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

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11
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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 ...
7
votes
1answer
247 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
349 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
106 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 $\mathbb{R}^3$ ...
12
votes
8answers
528 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
365 views

explicit “exotic” charts

can someone provide explicit charts for non-standard differentiable structures on, for instance $\mathbb{R}^4$ (or some other manifold)?
6
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
516 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
240 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?
3
votes
1answer
168 views

A 3-manifold with fundamental group isomorphic to a surface group.

Let $M$ be a 3-manifold (the case I am interested is $M$ closed orientable connected hyperbolic); suppose $\pi_1 (M)$ is isomorphic to the fundamental group of a (closed orientable connected) surface ...
2
votes
4answers
335 views

Higher Dimenional Tic Tac Toe

Here we have a problem that seems very intuitive, but is hard to define mathematically. In Tic Tac Toe, we can find an equivalent of the game in any number of dimensions, it seems. The trick is to ...
1
vote
1answer
138 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
3answers
140 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

Length of a Coastline

When B. Mandelbrot's typical example of measuring the length of a coastline is referenced, they mention how at every scale the length increases. In pure mathematics, I can imagine this quite well-- ...
3
votes
1answer
481 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
51 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
204 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 ...