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Relative kappa-classes

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HHHW04 - Manifolds

Diff(Dn), the the space of diffeomorphisms of the n-disc fixed near the boundary has rich rational topology. For example, Weiss's discovery of ``surreal'' Pontrjagin classes leads to the existence of rationally non-trivial homotopy classes in BDiff(Dn).

For any smooth n-manifold M, extension by the identity induces a map BDiff(D^n) \to BDiff(M). In this talk I will report on joint work with Wolfgang Steimle and Thomas Schick, where we consider the problem of computing the image of the ``Weiss classes'' under the maps on homotopy and homology induced by extension. This problem naturally leads one to consider relative kappa-classes.

Via relative kappa-classes, we show that the maps induced by extension are rationally non-trivial for a wide class of manifolds M, including aspherical manifolds (homology, hence also homotopy) and stably parallelisable manifolds (homotopy). When M is aspherical, our arguments rely on vanishing results for kappa-classes due to Hebestreit, Land, Lueck and Randal-Williams.

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

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