Low Dimensional Topology

December 12, 2013

Banker finds a duplication in a 3-manifold table

Filed under: 3-manifolds,Triangulations — Ryan Budney @ 12:48 pm
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Daniel Moskovich recently wrote about the discovery by a lawyer of a duplication in the knot tables called the “Perko pair”.

Now a banker has found another duplicate in yet another table of 3-manifolds. This time it was Ben Burton, and the duplicate appears in the Hildebrand-Weeks cusped hyperbolic census.

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November 26, 2013

What’s Next? A conference in question form

Mark your calendars now: in June 2014, Cornell University will host “What’s Next? The mathematical legacy of Bill Thurston”.  It looks like it will be a very exciting event, see the (lightly edited) announcement from the organizers below the fold.

Conference banner
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October 2, 2013

Regina 4.94

Filed under: 3-manifolds,Computation and experiment,Triangulations — Benjamin Burton @ 4:00 pm

It’s the season for it!  For those of you who work with normal surfaces, Regina 4.94 also came out last week.  It adds triangulated vertex links, edge drilling, and a lot more speed and grunt.

Take the new linear/integer programming machinery for a spin with the pre-rolled triangulation of the Weber Seifert dodecahedral space.  Regina can now prove 0-efficiency in just 10 seconds, or enumerate all 1751 vertex surfaces in ~10 minutes, or (with a little extra code to coordinate the slicing and searching for compressing discs) prove the entire space to be non-Haken in ~2 hours.

Read more of what’s new, or download and tinker at regina.sourceforge.net.

May 31, 2013

The algorithm to recognise the 3-sphere

Filed under: 3-manifolds,Computation and experiment,Triangulations — Ryan Budney @ 10:48 am
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The purpose of this post is to convince you the 3-sphere recognition algorithm is simple.  Not the proof!  Just the statement of the algorithm itself.  I find in conversations with topologists, it’s fairly rare that people know the broad outline of the algorithm.  That’s a shame, because anything this simple should be understood by everyone.   

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April 20, 2013

The next big thing in quantum topology?

Filed under: 3-manifolds,Hyperbolic geometry,Quantum topology,Triangulations — dmoskovich @ 11:02 pm

The place to be in May for a quantum topologist is Vietnam. After some wonderful-sounding mini-courses in Hanoi, the party with move to Nha Trang (dream place to visit) for a quantum topology conference.

I’d like to tell you very briefly about some exciting developments which I expect will be at the centre of the Nha Trang conference, and which I expect may significantly effect the landscape in quantum topology. The preprint in question is 1-Efficient triangulations and the index of a cusped hyperbolic 3-manifold by Garoufalidis, Hodgson, Rubinstein, and Segerman (with a list of authors like that, you know it’s got to be good!). (more…)

March 16, 2013

Manolescu refutes the Triangulation Conjecture

Filed under: 3-manifolds,Floer homology,Triangulations — dmoskovich @ 11:06 am

This past week, Ciprian Manolescu posted a preprint on ArXiv proving (allegedly- I haven’t read the paper beyond the introduction) that the Triangulation Conjecture is false.

\mathrm{Pin}(2)-equivariant Seiberg-Witten Floer homology and the Triangulation Conjecture.

This is big news. I feel it’s the last nail in the coffin of the Hauptvermutung. I’d like to tell you a little bit about the conjecture, and about Manolescu’s strategy, and what it has to do with low dimensional topology. (more…)

February 25, 2013

Train tracks

Filed under: Surfaces,Triangulations — Jesse Johnson @ 1:33 pm

A few posts back, I defined normal loops in the triangulation of a surface and said I would use this idea to define train tracks on a surface. The key property of normal loops is that the normal arcs form parallel families and we can encode the topology of the curve by keeping track of how many parallel arcs are in each family. Train tracks encode loops in a surface in a very similar way. A train track is a union of bands in the surface (disks parameterized as [0,1] \times [0,1]) with disjoint interiors, but that fit together along their horizontal sides. In other words, the top and bottom edges of each band are contained in the union of the horizontal edges of other bands. A picture of this is shown below the fold.

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January 11, 2013

Normal loops in surfaces

Filed under: Surfaces,Triangulations — Jesse Johnson @ 3:50 pm

I plan to write a post or two about normal surfaces and branched surfaces in three-dimensional manifolds, but I want to warm up first, with two posts about the two-dimensional analogues of these objects. Train tracks play a huge role in the approach to the topology of surfaces initiated by Nielsen and Thurston, for understanding mapping class groups, Teichmuller space, laminations, etc. They organize the set of isotopy classes of simple closed curves in a surface in a way that allows one to take limits of infinite sequences of loops. (The limits are called projective measured laminations.)  In this post and the next, I will discuss train tracks from a rather unusual perspective, via normal loops in a triangulation of the given surface.

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November 10, 2012

SnapPy 1.7: Ptolemy and reps to PSL(n, C).

Filed under: 3-manifolds,Computation and experiment,Hyperbolic geometry,Triangulations — Nathan Dunfield @ 2:45 pm

SnapPy 1.7 is out. The main new feature is the ptolemy module for studying representations into PSL(n, C). This code was contributed by Mattias Görner, and is based on the the following two very interesting papers:

  1. Stavros Garoufalidis, Matthias Goerner, Christian K. Zickert: Gluing equations for PGL(n,C)-representations of 3-manifolds.
  2. Stavros Garoufalidis, Dylan P. Thurston, Christian K. Zickert: The complex volume of SL(n,C)-representations of 3-manifolds.

You can get the latest version of SnapPy at the usual place.

August 22, 2012

Bill Thurston is dead at age 65.

Bill Thurston passed away yesterday at 8pm, succumbing to the cancer that he had been battling for the past two years.   I don’t think it’s possible to overstate the revolutionary impact that he had on the study of geometry and topology.  Almost everything we blog about here has the imprint of his amazing mathematics.    Bill was always very generous with his ideas, and his presence in the community will be horribly missed.    Perhaps I will have something more coherent to say later, but for now here are some links to remember him by:

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