Surgery, Polygons and Instanton Floer homology

Yi Xie (Simons Center)

Many classical numerical invariants (including Casson invariant, Alexander polynomial and Jones polynomial) for 3-manifolds or links satisfy surgery formulas relating three different 3-manifolds or links. All those invariants are categorified by certain Floer homologies (or Khovanov homology) which also satisfy so-called surgery exact triangles. In this talk I will discuss the notion of "surgery exact polygons" which appears in the SU(N)-instanton Floer homology theory. Roughly speaking, an "n-gon" is a relation among the Floer homology groups of 3-manifolds obtained by n different Dehn surgeries on a fixed knot. It generalizes the surgery exact triangle in SU(2)-instanton Floer homology. If time permits, I will also talk about a homological-mirror-symmetry-type conjecture which motivates this work. This is joint work with Lucas Culler and Aliakbar Daemi.