections

I'm interested in the distinction between knots and links in $\mathbb{R}^3$/$S^3$. In particular, is there an algorithmic way (as in not by sight/intuition) that we can examine the arcs and crossings ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Why surgery produce a new 3-manifold?

I was studying a proof of the fact that any closed orientable 3-manifold is obtained by integer surgery along a link. I read the several proofs but I don't understand well. A proof is as follows. ...
8
votes
1answer
90 views

Is there a domain in $\mathbb{R}^3$ with finite non-trivial $\pi_1$ but $H_1=0$?

The exterior of the Alexander Horned Sphere has $H_1=0$ but $\pi_1\neq 0$, in fact, $\pi_1$ is infinite. (See Hatcher p.171-172). Is there an example of a domain (connected open set) in $\mathbb{R}^3$ ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Orbit space of S3/S1 is S2

I'm having trouble finishing this homework assignment. I did the first part by showing that the orbits are invariant: every element from the same $(S^1(z_1, z_2) \in S^3/S^1)$ is mapped to the same ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

Relation between the braid group and the mapping class group of the plane

According to the following link, page 248, the braid group modulo its center is isomorphic to the mapping class group of the $N$-times punctured plane, i.e. $B_N/Z(B_N)\cong M_N(\mathcal(R)^2)$. Could ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

How do you specify a link to a blind combinatorialist?

Regular projections of links look like graphs in the plane. So I'm wondering if it would be possible to specify a link up to isotopy with purely combinatorial data about this graph. If so, what kind ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

The image of homomorphism of fundamental group of closed surface

$\phi: \pi_1(S)\to \pi_1(S)$ is a homomorphism of fundamental group of closed orientable surface $S$ of genus $\geq 2$. If $\phi$ is not an epimorphism, can we find a non-surjective self map $f: S\to ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Intuition on the Loop Theorem

Probably the simplest statement of the Loop Theorem in 3-manifolds is as follows: Let $M$ be a 3-manifold and let $D$ be a 2-disk. If there is a map $$(D, \partial D) \rightarrow (M, \partial M)$$ ...
4
votes
2answers
82 views

Recommended books on knot invariants

I've been reading the books "An introduction to knot theory" by Lickorish and "Knots, Links, Braids and 3-Manifolds" by Prosolov and Sossinsky, and while both seem to me as good books, sometimes I'd ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Classification of orientable non-closed surfaces

How does the classification of closed (compact, boundaryless) surfaces imply the classification of all orientable not-necessarily-compact surfaces with boundary? It seems to be that they are all ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

Intersection form on manifolds with boundary

It is a "basic fact" that the intersection form of a closed oriented 4k-dimensional manifold is unimodular. (Could anyone point me to a reference to a proof of this fact?) What can be said about the ...
5
votes
3answers
132 views

when is the region bounded by a Jordan curve “skinny”?

How can I formalize and prove the following intuition?: Picture a very skinny rectangle, one with base length 1 and sides length $\epsilon$. Or imagine a very flattened ellipse. The interiors of ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Density of continuous knots in the plane transversal to some circles

This is an exercise from the book "Knots and Links" by Rolfsen (exercise 6 in section 2C) Let $\kappa : S^1 \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^2-(0,0)$ be a continuous imbedding. Let $M := \{ x \in ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

Annulus Theorem

I'm trying to read Rolfsen's "Knots and Links" and I'm a little discouraged that I can't do one of the first and seemingly more important exercises. The question is Use the Schoenflies theorem ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

How is PL knot theory related to smooth knot theory?

I really want to like knot theory but the PL condition seems sort of ugly. I was hoping someone could give me a justification for secretly thinking about smooth knots as I read through a book like ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

Isotopy and homeomorphism

Let $X$ and $Y$ be topological spaces. Suppose we have an isotopy between maps $f, g: X\to Y$. The question is that is there a homeomorphism $h: Y\to Y$ such that $h\circ f =g$? I am especially ...
2
votes
3answers
132 views

Finding the rank of subgroups of free groups?

How do you find the rank of a subgroup(of finite index) of a free group? I was thinking of looking at the fundamental group of a graph.
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Representation of $S^{3}$ as the union of two solid tori

Well, I'm trying to prove that you can express the 3-dimensional sphere $S^{3}$ as the union of two solid tori. I tried first use that a solid tori is homeomorphic to $S^{1}$$\times$$D^{2}$ and use ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Prime decomposition of 3-manifolds

Let $H_g$ be a three dimensional handlebody bounded by a genus $g$ surface. Let $M_g$ be a manifold obtained by gluing two copies of $H_g$ via an orientation reversing homeomorphism of the surface of ...
8
votes
1answer
503 views

For an $n$-dimensional object, how many types of holes are possible?

Update 2012-06-06: At some point I'll attempt to answer my own question by using a dual-fluid model that places the dimensionality and connectivity of "solids" and "holes" on an equal footing. With ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

What knot groups are Abelian?

The knot group (the fundamental group of the complement of a knot) of the unknot is $\mathbb{Z}$ and the Hopf link is $\mathbb{Z}^2$, so those are knots (links) with Abelian knot group but are there ...
3
votes
0answers
293 views

Useful topology on space of smooth structures on $\mathbb R^4$?

Mathoverflow is intimidating, so I thought I'd ask here first (second). If I don't get any useful answers here in a few days, I'll ask there. $Q_0$: Is there any use for a topology on the (continuum ...
8
votes
2answers
178 views

In/out equivalent to left/right “chirality”

Apologies if this is off-topic, but we're having a problem over on English Language with this question, and I thought you guys might be able to help. Basically it's a matter of topology. We know the ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Kirby-like diagrams for $M^n$ when $n > 4$

Are there any attempts on constructing Kirby-like diagrams for representing manifolds $M^n$ with $n > 4$. What are the references on that ? I think you run out of dimension in which you can draw ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

Exotic Manifolds from the inside

As we know, an exotic $\mathbb{R}^4$ is a manifold which is homeomorphic, but not diffeomorphic to the standard $(\mathbb{R}^4,id)$, and there are even very explicit descriptions of them (Kirby ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the importance of the Poincaré conjecture?

The Poincaré conjecture is listed as one of the Millennium Prize Problems and has received significant attention from the media a few years ago when Grigori Perelman presented a proof of this ...