Contact Geometry

Definition A Contact Structure on a manifold N 2n+1 is a maximally non-integrable hyperplane field ξ where locally we have that ξ = ker α, for α a 1-form and dim ξ = 2n. Here, maximally non-integrable means α ∧ (d α)n > 0. Definition A submanifold K ⊂ N is Legendrian if TK ⊂ ξ and dim K = n. It is an integral submanifold of maximal dimension.

ξstd = dz − ydx .

Conormal Construction Question How does one get a knot invariant out of contact structures? Instead of looking at the base manifold M . . then the unit conormal bundle ΛK (the conormal lift of K ) is a Legendrian submanifold. Smooth isotopy of K in M corresponds to Legendrian isotopy in ST ∗ M . In particular. we will look at the unit cosphere of unit covectors ST ∗ M . If K ⊂ M . which has a natural contact structure. the invariants of Legendrian isotopies of ΛK in ST ∗ M are invariants of smooth isotopies of K in M .

If B is braided around the axis of an unknot to produce a knot K . then there exists a neighborhood N (K ) of K which is strongly contactomorphic to a neighborhood of the zero section of J 1 (ΛK ). ξ ) is Legendrian.Conormal Construction Set M = R3 and K ⊂ R3 a knot ST ∗ R3 = R3 × S 2 is contactomorphic to J 1 (S 2 ) = T ∗ S 2 × R with contact 1-form α = dz − Σpi dqi . then ΛK is a Legendrian 2-torus in J 1 (T 2 ). J 1 (ΛK ) = J 1 (T 2 ). . The knot DGA gives the relative contact homology of ΛK in ST ∗ R3 . Topologically. Theorem (Legendrian Neighborhood Theorem) If K ⊂ (M .

These chords are the generators of our DGA. ρ∗ t α = α. there are two families of Reeb chords for ΛK : ”short chords” lying inside J 1 (T 2 ) corresponding to chords between the braid strands. . and ”long chords” lying outside J 1 (T 2 ). These correspond (in R3 ) to binormal chords (oriented line segments with two endpoints on K that are orthogonal to K at both points). which are essentially the Reeb chords for the unknot. Reeb chords are the flow lines beginning and ending on the submanifold ΛK . If we braid a knot K around an unknot.Reeb Vector Field and Reeb Chords The Reeb vector field is the unique vector field satisfying ι(Rα )d α = 0 and α(Rα ) = 1 The flow of Rα preserves the contact form: ∀ t ≥ 0.