# Handlebody Decomposition of a Manifold

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1 Handlebody Decomposition of a Manifold Mahuya Datta Statistics and Mathematics Unit Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata January 12, 2012

2 contents Introduction What is a handlebody decomposition? How do the handles originate? Morse functions and handlebody decompositions

3 Introduction A manifold M of dimension n can be viewed as a subspace of some R N which is locally diffeomorphic to open subsets of R n. For example, we can consider the spheres of all dimensions, Torus, a surface of any genus, cylinders etc. Given a manifold we want to determine its algebraic invariants. The Algebraic tools in hand are the homology and cohomology theories. However, it is not always an easy task to compute these invariants. An idea is to decompose a manifold into simple objects in a useful way so as to conclude something about its homology groups.

4 What is a handle? A handle of index k and dimension n is a manifold with boundary which is diffeomorphic to D k D n k in R n, where D k and D n k denote balls in Euclidean spaces R k and R n k respectively. In dimension 2 A handle of index 0 or 2 is a disc and a handle of index 1 is a rectangle. In dimension 3: A handle of index 0 or 3 is a 3-ball and a handle of index 1 or 2 is a cylinder.

5 Attaching of a handle Let M 0 be an n-dimensional manifold with boundary and let φ : S k 1 D n k M 0 be a smooth embedding such that image φ is contained in M 0. Define an equivalence relation on the disjoint union by M 0 D k D n k x φ(x) for each x S k 1 D n k. The quotient space M 1 is said to be obtained from M 0 by attaching a handle of index k. M 1 need not be a smooth manifold.

6 Attaching of a handle of index 2 in dimension 2.

7 Attaching of a handle of index 1 in dimension 3.

8 Smooth attaching Take a small closed neighbourhood T of S k 1 D n k and an embedding ψ : T M 0 such that ψ( T \ S k 1 {0}) M 0. The quotient space M 1 = M 0 D k D n k / is a smooth manifold possibly with boundary. The homotopy type of M 1 is different from that of M 0.

9 Main Result The following is a fundamental result in Morse Theory. Theorem Let M be a compact manifold without boundary. Then M can be developed from a ball D n by successively attaching to it finitely many handles of dimension n.

10 Non-degenerate critical points Let M be a manifold and f : M R a smooth real-valued function on M. A point p M is said to be a critical point of f if the derivative of f at p is zero. A critical point p on M is called a non-degenerate critical point if the Hessian of f at p is non-singular. Hence, if p is a non-degenerate critical point of a smooth function f : R n R then f (p) ( f,..., f )(p) = 0 x 1 x n ( 2 ) f H f (p) is non-singular x i x j The number of negative eigenvalues of the Hessian H f (p) is called the index of the critical point p. i,j

11 Morse Lemma Examples. Let M = R 3. Consider quadratic polynomials f (x, y, z) = x 2 + y 2 + z 2, g(x, y, z) = x 2 + y 2 z 2, h(x, y, z) = x 2 y 2 z 2. Note that (0, 0, 0) is the only critical point of f, g and h. Moreover, it is a non-degenerate critical point of each of these functions. Morse Lemma. If p is a non-degenerate critical point of f of index λ, then there exists a coordinate system (x 1, x 2,..., x n ) around p such that f (x 1, x 2,..., x n ) = f (p) x 2 1 x 2 λ + x 2 λ+1 x 2 n. Therefore, it is enough to consider quadratic polynomials in order to study the local behaviour of a function near a non-degenerate critical point.

12 Critical point versus topology of level sets Let f : M R be a smooth function. For any real number c define M c = {x M f (x) c}. Suppose that p is the only non-degenerate critical point of f. The value of f at p, namely f (p) will be called a critical value of f. Let a and b be two real numbers such that a < f (p) < b. The topological type of M a is the same for all a < f (p). The topological type of M a is the same for all b > f (p). The topological structure of M b is different from that of M a.

13 Consider the polynomial f = y 2 z 2 on R 2. (0, 0) is the only critical point of f and f (0, 0) = 0. M b has the same homotopy type as M a attached with the handle H. Index of the critical point = index of the handle H.

14 Let g(x, y, z) = x 2 + y 2 z 2 and a < 0 < b. M b has the same homotopy type as M a attached with the handle H. Index of the critical point = index of the handle H.

15 For any real numbers a, b > a, define the sets M [a,b] as follows: M [a,b] = {x M a f (x) b} Theorem If M [a,b] is compact and contains no critical point of f : M R then M a is diffeomorphic to M b. Theorem Suppose that M [a,b] is compact and contains exactly one non-degenrate critical point of f. If the index of the critical point is k then M b is obtained from M a by successively attaching a handle of index k and a collar.

16 Height function h on the vertical torus Let T 2 be the vertical torus. Consider the height function h : T 2 R given by h(x, y, z) = z, for (x, y, z) T 2. h has exactly four critical points namely at p, q, r and s.

17 h is a Morse function on T 2. p is a minima and s is a maxima. The index of h at p is 0 and the index of f at s is 2. The points q and r are saddle points. The indices of f at q and r are both equal to 1.

18 The level sets of h Recall that critical points of h are p, q, r and s. Let h(p) = a, h(q) = b, h(r) = c, h(s) = d. a < z < b M z is diffeomorphic to a disc; has one boundary component diffeomorphic to circle. If b < z < c M z is diffeomorphic to a cylinder; has two boundary components each diffeomorphic to a circle. If c < z < d, M z is diffeomorphic to T 2 minus an open disc; has only one boundary component that is diffeorphic with a circle. If z d then M z is the complete torus which is without boundary. None of M b and M c is a manifold.

19 Recall that critical points of h are p, q, r and s, and h(p) = a, h(q) = b, h(r) = c, h(s) = d. Level Sets M z of h.

20 We can build up the torus from a disc by successively attaching a handle for each critical point q, r and s. The critical point q has index 1. The critical value at q is b. Attaching of handle of index 1

21 The critical point r has index 1. The critical value at r is c. Attaching of handle of index 1

22 The critical point s has index 2. The critical value at s is d. Attaching of handle of index 2

23 Global theorems A smooth function f : M R is said to be a Morse function if all its critical points are non-degenerate. Proposition Every smooth manifold admits a Morse function f : M R such that M a is compact for every a R. Theorem Let f : M R be a Morse function on a compact manifold M such that each M a is compact. Let p 1, p 2,..., p k,... be the critical points of f and let index of p i be λ i. Then M has a handlebody decomposition which admits a handle of index λ i for each i.

24 Proof Take a Morse function f : M R. Let c 1 < c 2 < < c k <... be the critical values of f. Choose real numbers {a i } satisfying c i < a i < c i+1. For any real numbers a, b > a, define the sets M [a,b] as follows: Then M a i+1 = M a i M [a i,a i+1 ] and M [a,b] = {x M a f (x) b} M = m 1 i=0 M[a i,a i+1 ]. Since M [a i,a i+1 ] is compact it can contain only finitely many critical points of f. Therefore, it has the homotopy type of a handle of index λ i+1, where λ i+1 is the index of c i+1. This completes the proof.

25 Corollary Every smooth manifold has the homotopy type of a CW complex.

26 Corollary Every smooth manifold has the homotopy type of a CW complex. Proof: M b is homotopically equivalent to M a attached with a cell of dimension 1.

27 Betti Numbers and Euler Characteristic Let M be a any topological space. For each integer k 0 we can associate a group H q (M; Z), called the q-th homology group of M. If M and N are homotopically equivalent, then H q (M, Z) is isomorphic to H q (N, Z). Further, if M 0 M 1 then we can defined relative homology groups H q (M 1, M 0 ) which are isomorphic to H q (M 1 /M 0 ) for q > 0. The integer β q (M) = rank H q (M; Z) is called the q-th Betti number of M. The Euler characteristic of M is defined as χ(m) = k ( 1) k β k. These are important algebraic invariants of topological spaces.

28 Morse Inequalities Theorem Let f : M R be a Morse function on a compact manifold M. Let C k denote the number of critical points of f of index k. Then we have the following relations: β k C k, for each k, χ(m) = k ( 1)k C k. Proof: First observe that if M 1 is obtained from M 0 by attaching a handle of index k, then H q (M 1, M 0 ) = H q (D k, S k 1 ). Hence, H q (M 1, M 0 ) = Z if q = k and 0 otherwise.

29 Let c 1 < c 2 < < c k be the critical values of f. Choose real numbers {a i } such that c i < a i < c i+1, 0 i k 1, and let M i = M a i. We can therefore get an increasing sequence of manifolds with boundary: D n = M 0 M 1 M 2 M k = M, where M i+1 is obtained from M i by attaching a finitely many cells, one for each critical point in M [a i,a i+1 ]. Since H q is sub-additive we get rank H q (M; Z) i rank H q (M i+1, M i ). Thus rank H q (M; Z) is less than or equal to the number of critical points of index q.

30 Reference John Milnor: Morse Theory. Annals of Mathematics Studies. Princeton University Press.

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