Geometric Analysis and Topology Seminar

Certifying the Thurston Norm Via SL(2, C)-Twisted Homology

Speaker: Ian Agol, UC Berkeley

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 517

Date: Friday, April 15, 2016, 11 a.m.


We study when the Thurston norm is detected by twisted Alexander polynomials associated to representations of the 3-manifold group to SL(2,C). Specifically, we show that the hyperbolic torsion polynomial determines the genus for a large class of hyperbolic knots in the 3-sphere which includes all special arborescent knots and many knots whose ordinary Alexander polynomial is trivial. This theorem follows from results showing that the tautness of certain sutured manifolds can be certified by checking that they are a product from the point of view of homology with coefficients twisted by an SL(2, C)-representation.