# General Theorems on Bounding Manifolds?

• WWGD
In summary, there are several known "boundary results" for higher-dimensional manifolds, such as the fact that every closed, oriented 3-manifold is the boundary of a 4-manifold with only 0- and 2-handles. Other examples include the cobordism groups, which determine whether a manifold is an unoriented boundary, and the Thom and Wall theorems, which provide conditions for two oriented manifolds to be cobordant. These results are applicable to smooth manifolds, but their implications for non-smooth manifolds are still being studied.

#### WWGD

Gold Member
Hi, there is a result that every closed, oriented 3-manifold is the boundary of a 4-manifold that has only 0- and 2- handles. Anyone know other of these "boundary results" for some higher-dimensional manifolds, e.g., every closed, oriented k-manifold is the boundary of a (k+1)- dimensional manifold... ?
Thanks.

WWGD said:
Hi, there is a result that every closed, oriented 3-manifold is the boundary of a 4-manifold that has only 0- and 2- handles. Anyone know other of these "boundary results" for some higher-dimensional manifolds, e.g., every closed, oriented k-manifold is the boundary of a (k+1)- dimensional manifold... ?
Thanks.

Don't know about the handles but every closed oriented smooth 3 manifold without boundary bounds an oriented 4 manfold.

An oriented k manifold is generally not a boundary. For example, complex projective 2 space is not a boundary. The cobordism groups are known but not sure of a definitive reference.

Non-orientable manifolds may also be boundaries for example the Klein bottle is a boundary. The real projective plane is not.

The general theorem is that a manifold is an unoriented boundary if and only if all of its Stiefel Whitney numbers are zero. In particular, the manifold must have even Euler characteristic. The Euler characteristic of the Klein bottle is zero. The Euler characteristic of the projective plane is 1.

Two oriented manifolds are oriented cobordant if they form the oriented boundary of an oriented manifold. I think that Thom's theorem says that mod torsion the oriented cobordism group is a polynomial algebra generated by the even dimensional complex projective spaces and that Wall has shown that all of the torsion is of order 2. Two oriented manifolds are oriented cobordant if an only if all of their Pontryagin numbers and all of their Stiefel Whiteney numbers are equal. Note that this is an added condition since unoriented cobordism only requires that all of the Stiefel Whitney numbers be equal.

For example consider an orientable flat Riemannian manifold. Since it can be given a metric whose curvature tensor is identically zero, and since the Weil homomorphism proves that all Pontryagin classes can be expressed as differential forms in the curvature 2 form, all of their Pontryagin numbers are zero. So two flat Riemannian manifolds are oriented cobordant if and only if they have the same Stiefel Whitney numbers - which in fact, they always do.

It is important to point out that these theorems apply to smooth manifolds. I don't know what the corresponding theories say about piece wise linear manifolds and non-differentiable manifolds.

Last edited:
WWGD and jim mcnamara

## 1. What is a bounding manifold?

A bounding manifold is a type of mathematical object that is used to describe the boundary or outer limit of a certain space or region. It is often represented as a higher-dimensional surface or hypersurface that encloses the space it bounds.

## 2. What are some examples of general theorems on bounding manifolds?

Some examples of general theorems on bounding manifolds include the Hairy Ball Theorem, the Jordan Curve Theorem, and the Poincaré Conjecture. These theorems provide insights and constraints on the topology and geometry of bounding manifolds and their properties.

## 3. What is the significance of studying bounding manifolds?

Bounding manifolds have applications in various fields of mathematics and physics, including differential geometry, topology, dynamical systems, and mathematical physics. They also have practical applications in computer graphics, computer vision, and robotics.

## 4. How are bounding manifolds related to other mathematical concepts?

Bounding manifolds are closely related to other mathematical concepts such as compact manifolds, smooth manifolds, and differentiable manifolds. They also have connections to abstract algebra, algebraic geometry, and algebraic topology.

## 5. Are there any open problems or conjectures related to bounding manifolds?

Yes, one of the most famous open problems related to bounding manifolds is the Poincaré Conjecture, which was solved by Grigori Perelman in 2002-2003. There are also other open problems and conjectures related to bounding manifolds, such as the Borel Conjecture and the Schoenflies Problem.