The aim of this book is to give an overview of selected topics on the topology of real and complex isolated singularities, with emphasis on its relations to other branches of geometry and topology. The first chapters are mostly devoted to complex singularities and a myriad of results spread in a vast literature, which are presented here in a unified way, accessible to non-specialists. Among the topics are the fibration theorems of Milnor; the relation with 3-dimensional Lie groups; exotic spheres; spin structures and 3-manifold invariants; the geometry of quadrics and Arnold's theorem which states that the complex projective plane modulo conjugation is the 4-sphere. The second part of the book studies pioneer work about real analytic singularities which arise from the topological and geometric study of holomorphic vector fields and foliations. In the low dimensional case these turn out to be related to fibred links in the 3-sphere defined by meromorphic functions. This provides new methods for constructing manifolds equipped with a rich geometry. The book is largely self-contained and serves a wide audience of graduate students, mathematicians and researchers interested in geometry and topology.
A research textbook in tribute to Oscar Zariski Based on the courses given at the Working Week in Obergurgl, Austria, September 7–14, 1997
Author: Herwig Hauser
In September 1997, the Working Week on Resolution of Singularities was held at Obergurgl in the Tyrolean Alps. Its objective was to manifest the state of the art in the field and to formulate major questions for future research. The four courses given during this week were written up by the speakers and make up part I of this volume. They are complemented in part II by fifteen selected contributions on specific topics and resolution theories. The volume is intended to provide a broad and accessible introduction to resolution of singularities leading the reader directly to concrete research problems.
From the very beginning, algebraic topology has developed under the influ ence of the problems posed by trying to understand the topological properties of complex algebraic varieties (e.g., the pioneering work by Poincare and Lefschetz). Especially in the work of Lefschetz [Lf2], the idea is made explicit that singularities are important in the study of the topology even in the case of smooth varieties. What is known nowadays about the topology of smooth and singular vari eties is quite impressive. The many existing results may be roughly divided into two classes as follows: (i) very general results or theories, like stratified Morse theory and (mixed) Hodge theory, see, for instance, Goresky-MacPherson [GM], Deligne [Del], and Steenbrink [S6]; and (ii) specific topics of great subtlety and beauty, like the study of the funda mental group of the complement in [p>2 of a singular plane curve initiated by Zariski or Griffiths' theory relating the rational differential forms to the Hodge filtration on the middle cohomology group of a smooth projec tive hypersurface. The aim of this book is precisely to introduce the reader to some topics in this latter class. Most of the results to be discussed, as well as the related notions, are at least two decades old, and specialists use them intensively and freely in their work. Nevertheless, it is impossible to find an adequate intro duction to this subject, which gives a good feeling for its relations with other parts of algebraic geometry and topology.