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Homeomorphisms of contractible manifolds

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  • UserOscar Randal-Williams (Cambridge)
  • ClockWednesday 22 May 2024, 16:00-17:00
  • HouseMR13.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Oscar Randal-Williams.

A century ago, J. W. Alexander showed that the space of homeomorphisms of a disc (which are the identity near the boundary) is contractible, using an explicit radial deformation now known as the “Alexander trick”. I will explain recent joint work with Soren Galatius which shows that the same conclusion holds for all compact contractible manifolds of dimension at least 6. In this generality there can be no such explicit deformation, and the question must be approached more obliquely. Along the way, I will explain a new result on spaces of smooth embeddings of one-sided h-cobordisms into other manifolds.

This talk is part of the Differential Geometry and Topology Seminar series.

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