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The square knot bounds infinitely many ribbon disks


Speaker: Alex Zupan, University of Nebraska
Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Tue, Jun 4 2024, 2:10PM

 A knot K in S^3 is (smoothly) slice if K is the boundary of a properly embedded disk D in B^4, and K is ribbon if this disk can be realized without any local maxima with respect to the radial Morse function on B^4.  In dimension three, a knot K with nice topology – that is, a fibered knot – bounds a unique fiber surface up to isotopy.  Thus, it is natural to wonder whether this sort of simplicity could extend to the set of ribbon disks for K, arguably the simplest class of surfaces bounded by a knot in B^4.  Surprisingly, we demonstrate that the square knot, one of the two non-trivial ribbon knots with the lowest crossing number, bounds infinitely many distinct ribbon disks up to isotopy.  This is joint work with Jeffrey Meier.