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

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14
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2answers
2k 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
367 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
460 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
176 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
499 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 ...
13
votes
8answers
585 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
17
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2answers
437 views

explicit “exotic” charts

can someone provide explicit charts for non-standard differentiable structures on, for instance $\mathbb{R}^4$ (or some other manifold)?
7
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1answer
458 views

Visualization of Lens Spaces

I am trying to visualize lens spaces geometrically. While I am aware of the fact that most manifolds which cannot be embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$ are hard to visualize because of the obvious ...
4
votes
1answer
313 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
625 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
104 views

A(nother ignorant) question on phantom maps

My last question (Is such a map always null-homotopic?) is quite similar. If you do not care about my motivation for these questions, you can skip to the last line. I asked if some assumptions were ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

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?
6
votes
2answers
222 views

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 $\partial D^3=S^2$?
4
votes
2answers
321 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
0answers
262 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
211 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
169 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
152 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-- ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

limit set of Kleinian groups 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
569 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
1answer
163 views

Seeking a good book or site describing the 3-sphere

would you be able to recommend a good book/chapter or a web site on visualization / structural elements / projection of the 3-sphere. I am trying to locate a good information source on this subject, ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Plane models from the “word”

I have a "word" for a plane model $abacdc^{-1}db^{-1}$. From what I reckon, it's a torus. But I am not too sure of it. I sketched it up and did some "adjustments". Could it be a projective plane ...
1
vote
2answers
282 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 ...