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Tree complexes and obstructions to embeddings.

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HHH - Homotopy harnessing higher structures

Using the framework of the calculus of functors (a combination of manifold and orthogonal calculus) we define a sequence of obstructions for embedding a smooth manifold (or more generally a CW complex) M in R^d. The first in the sequence is essentially Haefliger’s obstruction. The second one was studied by Brian Munson. We interpret the n-th obstruction as a cohomology of configurations of n points on M with coefficients in the homology of a complex of trees with n leaves. The latter can be identified with the cyclic Lie_n representation. When M is a union of circles, we conjecture that our obstructions are closely related to Milnor invariants. When M is of dimension 2 and d=4, we speculate that our obstructions are related to ones constructed by Schneidermann and Teichner. This is very much work in progress.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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