Joint GT-UGA Seminar at UGA - Conway mutation and knot Floer homology by Peter Lambert-Cole and A non-standard bridge trisection of the unknot by Alex Zupan

Geometry Topology Seminar
Monday, November 6, 2017 - 14:30
2.5 hours
Boyd 304
Georgia Tech and Univ. Nebraska Lincoln
Peter Lambert-Cole: Mutant knots are notoriously hard to distinguish. Many, but not all, knot invariants take the same value on mutant pairs. Khovanov homology with coefficients in Z/2Z is known to be mutation-invariant, while the bigraded knot Floer homology groups can distinguish mutants such as the famous Kinoshita-Terasaka and Conway pair. However, Baldwin and Levine conjectured that delta-graded knot Floer homology, a singly-graded reduction of the full invariant, is preserved by mutation. In this talk, I will give a new proof that Khovanov homology mod 2 is mutation-invariant. The same strategy can be applied to delta-graded knot Floer homology and proves the Baldwin-Levine conjecture for mutations on a large class of tangles.  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Alex Zupan: Generally speaking, given a type of manifold decomposition, a natural problem is to determine the structure of all decompositions for a fixed manifold. In particular, it is interesting to understand the space of decompositions for the simplest objects. For example, Waldhausen's Theorem asserts that up to isotopy, the 3-sphere has a unique Heegaard splitting in every genus, and Otal proved an analogous result for classical bridge splittings of the unknot. In both cases, we say that these decompositions are "standard," since they can be viewed as generic modifications of a minimal splitting. In this talk, we examine a similar question in dimension four, proving that -- unlike the situation in dimension three -- the unknotted 2-sphere in the 4-sphere admits a non-standard bridge trisection. This is joint work with Jeffrey Meier.