Knots, minimal surfaces and J-holomorphic curves

Joel Fine
Université Libre de Bruxelles

Date(s) : 22/06/2021   iCal
11 h 00 min - 12 h 00 min

I will describe work in progress, parts of which are joint with Marcelo Alves. Let L be a knot or link in the 3-sphere. I will explain how one can count minimal surfaces in hyperbolic 4-space which have ideal boundary equal to L, and in this way obtain a knot invariant. In other words the number of minimal surfaces doesn’t depend on the isotopy class of the link. These counts of minimal surfaces can be organised into a two-variable polynomial which is perhaps a known polynomial invariant of the link, such as HOMFLYPT.
“Counting minimal surfaces” needs to be interpreted carefully here, similar to how Gromov-Witten invariants “count” J-holomorphic curves. Indeed I will explain how this “minimal surface polynomial” can be seen as a Gromov-Witten invariant for the twistor space of hyperbolic 4-space. This leads naturally to a new class of infinite-volume 6-dimensional symplectic manifolds with well behaved counts of J-holomorphic curves. This gives more potential knot invariants, for knots in 3-manifolds other than the 3-sphere. It also enables the counting of minimal surfaces in more general Riemannian 4-manifolds, besides hyperbolic space. 

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