Notions of positivity and the Ozsvath-Szabo concordance invariant

Research paper by Matthew Hedden

Indexed on: 21 Sep '05Published on: 21 Sep '05Published in: Mathematics - Geometric Topology


In this paper we examine the relationship between various types of positivity for knots and the concodance invariant tau discovered by Ozsvath and Szabo and independently by Rasmussen. The main result shows that, for fibered knots, tau characterizes strong quasipositivity. This is quantified by the statement that for K fibered, tau(K)=g(K) if and only if K is strongly quasipositive. In addition, we survey existing results regarding tau and forms of positivity and highlight several consequences concerning the types of knots which are (strongly) (quasi) positive. For instance, we show that any knot known to admit a lens space surgery is strongly quasipositive and exhibit infinite families of knots which are not quasipositive.