Constructing 3-Manifolds Using Dehn Surgery on Handlebodies

Geometry Topology Working Seminar
Friday, November 6, 2009 - 15:00
2 hours
Skiles 269
Georgia Tech
The goal of this talk is to describe simple constructions by which we can construct any compact, orientable 3-manifold.  It is well-known that every orientable 3-manifold has a Heegaard splitting.  We will first define Heegaard splittings, see some examples, and go through a very geometric proof of this therem.  We will then focus on the Dehn-Lickorish Theorem, which states that any orientation-preserving homeomorphism of an oriented 2-manifold without boundary can by presented as the composition of Dehn twists and homeomorphisms isotopic to the identity.  We will prove this theorm, and then see some applications and examples.  With both of these resutls together, we will have shown that using only handlebodies and Dehn twists one can construct any compact, oriented 3-manifold.