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This book provides the first lucid and accessible account to the modern study of the geometry of four-manifolds. It has become required reading for postgraduates and research workers whose research touches on this topic. Pre-requisites are a firm grounding in differential topology, and geometry as may be gained from the first year of a graduate course. The subject matter of this book is the most significant breakthrough in mathematics of the last fifty years, and Professor Donaldson won a Fields medal for his work in the area. The authors start from the standpoint that the fundamental group and intersection form of a four-manifold provides information about its homology and characteristic classes, but little of its differential topology. It turns out that the classification up to diffeomorphism of four-manifolds is very different from the classification of unimodular forms and that the study of this question leads naturally to the new Donaldson invariants of four-manifolds. A central theme of this book is that the appropriate geometrical tools for investigating these questions come from mathematical physics: the Yang-Mills theory and anti-self dual connections over four-manifolds. One of the many consquences of this theory is that 'exotic' smooth manifolds exist which are homeomorphic but not diffeomorphic to (4, and that large classes of forms cannot be realized as intersection forms whereas distinct manifolds may share the same form. These result have hadfar-reaching consequences in algebraic geometry, topology, and mathematical physics, and will continue to be a mainspring of mathematical research for years to come.

The lectures in this volume provide a perspective on how 4-manifold theory was studied before the discovery of modern-day Seiberg-Witten theory. One reason the progress using the Seiberg-Witten invariants was so spectacular was that those studying $SU(2)$-gauge theory had more than ten years' experience with the subject. The tools had been honed, the correct questions formulated, and the basic strategies well understood. The knowledge immediately bore fruit in the technically simpler environment of the Seiberg-Witten theory. Gauge theory long predates Donaldson's applications of the subject to 4-manifold topology, where the central concern was the geometry of the moduli space. One reason for the interest in this study is the connection between the gauge theory moduli spaces of a Kahler manifold and the algebro-geometric moduli space of stable holomorphic bundles over the manifold. The extra geometric richness of the $SU(2)$-moduli spaces may one day be important for purposes beyond the algebraic invariants that have been studied to date. It is for this reason that the results presented in this volume will be essential.

What a wonderful book! I strongly recommend this book to anyone, especially graduate students, interested in getting a sense of 4-manifolds. --MAA Reviews The book gives an excellent overview of 4-manifolds, with many figures and historical notes. Graduate students, nonexperts, and experts alike will enjoy browsing through it. -- Robion C. Kirby, University of California, Berkeley This book offers a panorama of the topology of simply connected smooth manifolds of dimension four. Dimension four is unlike any other dimension; it is large enough to have room for wild things to happen, but small enough so that there is no room to undo the wildness. For example, only manifolds of dimension four can exhibit infinitely many distinct smooth structures. Indeed, their topology remains the least understood today. To put things in context, the book starts with a survey of higher dimensions and of topological 4-manifolds. In the second part, the main invariant of a 4-manifold--the intersection form--and its interaction with the topology of the manifold are investigated. In the third part, as an important source of examples, complex surfaces are reviewed. In the final fourth part of the book, gauge theory is presented; this differential-geometric method has brought to light how unwieldy smooth 4-manifolds truly are, and while bringing new insights, has raised more questions than answers. The structure of the book is modular, organized into a main track of about two hundred pages, augmented by extensive notes at the end of each chapter, where many extra details, proofs and developments are presented. To help the reader, the text is peppered with over 250 illustrations and has an extensive index.

This book describes work on the characterization of closed 4-manifolds in terms of familiar invariants such as Euler characteristic, fundamental group, and Stiefel-Whitney classes. Using techniques from homological group theory, the theory of 3-manifolds and topological surgery, infrasolvmanifolds are characterized up to homeomorphism, and surface bundles are characterized up to simple homotopy equivalence. Non-orientable cases are also considered wherever possible, and in the final chapter the results obtained earlier are applied to 2-knots and complex analytic surfaces.

Originating with Andreas Floer in the 1980s, Floer homology has proved to be an effective tool in tackling many important problems in three- and four-dimensional geometry and topology. This 2007 book provides a comprehensive treatment of Floer homology, based on the Seiberg–Witten monopole equations. After first providing an overview of the results, the authors develop the analytic properties of the Seiberg–Witten equations, assuming only a basic grounding in differential geometry and analysis. The Floer groups of a general three-manifold are then defined and their properties studied in detail. Two final chapters are devoted to the calculation of Floer groups and to applications of the theory in topology. Suitable for beginning graduate students and researchers, this book provides a full discussion of a central part of the study of the topology of manifolds.

The recent introduction of the Seiberg-Witten invariants of smooth four-manifolds has revolutionized the study of those manifolds. The invariants are gauge-theoretic in nature and are close cousins of the much-studied SU(2)-invariants defined over fifteen years ago by Donaldson. On a practical level, the new invariants have proved to be more powerful and have led to a vast generalization of earlier results. This book is an introduction to the Seiberg-Witten invariants. The work begins with a review of the classical material on Spin c structures and their associated Dirac operators. Next comes a discussion of the Seiberg-Witten equations, which is set in the context of nonlinear elliptic operators on an appropriate infinite dimensional space of configurations. It is demonstrated that the space of solutions to these equations, called the Seiberg-Witten moduli space, is finite dimensional, and its dimension is then computed. In contrast to the SU(2)-case, the Seiberg-Witten moduli spaces are shown to be compact. The Seiberg-Witten invariant is then essentially the homology class in the space of configurations represented by the Seiberg-Witten moduli space. The last chapter gives a flavor for the applications of these new invariants by computing the invariants for most Kahler surfaces and then deriving some basic toological consequences for these surfaces.

A brand new appendix by Oscar Garcia-Prada graces this third edition of a classic work. In developing the tools necessary for the study of complex manifolds, this comprehensive, well-organized treatment presents in its opening chapters a detailed survey of recent progress in four areas: geometry (manifolds with vector bundles), algebraic topology, differential geometry, and partial differential equations. Wells’s superb analysis also gives details of the Hodge-Riemann bilinear relations on Kahler manifolds, Griffiths's period mapping, quadratic transformations, and Kodaira's vanishing and embedding theorems. Oscar Garcia-Prada’s appendix gives an overview of the developments in the field during the decades since the book appeared.

From the reviews of the first edition: "This book exposes the beautiful confluence of deep techniques and ideas from mathematical physics and the topological study of the differentiable structure of compact four-dimensional manifolds, compact spaces locally modeled on the world in which we live and operate... The book is filled with insightful remarks, proofs, and contributions that have never before appeared in print. For anyone attempting to understand the work of Donaldson and the applications of gauge theories to four-dimensional topology, the book is a must." #Science#1 "I would strongly advise the graduate student or working mathematician who wishes to learn the analytic aspects of this subject to begin with Freed and Uhlenbeck's book." #Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society#2

Foundations of Differentiable Manifolds and Lie Groups gives a clear, detailed, and careful development of the basic facts on manifold theory and Lie Groups. It includes differentiable manifolds, tensors and differentiable forms. Lie groups and homogenous spaces, integration on manifolds, and in addition provides a proof of the de Rham theorem via sheaf cohomology theory, and develops the local theory of elliptic operators culminating in a proof of the Hodge theorem. Those interested in any of the diverse areas of mathematics requiring the notion of a differentiable manifold will find this beginning graduate-level text extremely useful.

This book analyses in depth the geometrical aspects of the simplicial quantum gravity model known as the dynamical triangulations approach. The authors provide a compact and convenient account suitable both to introduce the non-expert reader to the spirit of the subject and to provide a well-chosen mathematical route to the heart of the matter for the expert. The techniques described in the book are novel and allow points of current interest in the subject of simplicial quantum gravity to be addressed. The authors discuss piecewise linear manifolds and give entropy estimates of the number of triangulations of 3- and 4-manifolds. Continuum physics is recovered through scaling limits and computer simulation is used to study simplicial quantum gravity extensively. The beginner will appreciate the introduction to the field and the expert the comprehensive account of recent results and developments.