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

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Cancelling 3-handles in Kirby diagrams

Recently been trying to understand the proofs of Gompf and Akbulut that certain 4-manifolds are $S^4$ (these 2 papers: Gompfs paper in Topology Vol. 30 Issue. 1, Akbulut). In which they use a clever 2 ...
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1answer
117 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 ...
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1answer
420 views

A simply-connected closed surface is a sphere

From the Classification Theorem for closed (i.e. compact and boundaryless) surfaces, it follows that $S^2$ is the only closed surface with trivial $\pi _1$. That's easy because the fundamental group ...
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71 views

Trivial eigenvalues

Many nonlinear manifold learning methods used for dimensional reduction (isomap, diffusion maps, local preserving projections, etc) solve the symmetric eigenvalue problem and then use the eigenvectors ...
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1answer
52 views

Compact orientable surfaces embeddings

I wonder if we can embed a compact orientable surface of genus $g$ into another of genus $g'$, if $g < g'$. I already know that this is false if $g>g'$, because of the first homology groups. Any ...
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169 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 ...
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171 views

Homology class calculation

Let $SO(3)$ be the $3\times 3$ orthogonal group. Define a map $i\colon SO(3)\to SO(3)\times S^2$ by $A\mapsto (A,A^{-1} e_1)$, where $e_1$ is the unit normal vector $(1,0,0)\in S^2$. Then, $i$ ...
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104 views

Problem from Hempel — surfaces in Lens spaces

This isn't a homework problem, just working through Hempel's 3-Manifolds for my own benefit. One exercise is to show that the lens space $L(2k,q)$ contains a surface of Euler characteristic $2-k$. ...
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111 views

$\operatorname{Spin}^c(n)$ is a Lie group?

Assume that $n\geq 3$. (This implies $\pi_1(\operatorname{SO}(n))=\mathbb{Z}/2$.) Let $\rho\colon \operatorname{Spin}(n)\to \operatorname{SO}(n)$ be the 2-fold universal cover. Identify $\ker(\rho)$ ...
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116 views

Symmetric product of genus 2-surface

Let $\Sigma$ be the genus 2-surface. Denote $\operatorname{Sym}^2(\Sigma)=\Sigma\times \Sigma/\mathbb{Z}/2$, where $\mathbb{Z}/2$ acts on $\Sigma\times \Sigma$ by $(x,y)\mapsto (y,x)$. In the very ...
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1answer
81 views

Characteristic cohomology class of 4-manifold with boundary

I have a question about Characteristic cohomology class of 4-manifolds. $X^4$ denotes the compact 4-manifold with boundary. I'm mainly concerned with $\partial X$ is nonempty. If $X^4$ is closed, we ...
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123 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.
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4answers
988 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
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1answer
131 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 ...
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3answers
343 views

Embedding compact (boundaryless?) n-manifolds in n-dimensional real space

I know the embedding theorems that allow you to embed $n$-manifolds into $\mathbb{R}^k$, provided $k$ is chosen large enough. Here I'm interested in the possibility of taking $k=n$ in the case of ...
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1answer
103 views

Lift of a homeomorphism $f$ between two (hyperbolic) surfaces $X,Y$

Let $X,Y$ be two hyperbolic Riemann surfaces (i.e. they have universal cover the upper half plane $\mathbb{H}$). Let $\pi_X:\mathbb{H}\to X, \pi_Y:\mathbb{H}\to Y $ be the corresponding covering maps. ...
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1answer
59 views

Why can we consider only torus switch rather than arbitrary Dehn filling in Lickorish theorem?

I understand that any orientable $3$-manifold can be obtained by doing Dehn surgery on $S^3$ along a set of circles sitting in it; but why can we further assume the slop to be $0$, i.e. we can obtain ...
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1answer
85 views

Which manifolds have a circle as their boundary?

The boundary of a disk or of a Möbius band is a circle. Which other manifolds share that property?
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476 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 ...
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1answer
303 views

Can the n-string sphere braid group embed in to the (n+1)-string sphere braid group?

This question has been cross posted on MathOverflow with some very interesting answers and discussion. I'm currently writing a project on the braid groups and their analogues on closed surfaces. ...
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1answer
125 views

What's isotopy of framings?

I am reading R.E.Gompf and A.I. Stipsicz, 4-Manifolds and Kirby Calculus.At pp.100-101,the authors say "isotopy classes of framings."I don't know how to determine isotopy to framings.Please tell me ...
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1answer
284 views

How does handle attachment work in Morse Theory

I am reading R.E.Gompf and A.I. Stipsicz, 4-Manifolds and Kirby Calculus. I can't understand the 2nd-paragraph of p.101, where they explain framings on the attaching sphere. In particular I cannot ...
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2answers
202 views

Heegaard splitting of a 3-manifold with boundary

A Heegaard splitting of a closed orientable 3-manifold $M$ is $M=H \cup H'$, where $H$ and $H'$ are handlebodies. Is there any similar concept for orientable 3-manifolds with boundaries?
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94 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 ...
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106 views

Heegaard Splitting of Brieskorn homology 3-spheres

For pairwise coprime integers $(p,q,r)$, we define a Brieskorn homology 3-spheres by $\Sigma(p,q,r)=\{(z_1,z_2,z_3)\in\mathbb{C}^3 | z_1^p+z_2^q+z_3^r=0, |z_1|^2+|z_2|^2+|z_3|^2=1\}$. I want to know ...
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1answer
168 views

The teardrop and the spindle are bad orbifolds

I should prove that the teardop $S^2(p)$ (the orbifold with underlying surface $S^2$ and a single cone point of order $p>1$) and the spindle $S^2(p,q)$ (the orbifold with underlying surface $S^2$ and ...
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1answer
397 views

Understanding the Hopf fibration

I'm taking a class in manifolds, and the Hopf fibration recently came up. I'm trying to get a handle on it, so I'm going to try and explain what I think is going on, and hopefully math.stackexchange ...
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1answer
146 views

What is this class of meromorphic functions?

Let $\hat{\mathbb{R}}$ be $\mathbb{R} \cup \{ \infty \}$, $\hat{\mathbb{I}} = i \hat{\mathbb{R}}$ and $\hat{\mathbb{C}}$ be the Riemann sphere. Let $P$ be the set of all meromorphic functions from ...
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42 views

limit set of Kleinian grouos with closed manifolds as quotient

I'm trying to convince myself that if $M\cong\mathbb{H}^3/G$ is a closed hyperbolic 3-manifold then the limit set $\Lambda(G)$ equals the whole Riemann sphere $S_\infty^2$. My idea of the proof goes ...
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63 views

Relations between Kleinian groups and quotient manifolds

In some specific situation there are some nice relations between a Kleinian group and its quotient manifold. For example, if $G$ is a once-punctured-torus group (i.e. a free subgroup of ...
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1answer
60 views

Extending domain of a meromorphic function from non-compact to compact domain

Let $f$ be a meromorphic function with $\text{dom} (f)=\mathcal{M}$, where $\mathcal{M}$ is a non-compact Riemann surface. If $\mathcal{M}'= \mathcal{M} \cup \{\infty \}$ is the one-point ...
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2answers
168 views

When does an embedded $2$-torus bound a solid torus in $3$-manifolds?

This is a simple version of the question asked here. Let $M$ be a compact 3-manifold without boundary, $\mathbb{T}^2$ be the standard 2-torus, and $i:\mathbb{T}^2\to M$ be an embedding. (*) Assume ...
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1answer
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What's the shining sparkle in the Sphere Inside-Out problem?

I've just seen the wonderfully done movie Sphere Inside Out, one about the Smale's paradox. And the first question came in mind is that, why it has to be so ugly? Why turning an ultimately simple ...
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2answers
139 views

Relationship between the $2$-plane bundles over $S^2$ and $\mathbb{Z}$

I want to follow up on this answer by asking a few more questions (posting directly on the question didn't seem to "bump" the thread). I was trying to read the referenced text (Husemoller's Fiber ...
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1answer
203 views

How to Classify $2$-Plane Bundles over $S^2$?

I'm curious how one can classify the bundles over a given manifold. I recently read this paper on classifying $2$-sphere bundles over compact surfaces. A lot of the concepts went over my head since ...
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1answer
410 views

the restriction of a homeomorphism on a subset

Let $X$ be a topological space and $f:X\to X$ be a homeomorphism. Then the induced map $f_1:\pi_1(X,x)\to\pi_1(X,fx)(\cong \pi_1(X,x))$ is an isomorphism (automorphism up to conjugate). In the ...
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3answers
331 views

Putting Geometries on Knot Complements

I have two different, but related, questions about the type of geometry one can get on a knot complement. Quickly some notation: $K$ will be a non-trivial smooth knot - living in $S^3$ - and $M$ will ...
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134 views

Fundamental Group of Seifert-Fibred Space, as constructed in Hatcher

In Hatcher's notes on 3-Manifolds (available here), he constructs Seifert-fibred spaces in the following way: Let $S$ be some surface, possibly with boundary (let's say with boundary for now). Let ...
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292 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 ...
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1answer
148 views

Supposedly “trivial” implication that injective surfaces are incompressible

My question is about a passage in Algorithmic Topology and Classification of 3-Manifolds by Sergei Matveev. Let $F$ be a surface in some $3$-manifold $M$. $F$ is called incompressible if for every ...
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2answers
171 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 ...
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2answers
426 views

Which mapping tori are Seifert manifolds?

According to Orlik's lecture notes on Seifert manifolds (and the Wikipedia page on Seifert fiber spaces), a mapping torus over a 2-torus is a Seifert manifold if and only if it is the mapping torus of ...
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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 ...
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1answer
183 views

4-Manifolds of which there exist no Kirby diagrams

In 4-Manifold theory one makes often the use of Kirby Diagrams to construct 4-manifolds (compact or non-compact) with specific gauge and topological properties (for example small betti numbers, spin ...
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1answer
146 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 ...
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334 views

explicit “exotic” charts

can someone provide explicit charts for non-standard differentiable structures on, for instance $\mathbb{R}^4$ (or some other manifold)?
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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 ...
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520 views

Why is the 3D case so rich?

The Banach--Tarski theorem applies only in the case of three or more dimensions. In 3D, there are five regular solids, two of them being not at all obvious, and the 4D case is also interesting; but ...