The arc complex and contact geometry: non-destabilizable planar open book decompositions of the tight contact 3-sphere

Geometry Topology Seminar
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 2:00pm
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
Georgia Tech
We introduce the (homologically essential) arc complex of a surface as a tool for studying properties of open book decompositions and contact structures. After characterizing destabilizability in terms of the essential translation distance of the monodromy of an open book we given an application of this result to show that there are planer open books of the standard contact structure on the 3-sphere with 5 (or any number larger than 5) boundary components that do not destabilize. We also show that any planar open book with 4 or fewer boundary components does destabilize. This is joint work with John Etnyre.