Critical Links and Unlinks
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
The configuration spaces Hopf_k or McCool_k of k-component Hopf-links or unlinks can be understood using extensions of Hatcher's proof of the Smale Conjecture. We will describe low-energy critical configurations for Möbius energy or Ropelength on Hopf_k or McCool_k, and sketch a picture of the bottom of the Morse-Smale complex for each.
[This represents part of an ongoing project with Ryan Budney and John M. Sullivan]