University of Toronto's Symplectic Geometry Seminar

July 23, 2008, 11:10am
Bahen 6183

Joan Licata

Stanford University

Heegaard Floer theory and the Thurston polytope of four-stranded pretzel links


In the last few years Heegaard Floer theory has emerged as a highly effective tool for answering questions in knot theory, contact geometry, and three- and four-manifolds. In this talk I'll give a brief introduction to the construction of the invariants and discuss their application to topological questions. In particular, the Heegaard Floer link invariant determines Thurston polytope of a link complement. I will use this result to determine a general form for the Thurston polytope of a two-parameter family of pretzel links, and time-permitting, discuss how the polytope is affected by crossing changes in a standard projection of links in this family.