Past Topology Seminar

26 October 2020
15:45
Abstract

I will discuss recent progress on the study of homological duality properties of complex algebraic manifolds, with a view towards the projective Singer-Hopf conjecture. (Joint work with Y. Liu and B. Wang.)

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19 October 2020
16:00
Michael Freedman
Abstract

In Joint work with Modj Shokrian-Zini we study (numerically) our proposal that interacting physics can arise from single particle quantum Mechanics through spontaneous symmetry breaking SSB. The staring point is the claim the difference between single and many particle physics amounts to the probability distribution on the space of Hamiltonians. Hamiltonians for interacting systems seem to know about some local, say qubit, structure, on the Hilbert space, whereas typical QM systems need not have such internal structure. I will discuss how the former might arise from the latter in a toy model. This story is intended as a “prequel” to the decades old reductionist story in which low energy standard model physics is supposed to arise from something quite different at high energy. We ask the question: Can interacting physics itself can arise from something simpler.

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12 October 2020
15:45
Vlad Marković
Abstract

I will discuss connections between ambient geometry of Moduli spaces and Teichmuller dynamics. This includes the recent resolution of the Siu's conjecture about convexity of Teichmuller spaces, and the (conjectural) topological description of the Caratheodory metric on Moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces.

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22 June 2020
15:45
Yair Minsky
Abstract

There is a well-known correspondence between Weil-Petersson geodesic loops in the moduli space of a surface S and hyperbolic 3-manifolds fibering over the circle with fibre S. Much is unknown, however, about the detailed relationship between geometric features of the loops and those of the 3-manifolds.

In work with Leininger-Souto-Taylor we study the relation between WP length and 3-manifold volume, when the length (suitably normalized) is bounded and the fiber topology is unbounded. We obtain a WP analogue of a theorem proved by Farb-Leininger-Margalit for the Teichmuller metric. In work with Modami, we fix the fiber topology and study connections between the thick-thin decomposition of a geodesic loop and that of the corresponding 3-manifold. While these decompositions are often in direct correspondence, we exhibit examples where the correspondence breaks down. This leaves the full conjectural picture somewhat mysterious, and raises many questions. 

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15 June 2020
15:45
Severin Bunk
Abstract

In this talk I will present results from an ongoing joint research  program with Konrad Waldorf. Its main goal is to understand the  relation between gerbes on a manifold M and open-closed smooth field  theories on M. Gerbes can be viewed as categorified line bundles, and  we will see how gerbes with connections on M and their sections give  rise to smooth open-closed field theories on M. If time permits, we  will see that the field theories arising in this way have several characteristic properties, such as invariance under thin homotopies,  and that they carry positive reflection structures. From a physical  perspective, ourconstruction formalises the WZW amplitude as part of  a smooth bordism-type field theory.

8 June 2020
15:45
Abstract

We study the countable set of rates of growth of a hyperbolic 
group with respect to all its finite generating sets. We prove that the 
set is well-ordered, and that every real number can be the rate of growth 
of at most finitely many generating sets up to automorphism of the group.

We prove that the ordinal of the set of rates of growth is at least $ω^ω$, 
and in case the group is a limit group (e.g., free and surface groups), it 
is $ω^ω$.

We further study the rates of growth of all the finitely generated 
subgroups of a hyperbolic group with respect to all their finite 
generating sets. This set is proved to be well-ordered as well, and every 
real number can be the rate of growth of at most finitely many isomorphism 
classes of finite generating sets of subgroups of a given hyperbolic 
group. Finally, we strengthen our results to include rates of growth of 
all the finite generating sets of all the subsemigroups of a hyperbolic 
group.

Joint work with Koji Fujiwara.

1 June 2020
15:45
Benson Farb
Abstract

In some ways the theory of mapping class groups of 4-manifolds is in 2020 at the same place where the theory of mapping class groups of 2-manifolds was in 1973, before Thurston changed everything.  In this talk I will describe some first steps in an ongoing joint project with Eduard Looijenga where we are trying to understand mapping class groups of certain algebraic surfaces (e.g. rational elliptic surfaces, and also K3 surfaces) from the Thurstonian point of view.

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18 May 2020
15:45
Abstract

Just as differential equations often boundary conditions of various types, so too do quantum field theories often admit boundary theories. I will explain these notions and then discuss a theorem proved with Constantin Teleman, essentially characterizing certain 3-dimensional topological field theories which admit nonzero boundary theories. One application is to gapped systems in condensed matter physics.

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11 May 2020
15:45
Irena Matkovic
Abstract

Tight contact structures on knot complements arise both from Legendrian realizations of the knot in the standard tight contact structure and from the non-loose Legendrian realizations in the overtwisted structures on the sphere. In this talk, we will deal with negative torus knots. We wish to concentrate on the relations between these various Legendrian realizations of a knot and the contact structures on the surgeries along the knot. In particular, we will build every contact structure by a single Legendrian surgery, and relate the knot properties to the properties of surgeries; namely, tightness, fillability and non-vanishing Heegaard Floer invariant.

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4 May 2020
15:45
Ian Agol
Abstract

Addressing a question of Baker and Reid,

we give a criterion to show that an arithmetic group 

has a congruence subgroup that is algebraically

fibered. Some examples to which the criterion applies

include a hyperbolic 4-manifold group containing infinitely

many Bianchi groups, and a complex hyperbolic surface group.

This is joint work with Matthew Stover.

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