Braid groups and symplectic groups

Geometry Topology Seminar
Monday, February 7, 2011 - 14:05
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
Georgia Tech
The braid group embeds in the mapping class group, and so the symplectic representation of the mapping class group gives rise to a symplectic represenation of the braid group.  The basic question Tara Brendle and I are trying to answer is: how can we describe the kernel?  Hain and Morifuji have conjectured that the kernel is generated by Dehn twists.  I will present some progress/evidence towards this conjecture.