Satellite operations and knot genera

Geometry Topology Seminar
Monday, March 9, 2020 - 2:00pm for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
Allison Miller – Rice University – allison.miller@rice.edu
Miriam Kuzbary

The satellite construction, which associates to a pattern knot P in a solid torus and a companion knot K in the 3-sphere the so-called satellite knot P(K), features prominently in knot theory and low-dimensional topology.  Besides the intuition that P(K) is “more complicated” than either P or K, one can attempt to quantify how the complexity of a knot changes under the satellite operation. In this talk, I’ll discuss how several notions of complexity based on the minimal genus of an embedded surface change under satelliting. In the case of the classical Seifert genus of a knot, Schubert gives an exact formula. In the 4-dimensional context the situation is more complicated, and depends on whether we work in the smooth or topological category: the smooth category is sometimes asymptotically similar to the classical setting, but our main results show that the topological category is much weirder.  This talk is based on joint work with Peter Feller and Juanita Pinzón-Caicedo.