Algebraic and Geometric Topology 4 (2004), paper no. 1, pages 1-22.

The concordance genus of knots

Charles Livingston

Abstract. In knot concordance three genera arise naturally, g(K), g_4(K), and g_c(K): these are the classical genus, the 4-ball genus, and the concordance genus, defined to be the minimum genus among all knots concordant to K. Clearly 0 <= g_4(K) <= g_c(K) <= g(K). Casson and Nakanishi gave examples to show that g_4(K) need not equal g_c(K). We begin by reviewing and extending their results.
For knots representing elements in A, the concordance group of algebraically slice knots, the relationships between these genera are less clear. Casson and Gordon's result that A is nontrivial implies that g_4(K) can be nonzero for knots in A. Gilmer proved that g_4(K) can be arbitrarily large for knots in A. We will prove that there are knots K in A with g_4(K) = 1 and g_c(K) arbitrarily large.
Finally, we tabulate g_c for all prime knots with 10 crossings and, with two exceptions, all prime knots with fewer than 10 crossings. This requires the description of previously unnoticed concordances.

Keywords. Concordance, knot concordance, genus, slice genus

AMS subject classification. Primary: 57M25, 57N70.

DOI: 10.2140/agt.2004.4.1

E-print: arXiv:math.GT/0107141

Submitted: 27 July 2003. (Revised: 3 January 2004.) Accepted: 7 January 2004. Published: 9 January 2004.

Notes on file formats

Charles Livingston
Department of Mathematics, Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405, USA

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