Extension of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture to four dimensions?

In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of a similar conjecture to Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture for four manifolds, the uniformization theorem in two dimensions, and the metric geometry of three manifolds. Further, it explores the idea of a "geometry" and the difficulty of generalizing the uniformization theorem to higher dimensions.
  • #1
straycat
184
0
Hello all,

I was wondering whether there might be anything similar to Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture, except for four manifolds instead of three manifolds. (Essentially, this conjecture (iiuc) states that it is always possible to take an arbitrary 3-manifold and break it up into smaller "pieces" of which there are eight types, each of which is pretty well understood -- see the explanation in mathworld [1].) I think that in two dimensions it is called the "uniformization theorem" [2], and ref [2] states that "It would be very important if similar results could be proved in higher dimensions." So I was wondering whether anyone has even *stated* the idea in dim=4?

David

[1] http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ThurstonsGeometrizationConjecture.html

[2] http://pdg.cecm.sfu.ca/~warp/java/uniform/node2.html
 
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  • #2
the discussions cited are not very precise, since they just use the word "geometry" without further explanation, but it appears from the analogy with 2 dimensions, that the meaning is something like riemannian geometry, i.e. metrics and curvature are involved.

in dimension 2 a compact connected manifold can be given a metric of constant curvature, and that curvature is zero iff the manifold is a torus, and positive iff the manidfold is a sphere and negative iff the manifold is of genus at least 2.


so apparently thurston is discussing the metric geometry of three manifolds. I do not know if such conjectures exist in higher dimensions, but the poincare conjecture, one of the corollaries of thurstons work it seems, already were proved in all higher dimewnsions, so for some questions, the three dimensional case was actually the hardest and the last one settled.

Apparently this is not the case for metric questions. There are however other popints of view toward generalizing the 2 dimensional uniformization theorem, such the shafarevich conjecture studied recently by Kolla'r and then others. this asks what the complex geometry is for universal covering spaces of algebraic varieties, in particular when they are holomorphically convex.

the analogy is that the 2 dimensional uniformization theorem follows from the fact that manifolds of geneus zero are spheres hence have well known positive curvature, while compact manifolds of genus zero are covered naturally by the plane which is flat, and complex riemann surfaces of genus at least 2 are covered by the unit disc, or upper half plane, which has hyperbolic geometry, i.e. negative curvature. these metrics and curvatures then descend to the compact manifolds they cover.

hence understanding the universal cover sheds light on the manifold covered. in this regard higher dimensions are more difficult since the number of possible covering manifolds is (literally) infinitely greater.
 
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  • #3
The one thing (and probably the most important thing) that is left out, is what Thurston means by a "geometry". In his book, he lays them out as such:

A model geometry (G,X) is a manifold X with a Lie group G of diffeomorphisms of X such that
1. X is connected and simply connected
2. G acts transitively on X, with compact point stabilizers
3. G is not contained in any larger group of diffeomorphisms of X satisfying #2 above, and
4. there is at least one compact manifold modeled on (G,X), i.e. as noted by math wonk, this would be a compact manifold with X as a universal cover.

A pretty straightforward definition, but I do not know if anyone has tried finding all of these in 4-dimensions. I do know that all homogeneous complex surfaces were classified a few years back. So, that's a start... However, there are plenty of 4-manifolds out there with no global complex structure, e.g. 1-dimensional quaternionic projective space...

-DB
 

Related to Extension of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture to four dimensions?

1. What is Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture?

Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture is a conjecture in mathematics that proposes that every three-dimensional manifold can be decomposed into geometric pieces that have simple, well-understood shapes. It was first introduced by the American mathematician William Thurston in the late 1970s.

2. What is the Extension of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture to four dimensions?

The Extension of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture to four dimensions is a proposed generalization of Thurston's original conjecture, which applies to three-dimensional manifolds, to include four-dimensional manifolds. It suggests that every four-dimensional manifold can be decomposed into geometric pieces with simple shapes.

3. Has the Extension of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture to four dimensions been proven?

No, the Extension of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture to four dimensions has not been proven. It remains an open problem in mathematics, and many mathematicians continue to work on it in hopes of finding a proof or counterexample.

4. What are some implications of the Extension of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture to four dimensions?

If the Extension of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture to four dimensions is proven to be true, it would have significant implications for our understanding of the geometry of four-dimensional manifolds. It would also have implications for other fields, such as physics and cosmology, where four-dimensional manifolds play a role.

5. Are there any known results or progress towards proving the Extension of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture to four dimensions?

Yes, there has been some progress made towards proving the Extension of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture to four dimensions. In 2003, Grigori Perelman published a proof of the Poincaré Conjecture, which is a special case of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture. This has provided some insight and techniques that may be useful in proving the extension to four dimensions.

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