The boundary of the curve complex: a journey by train

12 November 2014
Antonio De Capua

The curve graph of a surface has a vertex for each curve on the surface and an edge for each pair of disjoint curves. Although it deals with very simple objects, it has connections with questions in low-dimensional topology, and some properties that encourage people to study it. Yet it is more complicated than it may look from its definition: in particular, what happens if we start following a 'diverging' path along this graph? It turns out that the curves we hit get so complicated that eventually give rise to a lamination filling up the surface. This can be understood by drawing some train track-like pictures on the surface. During the talk I will keep away from any issue that I considered too technical.