Author: Robert E. Gompf,András Stipsicz

Publisher: American Mathematical Soc.

ISBN: 0821809946

Category: Mathematics

Page: 558

View: 1126

Since the early 1980s, there has been an explosive growth in 4-manifold theory, particularly due to the influx of interest and ideas from gauge theory and algebraic geometry. This book offers an exposition of the subject from the topological point of view. It bridges the gap to other disciplines and presents classical but important topological techniques that have not previously appeared in the literature. Part I of the text presents the basics of the theory at the second-year graduate level and offers an overview of current research. Part II is devoted to an exposition of Kirby calculus, or handlebody theory on 4-manifolds. It is both elementary and comprehensive. Part III offers in-depth treatments of a broad range of topics from current 4-manifold research. Topics include branched coverings and the geography of complex surfaces, elliptic and Lefschetz fibrations, $h$-cobordisms, symplectic 4-manifolds, and Stein surfaces. The authors present many important applications. The text is supplemented with over 300 illustrations and numerous exercises, with solutions given in the book. I greatly recommend this wonderful book to any researcher in 4-manifold topology for the novel ideas, techniques, constructions, and computations on the topic, presented in a very fascinating way. I think really that every student, mathematician, and researcher interested in 4-manifold topology, should own a copy of this beautiful book. --Zentralblatt MATH This book gives an excellent introduction into the theory of 4-manifolds and can be strongly recommended to beginners in this field ... carefully and clearly written; the authors have evidently paid great attention to the presentation of the material ... contains many really pretty and interesting examples and a great number of exercises; the final chapter is then devoted to solutions of some of these ... this type of presentation makes the subject more attractive and its study easier. --European Mathematical Society Newsletter