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Mathematics  2001 

Contact topology and CR geometry in three dimensions

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We study low-dimensional problems in topology and geometry via a study of contact and Cauchy-Riemann ($CR$) structures. A contact structure is called spherical if it admits a compatible spherical $CR$ structure. We will talk about spherical contact structures and our analytic tool, an evolution equation of $CR$ structures. We argue that solving such an equation for the standard contact 3-sphere is related to the Smale conjecture in 3-topology. Furthermore, we propose a contact analogue of Ray-Singer's analytic torsion. This ''contact torsion'' is expected to be able to distinguish among ''spherical space forms'' $\{\Gamma\backslash S^{3}\}$ as contact manifolds. We also propose the study of a certain kind of monopole equation associated with a contact structure. In view of the recently developed theory of contact homology algebras, we will discuss its overall impact on our study.


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