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STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND
EXACT OPEN BOOKS
SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
Abstract. We show that if a contact open book (, h) on a (2n+1)-manifold M (n 1)
is induced by a Lefschetz bration : W D
2
, then there is a one-to-one correspondence
between positive stabilizations of (, h) and positive stabilizations of . More precisely,
any positive stabilization of (, h) is induced by the corresponding positive stabilization
of , and conversely any positive stabilization of induces the corresponding positive
stabilization of (, h). We dene exact open books as boundary open books of exact
Lefschetz brations, and show that any exact open book carries a contact structure.
Moreover, we prove that there is a one-to-one correspondence (similar to the one above)
between convex stabilizations of an exact open book and convex stabilizations of the
corresponding exact Lefschetz bration. We also show that convex stabilization of exact
Lefschetz brations produces symplectomorphic manifolds.
1. Introduction
In the last decade the correspondence given by Giroux [11], between contact structures
and open book decompositions have led to many developments in understanding the rela-
tions between the contact geometry and the topology of the underlying odd dimensional
closed manifolds. This correspondence is much stronger in dimension three and has been
used as a bridge between four dimensional geometries and topology, leading much progress
in understanding of dierent types of llability and Lefschetz type brations.
One of the main features used in the above correspondence is positive stabilization.
Namely, if we positively stabilize an open book (, h) carrying a contact structure on a
closed 3-manifold M, then the resulting open book still carries . Such stabilizations can
be interpreted as taking the contact connect sum of (M, ) with (S
3
,
st
) where
st
is the
unique tight (Stein llable) contact structure on the 3-sphere S
3
. In terms of open books,
this corresponds to taking the Murasugi sum (or plumbing) of (, h) with the open book
(H
+
,
C
) on S
3
where H
+
is the positive (left-handed) Hopf band and
C
denotes the
right-handed Dehn twist along the core circle C in H
+
.
To get analogous statements for higher dimensions, one can replace (H
+
,
C
) with its
generalization OB, which is an open book carrying the standard contact structure
0
on
(2n+1)-sphere S
2n+1
and obtained from a certain Milnor bration. The pages of OB are
dieomorphic to the closed tangent unit disk bundle T(TS
n
) over S
n
and its monodromy
is the (generalized) right-handed Dehn twist along the zero section (see below). Then
Date: December 5, 2011.
1991 Mathematics Subject Classication. 58D27, 58A05, 57R65.
Key words and phrases. Contact & symplectic structures, open book, Lefschetz bration, stabilization.
The rst author is partially supported by NSF FRG grant DMS- 0905917.
The second author is partially supported by NSF FRG grant DMS-1065910.
1
2 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
one can dene a positive stabilization of an open book (, h) carrying a contact structure
on an (2n + 1)-dimensional closed manifold M
2n+1
by taking the Murasugi sum of
(, h) with OB, along a properly embedded Lagrangian n-ball L in with Legendrian
boundary and a ber in T(TS
n
). Again this amounts to taking the contact connect sum
of (M
2n+1
, ) with (S
2n+1
,
0
) and stabilized open book still carries [11]. In terms of
contact surgery and Weinstein handles, a positive stabilization corresponds to performing
(resp. attaching) a pair of subcritical and critical surgeries (resp. Weinstein handles)
which cancels each other (see [18] for a proof).
One of the missing part of this picture is the relation of such operations to Lefschetz
brations. The aim of the present work is to provide some results to ll this gap. Through
out the paper, the base space of any Lefschetz bration is assumed to be the 2-disk,
and we focus only on the open books which are induced by Lefschetz brations. We
study the open book OB (which is induced by a certain Lefschetz bration /T on the
standard (2n + 2)-ball) in Section 2 where we also recall positive stabilizations of open
books and the characterization of Lefschetz brations. In Section 3, we explicitly dene
a process, called positive stabilization on Lefschetz brations and show that there is a
one-to-one correspondence between positive stabilizations of open books and Lefschetz
brations. Exact open books are introduced in Section 4 as boundaries of exact Lefschetz
brations. After recalling Weinstein handles and isotropic setups briey in Section 5,
we will get a similar correspondence for exact open books and exact Lefschetz brations
in Section 6, where we also dene convex stabilization as an exact symplectic version of
positive stabilization. We remark that any observation we will make here is also true for
dimensions 3 and 4, and so the work done here can be thought as canonical generalizations
of the corresponding 3- and 4-dimensional results to higher dimensions.
2. Preliminaries
2.1. The open book OB and the associated Lefschetz bration /T. Consider the
polynomial P on the complex space C
n+1
(for n 1) given by
P(z
1
, ..., z
n+1
) = z
2
1
+ z
2
2
+ +z
2
n+1
.
It is clear that the only critical point of P occurs at the origin, and so the intersection of
the zero set Z(P) of P with the sphere
S
2n+1

= [z
1
[
2
+[z
2
[
2
+ +[z
n+1
[
2
=
2
,
where > 0 is small enough, is a smooth manifold K of dimension 2n 1. K is a
member of a family known as Brieskorn manifolds introduced in [3]. It is known by [15]
that the complement S
2n+1

K of K bers over the unit circle S


1
C via the map
: S
2n+1

K S
1
given by
(z
1
, ..., z
n+1
) =
P(z
1
, ..., z
n+1
)
[P(z
1
, ..., z
n+1
)[
.
Let OB be the open book on S
2n+1

determined by the pair (K, ). For any e


i
S
1
,
the Milnor ber (or the page of OB) F

:=
1
(e
i
) is parallelizable and has the homotopy
type of S
n
[15], and indeed it can be identied with the total space of the tangent bundle
TS
n
of the n-sphere S
n
(e.g. [9], p. 81). By considering the closure

F

as the closed
tangent unit disk bundle T(TS
n
) over S
n
, we can identify the binding K of OB as the
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 3
tangent unit sphere bundle o(TS
n
) over S
n
. For our purposes we identify TS
n
with the
cotangent bundle T

S
n
by using the natural duality, and assume that each page

F

of
OB is dieomorphic to the cotangent unit disk bundle T(T

S
n
), and so the binding K is
dieomorphic to the cotangent unit sphere bundle o(T

S
n
).
Now we dene the function : B
2n+2

D
2
from (2n + 2)-ball
B
2n+2

= [z
1
[
2
+[z
2
[
2
+ +[z
n+1
[
2

2
C
n+1
onto the unit disk D
2
C by restricting P and then normalizing by
2
, that is,
=
1

2
P[
B
2n+2

.
By denition (see [12], for instance) is a local model for a Lefschetz bration over the
unit disk having only one singular ber over the origin. Also regular bers
1
(z), z ,= 0,
are dieomorphic to T(T

S
n
) because is a topological locally trivial bration on D
2
0
[13] (e.g. [9], Chapter 3). Therefore, denes a Lefschetz bration /T on B
2n+2

which
induces the open book OB on the boundary sphere S
2n+1

. By denition, the monodromy


of /T is the monodromy of OB. According to [8, 12] this monodromy is (up to isotopy)
equal to the right-handed Dehn twist
: T(T

S
n
) T(T

S
n
)
along the vanishing cycle which is the zero section (a copy of S
n
) in T(T

S
n
). To describe
precisely, identify the interior of a page with T

S
n
and write the points in T

S
n
as
(q, p) R
n+1
R
n+1
such that [q[ = 1 and q p. Then
(q, p) =
_
cos g([p[) [p[
1
sin g([p[)
[p[ sin g([p[) cos g([p[)
__
q
p
_
where g is a smooth function that increases monotonically from to 2 on some interval,
and outside this interval g is identically equal to or 2. Observe that is the antipodal
map on the zero section S
n
0 = (q, p) [ [q[ = 1, p = 0, while it is the identity map
for [p[ large. Note that as abstract open book OB is determined by the pair (T(T

S
n
), ).
Now let z
j
= x
j
+iy
j
for j = 1, ..., n+1. Then with respect to the complex coordinates
z = (z
1
, ..., z
n+1
), the standard Stein structure on C
n+1
(and hence on B
2n+2

) is dened
by the pair
(J
0
,
0
) = (i i, [ z[
2
).
This denes the standard symplectic (indeed Kahler) form

0
= d(d
0
J
0
) =
n+1

j=1
dx
j
dy
j
whose Liouville vector eld
0
(i.e., satisfying /

0
=
0
) is given by

0
=
1
2
n+1

j=1
(x
j
x
j
+y
j
y
j
).
4 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
Then on the boundary sphere S
2n+1

, the 1-form

0
=

0
=
1
2
n+1

j=1
(x
j
dy
j
y
j
dx
j
) =
i
4
n+1

j=1
(z
j
d z
j
z
j
dz
j
)
is a contact form (i.e.,
0
(d
0
)
n
[
S
2n+1

> 0). The codimension one plane distribution


kernel
0
= Ker(
0
) is called the standard contact structure on S
2n+1

.
The compatibility between contact structures and open books is dened as follows:
Denition 2.1 ([11]). We say that a contact structure = Ker() on M is carried by
(or supported by) an open book (B, f) on M (where B is the binding), if the following
conditions hold:
(i) (B, [
TB
) is a contact manifold.
(ii) For every t S
1
, the page X = f
1
(t) is a symplectic manifold with symplectic
form d.
(iii) If

X denotes the closure of a page X in M, then the orientation of B induced by
its contact form [
TB
coincides with its orientation as the boundary of (

X, d).
The open book OB has been studied before, but since it is one of the main building
blocks of the present paper and for completeness, here we discuss its important aspect:
Lemma 2.2. The open book OB carries the standard contact structure
0
on S
2n+1

in-
herited from the standard Stein structure on B
2n+2

.
Proof. The rst condition of compatibility (Denition 2.1) immediately follows from [14]
where they show that the restriction of
0
is a contact form on Brieskorn manifolds, and
so, in particular, on the binding K. To check the second one, consider the vector eld
R =
4i

2
n+1

j=1
z
j
z
j
= R
0
+R
1
; R
0
=
2i

2
n+1

j=1
(z
j
z
j
z
j
z
j
), R
1
=
2i

2
n+1

j=1
(z
j
z
j
+ z
j
z
j
).
Observe that R
0
[
S
2n+1

is the Reeb vector eld of the contact form


0
[
S
2n+1

. (That is, we
have (R
0
) = 1,
R
0
d
0
= 0 on S
2n+1

.) The ow of R is computed as
h
t
(z) = (e
4it/
2
z
1
, ..., e
4it/
2
z
n+1
)
which is a 1-parameter group of dieomorphisms h
t
: C
n+1
Z(P) C
n+1
Z(P). Now
consider the bration : C
n+1
Z(P) S
1
given by
(z) =
P(z)
[P(z)[
.
Then h
t
maps each ber
1
(y) dieomorphically onto the ber
1
(e
i
y), and also there
is a dieomorphism
1
(y)

=
1
(y) R as shown in Chapter 9 of [15]. Furthermore, h
t
maps S
2n+1

K dieomorphically onto itself for all t. Hence, we conclude that h


t
maps
each ber
1
(y) dieomorphically onto the ber
1
(e
i
y), but this means, in particular,
that the Reeb vector eld R
0
[
S
2n+1

is transverse to every page of the open book OB (note


that R
1
does not live in TS
2n+1

). So for any page F

, the rank of d
0
[
F

is maximal which
is equivalent to saying that d
0
is a symplectic form on F

.
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 5
For the third condition, on TB
2n+2

[
S
2n+1

we compute
0
(
0
, R
0
) = 1, so
0
, R
0
form
a non-degenerate pair with respect to
0
= d
0
. Therefore, for a xed page
F

= z [ (z) = e
i
S
2n+1

K
of the bration , the tangent bundle TB
2n+2

restricted to F

is decomposed as
TB
2n+2

[
F

=
0
TS
2n+1

[
F

=
0
R
0
TF

where we use the fact that the Liouville vector eld


0
is transverse to S
2n+1

(which is of
contact type) and that R
0
is transverse to F

. This shows that (F

,
0
[
F

) is a symplectic
submanifold of (B
2n+2

,
0
) and, in particular, that the orientation on F

given by
0
[
F

is
inherited from the orientation on B
2n+2

given by
0
.
Write

=
0
[
K
, F = F

. To nish the proof, we need to check that the orientation on


F = K given by the form

(d

)
n1
coincides with the one induced by the orientation
on F given by the volume form (d
0
[
F
)
n
: We showed above that the latter orientation on
F is inherited from the one on B
2n+2

given by the standard Stein structure (J


0
,
0
). Note
that the orientation on (S
2n+2

,
0
) given by the volume form
0
(d
0
)
n
is also coming
from this Stein structure. Moreover, the orientation on (K,

:= Ker(

)) (S
2n+1

,
0
)
determined by

(d

)
n1
matches up with the one inherited (as a contact submanifold)
from (S
2n+1

,
0
). Hence, the mentioned two orientations on K must coincide.
2.2. Positive stabilization of open books. We rst recall the plumbing or 2-Murasugi
sum of two contact open books (i.e., open books carrying contact structures): Let (M
i
,
i
)
be two closed contact manifolds such that each
i
is carried by an open book (
i
, h
i
)
on M
i
. Suppose that L
i
is a properly embedded Lagrangian ball in
i
with Legendrian
boundary L
i

i
. By the Weinstein neighborhood theorem each L
i
has a standard
neighborhood N
i
in
i
which is symplectomorphic to (T

D
n
, d
can
) where
can
= pdq
is the canonical 1-form on R
n
R
n
with coordinates (q, p). Then the plumbing or 2-
Murasugi sum (T(
1
,
2
; L
1
, L
2
), h) of (
1
, h
1
) and (
2
, h
2
) along L
1
and L
2
is the open
book on the connected sum M
1
#M
2
with the pages obtained by gluing
i
s together along
N
i
s by interchanging q-coordinates in N
1
with p-coordinates in N
2
, and vice versa. To
dene h, extend each h
i
to

h
i
on the new page by requiring

h
i
to be identity map outside
the domain of h
i
. Then the monodrodmy h is dened to be

h
2

h
1
. Without abuse of
notation we will drop the tilde sign, and write h = h
2
h
1
.
The following terminology was given in [11]. We describe it in a slightly dierent way
so that it ts into the notation of the present paper.
Denition 2.3 ([11]). Suppose that (, h) carries the contact structure = Ker() on a
(2n+1)-manifold M. Let L be a properly embedded Lagrangian n-ball in a page (, d)
such that L is a Legendrian (n 1)-sphere in the binding (, [

). Then
the positive (or standard) stabilization o
OB
[(, h); L] of (, h) along L is the open book
(T(, T(T

S
n
); L, D), h) where D

= D
n
is any ber in T(T

S
n
).
2.3. Characterization of Lefschetz brations. Here we recall the handle decompo-
sition of Lefschetz brations as described in [12]: Let : W D
2
C be a given
Lefschetz bration with a regular ber X
2n
and monodromy h. Consider the base disk as
D
2
= z C : [z[ 2. We may assume that 0 D
2
and the points on D
2
are regular
values and that all the critical values
1
,
2
, ..,

of are roots of unity. Such a is


called a normalized Lefschetz bration. Since every Lefschetz bration can be normalized,
6 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
throughout the paper all Lefschetz brations will be assumed to be normalized. Dene
a Morse function F : W [0, 4] R given by F(x) = [(x)[
2
. Then outside of the set
F
1
(0) F
1
(4), F has only nondegenerate critical points of index n + 1 (see [1]). Since
[
i
[ = 1 for all i, the map has no critical values on the set D
t
= z C : [z[ t for
t < 1 and hence
F
1
([0, t]) =
1
(D
t
)

= X D
2
for t < 1.
On the other hand, for t > 1,
1
(D
t
) is dieomorphic to the manifold obtained from
X D
2
by attaching handles of index n + 1, via the attaching maps

j
: S
n
D
n+1
(X D
2
) = X S
1
, j = 1, 2, ..., .
Let

j
:
n+1
be the framing of the j-th handle, where
k
denotes the trivial
bundle of rank k, and denotes the normal bundle of the attaching sphere
j
(S
n
0)
in (X D
2
).
Fact 2.4 ([12]). The embeddings
j
may be chosen so that for each j = 1, 2, ..., there
exists z
j
such that
j
(S
n
0)
1
(z
j
)

= X.
So, set
j
: S
n
X to be the embedding dened by restricting
j
to S
n
0. Let

1
denote the normal bundle of S
n
=
j
(S
n
) in X corresponding to the embedding
j
,
and consider as the normal bundle of
j
(S
n
) in F
1
(1 ). Clearly,

=
1
(as the
normal bundle of X in W is trivial). Let denote the tangent bundle of S
n
.
Fact 2.5 ([12]). For each j = 1, 2, ..., , there exists a bundle isomorphism

j
:
1
such that the framing

j
of the (n + 1)-handle corresponding to
j
coincides with

j
.
That is,

j
is given by the composition

n+1

j
id

1


.
Denition 2.6 ([12]). S
n

=
j
(S
n
) is called a vanishing cycle of . The bundle isomor-
phism

j
:
1
is called a normalization of
j
. The pair (
j
,

j
) is called a normalized
vanishing cycle.
Let T(TS
n
) denote the closed tangent unit disk bundle of S
n
. By the tubular
neighborhood theorem and the canonical isomorphism T(T

S
n
)

= T(TS
n
), we can apply
the right-handed Dehn twist to a tubular neighborhood of
j
(S
n
) in X, and we can
extend , by the identity, to a self-dieomorphism of X which we denote by

(
j
,

j
)
: X

X.
Up to smooth isotopy
(
j
,

j
)
Di(X) depends only on the smooth isotopy class of
the embedding
j
and the bundle isomorphism

j
.
Denition 2.7 ([12]).
(
j
,

j
)
is called the right-handed Dehn twist with center (
j
,

j
).
We will make use of the following theorem.
Theorem 2.8 ([12], [8]). The Lefschetz bration : W D
2
is uniquely determined
by a sequence of vanishing cycles (
1
,
2
, ...,

) and a sequence of their normalizations


(

1
,

2
, ...,

). The monodromy of the bration is equal to


2

1
Di(X)
where
j
=
(
j
,

j
)
is the right-handed Dehn twist with center (
j
,

j
).
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 7
Remark 2.9. Recall the right-handed Dehn twist : T(T

S
n
) T(T

S
n
) given ex-
plicitly before. With respect to the coordinates (q, p) on R
2(n+1)
consider the canonical
1-form
can
= p dq on T(T

S
n
) R
2(n+1)
. Then one can compute

can
=
can
+[p[d(g([p[))
which implies that the dierence

can

can
is exact. Therefore, is a symplecto-
morphism of the symplectic manifold (T(T

S
n
), d
can
). As a result, if a regular ber X
of a Lefschetz bration : W D
2
equipped with a symplectic structure , then the
monodromy h of is a symplectomorphism of (X, ). That is,
h =


2

1
Symp(X, )
where
j
=
(
j
,

j
)
is the right-handed Dehn twist with center (
j
,

j
) as in Theorem 2.8.
Notation 2.10. For our purposes it is convenient to dene a notation for Lefschetz
brations. Let the quadruple (, W, X, h) denote the Lefschetz bration : W D
2
on
W with a regular ber X and the monodromy h. For instance, according to this notation
we have /T = (, B
2n+2

, T(T

S
n
), ).
For completeness we give the following basic well-known fact as a denition:
Denition 2.11. Let (, W, X, h) be any (normalized) Lefschetz bration. The pairs
(
1
(0), [
W
) and (X, h) are both called the induced open book (or sometimes the
boundary open book) on W.
3. Positive stabilization of Lefschetz fibrations
Now we dene a process on Lefschetz brations as a counterpart of positive stabi-
lization on open books. We will use Weinstein handles introduced in [19]. Using the
symplectization model near convex boundaries, these handles can be glued to symplectic
manifolds along isotropic spheres to obtain new ones, and they give elementary symplectic
cobordisms between contact manifolds. We will briey explain them later.
Denition 3.1. Let (, W, X, h) be a Lefschetz bration which induces a contact open
book on W. Suppose that L (X, ) is a properly embedded Lagrangian n-ball
with a Legendrian boundary L X on a page of the induced open book. Then
the positive stabilization o
LF
[(, W, X, h); L] of (, W, X, h) along L is a Lefschetz bra-
tion (

, W

, X

, h

) described as follows:
(I) X

is obtained from X by attaching a Weinstein n-handle H = D


n
D
n
along the
Legendrian sphere L X.
(II) h

=
(,

)
h where
(,

)
is the right-handed Dehn twist with center (,

)
dened as follows: (S
n
) is the Lagrangian n-sphere S = D
n
0
L
L in
the symplectic manifold (X

= X H,

) where

is obtained by gluing and


standard symplectic form on H. If
1
denote the normal bundle of S in X

, then
the normalization

:
1
is given by the bundle isomorphisms

TS

=
TX

/TS =
1
.
8 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
Remark 3.2. W

is, indeed, dieomorphic to W (see the proof of Theorem 3.3 below).


Also in h

=
(,

)
h, we think of h as an element in Di(X

) by trivially extending over


H. Moreover, the isomorphism TS TX

/TS exists because S is Lagrangian in (X

)
(the core D
n
0 of H is Lagrangian). Finally, note that there is a strong analogy
between o
OB
[(X, h); L] and o
LF
[(, W, X, h); L]. On the one hand, we have
o
OB
[(X, h); L] = (T(X, T(T

S
n
); L, D), h)
which means that we are plumbing the open book (X, h) on a given manifold M with
the open book OB = (T(T

S
n
), ) on S
2n+1

. Therefore, o
OB
[(X, h); L] is an open
book on the connected sum M#S
2n+1

M. On the other hand, we may regard


o
LF
[(, W, , , X, h); L] as the result of (informally speaking) Lefschetz plumbing of
(, W, X, h) with /T. Indeed, one can see that o
LF
[(, W, X, h); L] is a Lefschetz bration
on the boundary connect sum W#
b
B
2n+2

W.
We are now ready to prove
Theorem 3.3. Any positive stabilization o
LF
[(, W, X, h); L] of a Lefschetz bration
(, W, X, h) with a contact boundary open book induces the open book o
OB
[(X, h); L]. Con-
versely, if a contact open book (X, h) is induced by a Lefschetz bration (, W, X, h), then
any positive stabilization o
OB
[(X, h); L] of (X, h) is induced by o
LF
[(, W, X, h); L].
Proof. By denition of o
LF
, the ber X

is obtained from X by attaching 2n-dimensional


Weinstein n-handle H along L X . Since every ber over D
2
is gaining H, we are
actually attaching a (2n + 2)-dimensional handle
H

= H D
2
= D
n
D
n+2
to W along L W. Say the resulting manifold is

W, that is

W = W H

. By
extending the monodromy h (but calling it still h) trivially over H, we get an extended
Lefschetz bration :

W D
2
on

W, i.e., we get ( ,

W, X

, h). Note that ( ,

W, X

, h)
is determined by Theorem 2.8. So far what we explained is the content of Stage (I)
in Denition 3.1. In Stage (II), composing the monodromy h with
(,

)
corresponds
to attaching an (2n + 2)-dimensional handle H

(so called a Lefschetz handle) with


index n + 1 to

W along the Lagrangian sphere S in the ber (X

) of ( ,

W, X

, h).
By Theorem 2.8, we know that ( ,

W, X

, h) extends over the handle H

and we get the


Lefschetz bration o
LF
[(, W, X, h); L] = (

, W

, X

, h

) on the resulting manifold


W

W H

= W H

.
We immediately see that H

, H

form a canceling pair in the smooth category as the


attaching sphere of H

intersects the belt sphere of H

transversely once, and so W

is dieomorphic to the original manifold W (indeed W

= W#
b
B
2n+2

). Therefore, the
open book (X

, h

) induced by o
LF
[(, W, X, h); L] is an open on the original boundary
W. Next we need to see that (X

, h

) is indeed isomorphic (as an abstract open book) to


o
OB
[(X, h); L]. To this end, rst observe that in the plumbing (T(X, T(T

S
n
); L, D), h)
we are embedding a tubular neighborhood N(D) of D in T(T

S
n
) into the page X in such
a way that the intersection N(D)X is a tubular neighborhood of the Legendrian sphere
L( S
n1
). Considering L as the equator of the zero section S
n
0 T(T

S
n
), it is
clear that the part T(T

S
n
) N(D) of T(T

S
n
) which is not mapped into X (during the
plumbing) is the trivial bundle T(T

D
n
)

= D
n
D
n
. Note that the canonical symplectic
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 9
structure on T(T

S
n
) restricts to the standard symplectic structure on T(T

D
n
) which
implies that T(T

S
n
) N(D) is the Weinstein handle H glued to X along L. Hence, the
page of the open book o
OB
[(X, h); L], that is, the resulting page of the plumbing, is X

.
Also if we keep track of the vanishing cycle S
n
0 T(T

S
n
) in the above discussion,
we immediately see that it corresponds to the Lagrangian n-sphere S = C
L
L where
C = D
n
0 is the (Lagrangian) core disk of the Weinstein handle H which means that
the right-handed Dehn twist coincides with
,
described in Denition 3.1. Composing
with h, we get h = h

Thus, o
OB
[(X, h); L] and (X

, h

) are isomorphic. This proves


the rst statement.
For the second statement we basically follow the same steps in a dierent order: If
o
OB
[(X, h); L] is a given stabilization, then by the above discussion we know that the new
page is equal to X

= X H. By assumption (X, h) is induced from (, W, X, h). So


by attaching H

= H D
2
(thickening of H) to W, each ber of gains the handle H,
and we get ( ,

W, X

, h) on

W. Since =
(,

)
, h

=
(,

)
h = h. Therefore, we
have o
OB
[(X, h); L] = (X

, h

). Moreover, composing with h (in the open book level)


corresponds to attaching a Lefschetz handle H

to

W whose normalized vanishing cycle
is (,

). Therefore, we obtain (

, W

, X

, h

) on W

=

W H

( W). It is now clear


that o
OB
[(X, h); L] is induced by o
LF
[(, W, X, h); L].
4. Exact Open Books
We will dene exact open books as boundary open books induced by exact Lefschetz
brations. To this end, recall that a contact manifold (M, ) is called strongly symplec-
tically lled by a symplectic manifold (X, ) if there exist a Liouville vector eld of
dened (at least) locally near X = M such that is transverse to M and

= . Such
a boundary is called convex. An exact symplectic manifold is a compact manifold X with
boundary, together with a symplectic form and a 1-form satisfying = d, such that
[
X
is a contact form which makes X convex. In such a case there is a Liouville vector
eld of such that

= . We will write exact symplectic manifolds as triples of the


form (X, , ). Also the pair (, ) (or sometimes the triple (, , )) will be called an
exact symplectic structure on X.
Let : E
2n+2
D
2
be a dierentiable ber bundle, denoted by (, E), whose bers
are compact manifolds with boundary. The boundary of such an E consists of two parts:
The vertical part
v
E; =
1
(D
2
), and the horizontal part
h
E :=

zD
2
E
z
where
E
z
=
1
(z) is the ber over z D
2
. The following denitions can be found in [16] where
a more general setting is used.
Denition 4.1 ([16]). An exact symplectic bration (, E, , ) over the disk D
2
is a
dierentiable ber bundle (, E) equipped with a 2-form and a 1-form on E, satisfying
= d, such that
(i) each ber E
z
with
z
= [
Ez
and
z
= [
Ez
is an exact symplectic manifold,
(ii) the following triviality condition near
h
E is satised: Choose a point z D
2
and consider the trivial bration :

E := D
2
E
z
D
2
with the forms ,
which are pullbacks of
z
,
z
, respectively. Then there should be a ber-preserving
dieomorphism : N

N between neighborhoods N of
h
E in E and

N of
h

E
10 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
in

E which maps
h
E to
h

E, equals the identity on N E
z
, and

= and

= .
Denition 4.2 ([16]). An exact Lefschetz bration over D
2
is a tuple (, E, , , J
0
, j
0
)
which satises the following conditions:
(i) : E D
2
is allowed to have nitely many critical points all of which lie in the
interior of E.
(ii) is injective on the set C of its critical points.
(iii) J
0
is an integrable complex structure dened in a neighborhood of C in E such
that is a K ahler form for J
0
.
(iv) j
0
is a positively oriented complex structure on a neighborhood of the set (C) in
D
2
of the critical values.
(v) is (J
0
, j
0
)-holomorphic near C.
(vi) The Hessian of at any critical point is nondegenerate as a complex quadratic
form, in other words, has nondegenerate complex second derivative at each its
critical point.
(vii) (, E C, , ) is an exact symplectic bration over D
2
(C).
Remark 4.3. As pointed out in [16], one can nd an almost complex structure on J on
E agreeing with J
0
near C and a positively oriented complex structure j on D
2
agreeing
with j
0
near (C) such that is (J, j)-holomorphic and (, J)[
Ker ()
is symmetric and
positive denite everywhere. The existence of (J, j) is guaranteed by the fact that the
space of such pairs (J, j) is always contractible, and in particular, always nonempty.
Furthermore, once we xed (J, j), we can modify by adding a positive 2-form on D
2
so
that it becomes symplectic and tames J everywhere on E.
For completeness and our future use, let us summarize the discussion in the last remark
and make additional observations about exact Lefschetz brations in the following lemma.
Lemma 4.4. For any exact Lefschetz bration (, E, , , J
0
, j
0
), there exists an exact
2-form = d on the total space E and a pair (J, j) as in Remark 4.3 such that
(i) is (J, j)-holomorphic and is symplectic and tames J everywhere on E,
(ii) (E, , ) is an exact symplectic manifold with convex boundary (E, [
E
),
(iii) each regular ber (E
z
,
z
,
z
) is an exact symplectic submanifold of (E, , ).
Proof. The rst statement follows by Remark 4.3. More precisely, consider the positive
2-form dr d on D
2
where r is the radial and is the angular coordinates. Then it is
standard to check that the form = +

(dr d) is symplectic and tames J on E,


and also that is (J, j)-holomorphic. For the second one, we have
= +

(dr d) = d +

(d(rd)) = d +d

(rd) = d( +

(rd)),
and so is exact with a primitive = +

(rd). Let 1
z
be the Liouville vector eld
of
z
. By the local triviality condition near
h
E, these 1
z
s glue together (smoothly) and
gives a Liouville vector eld 1 for near
h
E. Now, consider the collar neighborhood N

of
v
E in E which is projected (by ) onto an annular region of the form (1, 1]S
1
D
2
for 0 < < 1. Consider the vector eld r/r in TD
2
[
(1,1]S
1. Taking small enough,
we can nd a lift 1 of r/r which is a vector eld in TE[
N
. Then

(1) = r/r by
denition. Also note that 1 can never be tangent to the bers of in N

because if 1[
p
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 11
were tangent to the ber E
z
over the point z = re
i
D
2
(with r ,= 0) at some point
p E
z
, then this would give the contradiction
0 =

(1[
p
) = r/r[
(r,)
,= 0.
(The rst equality follows from the fact that

kills the ber directions.) So, in particular,


1 is transverse to
v
E and is pointing out from the boundary. Now set
= 1 +1.
Clearly, is nonvanishing vector eld in a collar neighborhood of E =
h
E
v
E. Also
along the boundary E, it is transverse and outward pointing. Moreover, it follows from
standard computations that /

= and = . As a result, is a Liouville vector


eld of and [
E
is a contact form which makes E the convex boundary of the exact
symplectic manifold (E, , ).
For the last part, we simply observe that [
Ez
= [
Ez
=
z
and [
Ez
= [
Ez
=
z
which shows that each regular ber (E
z
,
z
,
z
) is an exact symplectic submanifold of the
total space (E, , ).
Notation 4.5. Since they will not be considered in our discussions, from now on we drop
J
0
and j
0
from our notation. Also we will assume that = d is already modied as in
the proof of Lemma 4.4 and that its Liouville vector eld is already constructed and
given to us. Furthermore, we also want to specify the regular ber and the monodromy
in our notation as before. Therefore, we introduce the following:
Let (, E, , , , X, h) denote an exact Lefschetz bration over the disk D
2
with the
following properties:
(i) The underlying smooth Lefschetz bration is (, E, X, h) with h Symp(X,
X
).
(ii) The Liouville vector eld of is transverse to E and outward pointing.
(iii) (E, , ) is an exact symplectic manifold with convex boundary (E, [
E
).
(iv) (X, [
X
, [
X
) is an exact symplectic submanifold of (E, , ).
Note that any exact Lefschetz bration over the disk D
2
admits such representation.
Denition 4.6. If an open book is induced by an exact Lefschetz bration, then it is
said to be an exact open book.
Theorem 4.7. The exact open book (X, h) induced by a given exact Lefschetz bration
(, E, , , , X, h) caries the contact structure = Ker([
E
) on E.
Proof. We need to show that all three conditions in Denition 2.1 hold. Assuming
(, E, , , , X, h) is normalized (and so z
0
= (0, 0) is a regular value), the binding of
(X, h) is the boundary of the regular ber E
z
0
=
1
(z
0
). We know that (E
z
0
,
z
0
[
Ez
0
)
is the convex boundary of (E
z
0
,
z
0
,
z
0
) which is an exact symplectic submanifold of
(E, , ). Since
z
0
[
Ez
0
= ([
Ez
0
)[
Ez
0
= [
Ez
0
, we conclude that [
Ez
0
is a contact
form on the binding E
z
0
, so the rst condition follows.
For the second one, each regular ber E
z
of (, E, , , , X, h) is an exact symplectic
submanifold of (E, , ) with the symplectic form
z
= [
Ez
= d[
Ez
. In particular, any
page X of the boundary open book (X, h) equips with the symplectic structure d[
X
as
being a regular ber of .
To check the orientation condition, we need to specify the dimensions. Say E has
dimension 2n +2, and so the page X and the binding B have dimensions 2n and 2n 1,
12 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
respectively. For simplicity, write

= [
B
and

= [
X
(= d[
X
). Let R

be the Reeb
vector eld of

and let

be the Lioville vector eld of

pointing out from B. To nish


the proof, we need to check that at a given point p X = B the orientation on T
p
B
given by the form

p
(d

p
)
n1
coincides with the one induced by the orientation on
T
p
X given by the volume form (

p
)
n
:
Consider the contact structure

:= Ker(

) which is a symplectic subbundle (with


rank 2n 2) of = Ker(), and the decomposition (see [10], for instance)
T
p
B = R

p
.
From their denitions, we have

, R

) > 0 which means that

, R

is a nonde-
generate pairing with respect to

. Also since they are both transverse to

, we get the
decomposition
T
p
X =

p
R

p
.
Choose a symplectic basis u
1
, v
1
, ..., u
n1
, v
n1
for the symplectic subspace (

p
,

p
)
giving the orientation on

p
determined by (

p
)
n1
, that is, we have
(

p
)
n1
(u
1
, v
1
, ..., u
n1
, v
n1
) > 0.
Since (X,

) is a symplectic manifold and

p
(

p
, R

p
) > 0, we get a symplectic basis

p
, R

p
, u
1
, v
1
, ..., u
n1
, v
n1

for the symplectic space (T


p
X,

p
) giving the orientation on T
p
X determined by (

)
n
,
equivalently, (

p
)
n
(

p
, R

p
, u
1
, v
1
, ..., u
n1
, v
n1
) > 0. Then the induced orientation on
the subspace T
p
B T
p
X is determined by the oriented basis
R

p
, u
1
, v
1
, ..., u
n1
, v
n1

p
is outward pointing normal direction at p B = X). Now, using the fact

= d

,
it is not hard to see that

p
(d

p
)
n1
(R

p
, u
1
, v
1
, ..., u
n1
, v
n1
) > 0.

5. Isotropic Setups and Weinstein Handles


In this section we briey recall the isotropic setups and Weinstein handles introduced in
[19]. Using them we will continue to study exact Lefschetz brations in the next section.
5.1. Isotropic setups. Let (M, = Ker()) be a (2n+1)-dimensional contact manifold.
Any subbundle of the symplectic bundle (, d) has a symplectic orthogonal

.
Therefore, if Y is an isotropic submanifold of M, then d[
Y
= 0 (as [
Y
= 0), and so
TY (TY )


from which we obtain the quotient bundle,
CSN(M, Y ) = (TY )

/ TY
which is called the conformal symplectic normal bundle of Y . Moreover, if N(M, Y )
denotes the normal bundle of Y in M, then we have the decomposition
N(M, Y ) = TM[
Y
/ TY

= TM[
Y
/
Y

Y
/(TY )

(TY )

/ TY

= R
Y
T

Y CSN(M, Y )
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 13
where R
Y
is the Reeb vector-eld R of restricted to Y . If we further assume that Y is a
sphere, then R
Y
T

Y has a naturally trivialization. Hence, as pointed out in [19], any


given trivialization of CSN(M, Y ) determines a framing on Y (that is, the trivialization
of the normal bundle N(M, Y )), and the latter can be used to perform a surgery on M
along Y . Moreover, the resulting contact structure on the surgered manifold agrees with
that of M away from Y . Such an elementary surgery can be achieved also by attaching a
Weinstein handle by making use of isotropic setups which we recall next.
A quintuple of the form (P, , , M, Y ) is called an isotropic setup if (P, ) is a sym-
plectic manifold, is a Liouville vector eld, M is a hypersurface transverse to (hence
a contact manifold), and Y is an isotropic submanifold of M. The following proposition
is the basic tool enabling us to attach Weinstein handles.
Proposition 5.1 ([19]). Let (P
1
,
1
,
1
, M
1
, Y
1
), (P
2
,
2
,
2
, M
2
, Y
2
) be two isotropic se-
tups. Suppose that a given diomorphism Y
1
Y
2
is covered by a symplectic bundle
isomorphism
CSN(M
1
, Y
1
) CSN(M
2
, Y
2
).
Then there exist neighborhoods U
j
of Y
j
in M
j
and an isomorphism of isotropic setups
: (U
1
,
1
[
U
1
,
1
[
U
1
, M
1
U
1
, Y
1
) (U
2
,
2
[
U
2
,
2
[
U
2
, M
2
U
2
, Y
2
)
which restricts to the given map Y
1
Y
2
, and induces the given bundle isomorphism.
5.2. Weinstein handles. Denote the coordinates on R
2n+2
= R
2(n+1)
by
(x
0
, y
0
, x
1
, y
1
, ..., x
n
, y
n
)
and consider the standard symplectic structure on R
2n+2
as

0
=
n

j=0
dx
j
dy
j
.
We will focus on two special Weinstein handles that we need for the present paper.
Namely, let H
n
and H
n+1
be the (2n + 2)-dimensional Weinstein handles in R
2n+2
with
indexes n and n + 1, respectively. These handles are dened as follow: Consider

n
=
x
0
2

x
0

y
0
2

y
0
+
n

j=1
_
2x
j

x
j
+y
j

y
j
_
,
n+1
=
n

j=0
_
2x
j

x
j
+y
j

y
j
_
which are the negative gradient vector elds of the Morse functions
f
n
=
x
2
0
4
+
y
2
0
4
+
n

j=1
_
x
2
j

1
2
y
2
j
_
, f
n+1
=
n

j=0
_
x
2
j

1
2
y
2
j
_
respectively. We have the contractions
k
=

0
, for k = n, n + 1, given as

n
=
x
0
2
dy
0
+
y
0
2
dx
0
+
n

j=1
(2x
j
dy
j
y
j
dx
j
) ,
n+1
=
n

j=0
(2x
j
dy
j
y
j
dx
j
)
from which we compute that /

0
= d(

0
) =
0
. Therefore,
n
,
n+1
are both
Liouville vector elds of
0
. Next, consider the unstable manifold
E
k

= x
0
= = x
n
= y
0
= = y
nk
= 0,
14 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
and the hypersurface X

= f
1
k
(1) which is of contact type. The pull back of
k
on E
k

is zero, and so the descending sphere


o
k1
= E
k

is isotropic (Legendrian if k = n + 1) in the contact manifold (X

,
k
[
X

). Similarly,
we have the stable manifold E
2n+2k
+
= y
nk+1
= = y
n
= 0 and the hypersurface
X
+
= f
1
k
(1) intersecting each other along the ascending sphere
S
2n+1k
= E
2n+2k
+
X
+
which is a submanifold of the contact manifold (X
+
,
k
[
X
+
).
R
2n+2k
R
k
X

= f
1
k
(1)
X

= f
1
k
(1)
S
k1

S
k1
ow of
k
Figure 1. Weinstein handle H
k
(shaded) and the ow of
k
transverse to H
k
.
The Weinstein handle H
k
is the region bounded by a neighborhood (which can be
taken arbitrarily small) of the descending sphere o
k1
in X

together with a connecting


manifold S
2n+1k
D
k
depicted in Figure 1. It follows (see [19]) that we can choose
in such a way that
k
is everywhere transverse to the boundary H
k
. Now we state the
main theorem of [19] which tells us, in particular, when we can attach Weinstein handles
and how the symplectic structure extends over the handle.
Theorem 5.2 ([19]). Let Y be an isotropic sphere in the contact manifold M with a
trivialization of CSN(M, Y ). Let M

be the manifold obtained from M by elementary


surgery along Y . Then the elementary cobordism P from M to M

obtained by attaching
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 15
a Weinstein handle to M[0, 1] along a neighborhood of Y carries a symplectic structure
and a Liouville vector eld which is transverse to M and M

. The contact structure


induced on M is the given one, while that on M

diers from that on M only on the


spheres where the surgery takes place.
One important fact about gluing symplectic manifolds is not mentioned rigorously
before (at least in [19]). For our purposes it is convenient to state it as a lemma:
Lemma 5.3. Gluing two exact symplectic manifolds using an isomorphism of isotropic
setups results in an exact symplectic manifold.
Proof. Let (P
1
,
1
,
1
) and (P
2
,
2
,
2
) be two exact symplectic manifold, and suppose
that (as in Proposition 5.1) there exists an isomorphism of isotropic setups
: (U
1
,
1
[
U
1
,
1
[
U
1
, M
1
U
1
, Y
1
) (U
2
,
2
[
U
2
,
2
[
U
2
, M
2
U
2
, Y
2
)
which restricts to a given map Y
1
Y
2
, and induces a given bundle isomorphism
CSN(M
1
, Y
1
) CSN(M
2
, Y
2
).
Let P be the manifold obtained by gluing (P
1
,
1
,
1
) and (P
2
,
2
,
2
) using the isomor-
phism . This exactly means that along the gluing region we are gluing
i
s,
i
s (and so

i
s) together using . Therefore, on the gluing region either of (
1
,
1
,
1
) or (
2
,
2
,
2
)
denes an exact symplectic structure. Observe that on P P
2
(resp. on P P
1
) the triple
(
1
,
1
,
1
), (resp. (
2
,
2
,
2
)) denes an exact symplectic structure. Hence, P equips
with the exact symplectic structure which we write as (
1


2
,
1


2
,
1


2
).
6. Convex Stabilizations
Our observation via isotropic setups and Weinstein handles is the fact that we can
perform certain positive stabilizations, which will be called convex stabilizations, on
exact Lefschetz brations. Convex stabilizations will be dened explicitly at the end of
the section where a summary of results and some corollaries are also presented in this
new terminology. The main theorem of this section is
Theorem 6.1. Any positive stabilization of an exact Lefschetz bration along a properly
embedded Legendrian disk is also an exact Lefschetz bration.
Proof. Let (, E, , , , X, h) be a given exact Lefschetz bration. We have already
checked in the proof of Theorem 3.3 that a positive stabilization o
LF
[(, E, X, h); L] of
the underlying Lefschetz bration (, E, X, h) is an another Lefschetz bration which we
denoted by (

, E

, X

, h

). So all we need to check is that the exact symplectic structure


(, , ) extends over the handles H

, H

which we used to construct (

, E

, X

, h

) so
that we get an exact symplectic structure (

) on E

.
At this point one should ask why the Legendrian disk L given on a page X of the
boundary exact open book (which carries = Ker([
E
) by Theorem 4.7) is also La-
grangian on the page (X, d) (so that o
LF
[(, E, X, h); L] makes sense). We can check
this as follows: From the basic equality
d(u, v) = /
u
(v) /
v
(u) +([u, v])
16 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
we immediately see that d(u, v) = 0 for all u, v TL (see Chapter III in [2] for a discus-
sion on integrable submanifolds of contact structures). This shows that L is Lagrangian
on the page (X, d).
Consider the 2n-dimensional Weinstein handle H (of index n) used in Denition 3.1
and in the proof of Theorem 3.3. Taking the coordinates on R
2n
H as (x
1
, y
1
, ..., x
n
, y
n
),
we can symplectically embed H into H
n
by the map
(x
1
, y
1
, ..., x
n
, y
n
) (0, 0, x
1
, y
1
, ..., x
n
, y
n
).
Indeed, we can trivially ber H
n
over D
2
with bers dieomorphic to H by constructing
it in a dierent way as follows: Our new model for H
n
will be H D
2
. Consider the
standard symplectic form
H
=

n
j=1
dx
j
dy
j
on H whose Liouville vector eld
H
, the
corresponding Morse function f
H
and the contraction
H
=

H
are

H
=
n

j=1
_
2x
j

x
j
+y
j

y
j
_
, f
H
=
n

j=1
_
x
2
j

y
2
j
2
_
,
H
=
n

j=1
(2x
j
dy
j
y
j
dx
j
) .
Let (r, ) be the radial and the angle coordinates on D
2
-factor in H D
2
. If pr
1
(resp.
pr
2
) denotes the projection onto H-factor (resp. D
2
-factor), then, similar to the proof of
Lemma 4.4, the modication

0
:= pr

1
(
H
) +pr

2
(rdr d)
is a symplectic form on the total space H
n
= HD
2
of the bration pr
2
: H
n
D
2
, and
indeed is equivalent to the standard symplectic form
0
. Considering
H
and r/2 /r
as vector elds in T(H D
2
) = TH TD
2
, it is straightforward to check that

0
:=
H
r/2 /r
is the Liouville vector eld of
0
(satisfying /

0
0
=
0
) which gives the contraction

0
:=

0
0
=
H
r
2
/2 d.
Note that
H
is transverse to
h
H
n
= H D
2
and r/2 /r is transverse to
v
H
n
=
H S
1
, and so
0
is everywhere transverse to H
n
. It follows that each ber
H
z
:= pr
1
2
(z) H (z D
2
)
is an 2n-dimensional Weinstein handle (of index n) and equips with the exact symplectic
form
0
z
:=
0
[
Hz
with the primitive
0
z
:=
0
[
Hz
and whose Liouville vector eld
0
z
:=

0
[
Hz
is transverse to H
z
and satises

0
z

0
z
=
0
z
.
As a result, we obtain a trivial (no singular bers) Lefschetz bration (pr
2
, H
n
, H, id)
over D
2
. One should note that this is not an exact Lefschetz bration because neither
H
n
nor H
z
is convex, but it can be glued to an exact Lefschetz bration along the
convex part, which we will denote by
CX
H
n
, of its boundary to construct a new exact
Lefschetz bration as we will see below. To describe
CX
H
n
, we rst observe that the
boundary of H is decomposed into its convex and concave parts as
H =
CX
H
CV
H
where
CX
H o
n1
D
n
is the tubular neighborhood of descending sphere o
n1
in the
hypersurface f
1
H
(1) from which
H
points outward, and
CV
H =
H
S
n1
D
n
is
the connecting manifold from which
H
points inward. Then we get the decomposition
H
n
= (H D
2
) (H S
1
) = (
CX
H D
2
) (
CV
H D
2
) (H S
1
)
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 17
from which we deduce that

CX
H
n
=
CX
H D
2
and
CV
H
n
= (
CV
H D
2
) (H S
1
).
An easy way to understand this decomposition is given schematically in Figure 2.
x
0
y
0
H

CV
H D
2

CX
H D
2

H
R
2n

CV
H

H

H

CX
H
D
2
r/2 /r
H S
1
ow of
0
=
H
r/2 /r
Figure 2. A schematic picture of the convex and concave parts of H
n
and the ow of
0
=
H
r/2 /r in R
2n
R
2
Lemma 6.2. The handle H

can be replaced by the handle H


n
. Moreover, the exact
symplectic structure (, , ) on E extends over the handle H
n
.
Proof. We will replace the handle H

= HD
2
used in the proof of Theorem 3.3 with the
Weinstein handle H
n
= H D
2
. Here we do the replacement in such a way that the new
ber

E
z
X

over z D
2
is obtained from the ber X = E
z
by attaching the Weinstein
handle H
z
along the Legendrian sphere S
z
:= S
n1
E
z
which we consider as a copy of
the boundary L of the Legendrian (and so Lagrangian) ball L of the stabilization. More
precisely, we proceed as follows:
As S
z
is Legendrian in (E
z
,
z
), its conformal symplectic normal bundle CSN(E
z
, S
z
)
is zero (i.e., has rank zero). Similarly, the descending sphere o
n1
z
is Legendrian in
(
CX
H
z
,
0
z
) and so CSN(
CX
H
z
, o
n1
z
) is also zero. Therefore, by Proposition 5.1, we
can nd neighborhoods U
z
of o
n1
z
in H
z
and V
z
of S
z
in E
z
and an isomorphism of
isotropic setups

z
: (U
z
,
0
z
[
Uz
,
0
z
[
Uz
,
CX
H
z
U
z
, o
n1
z
) (V
z
,
z
[
Vz
,
z
[
Vz
, E
z
V
z
, S
z
)
which restricts to the map f
z
: o
n1
z
S
z
given in stage (I) of Denition 3.1. (Here f
z
is the embedding of the attaching sphere of H
z
.) Now using Theorem 5.2 we attach each
18 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
H
z
to corresponding E
z
using the isomorphism
z
and obtain the new ber X

equipped
with exact symplectic structure
(
z
,
z
,
z
) := (
z

z

0
z
,
z

z

0
z
,
z

z

0
z
).
(Note that
z

z

0
z
= d(
z

z

0
z
) and we use Lemma 5.3 to obtain this structure.)
Next, we x a copy of S
z
0
E
z
0
(with z
0
intD
2
) of the Legendrian sphere L
in a xed regular ber E
z
0
. Since z
0
is a regular value of , we may assume that E
z
0
is the binding of the (exact) open book induced by . Since this open book carries
the contact structure = Ker() on E (which we know by Theorem 4.7), the binding
(E
z
0
,
z
0
:= Ker(
z
0
)) is a contact submanifold manifold of (E, ), and so
z
0
is a
subbundle of ([
Ez
0
, d[
Ez
0
) and we have (see for instance [10])
TE[
Ez
0
= TE
z
0
(
z
0
)

where (
z
0
)

= CSN(E, E
z
0
) is the symplectically orthogonal complement of
z
0
in
([
Ez
0
, d[
Ez
0
). ((
z
0
)

is also called the conformal symplectic normal bundle of E


z
0
in
E.) The latter equality implies that CSN(E, E
z
0
) can be identied with the classical
normal bundle N(E, E
z
0
) of E
z
0
in E. But we know, by denition of open books,
that the binding has a trivial normal bundle, so CSN(E, E
z
0
) = E
z
0
D
2
. Then from
the inclusions S
z
0
E
z
0
E we have
CSN(E, S
z
0
) = CSN(E, E
z
0
)[
Sz
0
CSN(E
z
0
, S
z
0
) = S
z
0
D
2
.
(Recall CSN(E
z
0
, S
z
0
) is zero as S
z
0
is Legendrian in E
z
0
.)
For o
n1
, we follow not the same but similar lines: We x a copy o
n1
z
0

CX
H
z
0
in a
xed ber H
z
0
(with z
0
intD
2
). The restriction of
0
z
0
onto
CX
H
z
0
is a contact form
making
CX
H
z
0
convex, and o
n1
z
0
is Legendrian in (
CX
H
z
0
,
0
z
0
[

CX
Hz
0
). So we have
CSN(
CX
H
z
0
, o
n1
z
0
) = 0.
Also (
CX
H
z
0
,
0
z
0
[

CX
Hz
0
) is a contact submanifold manifold of (
CX
H
n
,
0
[

CX
Hn
). Then
from the inclusions o
n1
z
0

CX
H
z
0

CX
H
n
we see that
CSN(
CX
H
n
, o
n1
z
0
) = CSN(
CX
H
n
,
CX
H
z
0
)[
S
n1
z
0
CSN(
CX
H
z
0
, o
n1
z
0
) = o
n1
z
0
D
2
.
Now we will show that all the above individual attachments are indeed pieces of the
attachment of the Weinstein handle H
n
to E along S
z
0
by nding an isotropic setup which
agrees with each individual ber-wise gluing. To this end, note that we have the map
f
z
0
: o
n1
z
0
S
z
0
given in stage (I) of Denition 3.1. Dene the map
: CSN(
CX
H
n
, o
n1
z
0
) = o
n1
z
0
D
2
S
z
0
D
2
= CSN(E, S
z
0
)
by the rule
(p, z) = (f
z
0
(p), z).
Clearly, is a bundle map and covers f
z
0
, and so by Proposition 5.1, we can nd neigh-
borhoods U of o
n1
z
0
in H
n
and V of S
z
0
in E and an isomorphism of isotropic setups

n
: (U,
0
[
U
,
0
[
U
,
CX
H
n
U, o
n1
z
0
) (V, [
V
, [
V
, E V, S
z
0
)
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 19
which restricts to f
z
0
and the bundle map . We may assume that
CX
H
n
U =
CX
H
n
,
that is,
n
attaches H
n
to E along the whole convex part
CX
H
n
=
CX
H D
2
of its
boundary. Now consider the boundaries

CX
H
n
=
CX
H
z
0
D
2
and
h
E =
_
zD
2
E
z
= E
z
0
D
2
.
For each z D
2
, by attaching H
z
to E
z
using
z
, we glue
CX
H
z
0
z
CX
H
n
with
E
z
0
z
h
E and also we map o
n1
z
onto S
z
by f
z
. Therefore, attaching all H
z
s to
E
z
s along
z
s denes a smooth map o
n1
z
0
D
2
S
z
0
D
2
which is identity on the
D
2
-factor and maps o
n1
z
0
onto S
z
0
via f
z
0
, and so it coincides with . Hence, we conclude
that overall eect of attaching all H
z
s to E
z
s using
z
s on E is equivalent to attaching
Weinstein handle H
n
to E using
n
.
By Lemma 5.3 we know that the resulting manifold

E := E
n
H
n
has an exact
symplectic structure ( , , ) obtained by gluing those on E and H
n
. In other words,
( , , ) = (
n

0
,
n

0
,
n

0
).
Also, clearly, extends over H
n
and we get a Lefschetz bration :

E D
2
with regular
ber X

and monodromy h (original h which is trivially extended over H). To check that
( , , ) restricts to (
z
,
z
,
z
) on each new regular ber

E
z
X

, we proceed as follows:
For each z D
2
, by taking U
z
(resp. V
z
) small enough, we can guarantee that the union
_
zD
2
U
z
_
resp.
_
zD
2
V
z
_
lies in the collar neighborhood of
CX
H
n
(resp.
h
E) where we have the local triviality
condition (as described in the denition of exact symplectic bration). By using these local
trivialities, we combine all the exact symplectic structures (
z

z

0
z
,
z

z

0
z
,
z

z

0
z
)
together, and surely the resulting structure must be (
n

0
,
n

0
,
n

0
) because
(
z
,
z
,
z
)s (resp. (
0
z
,
0
z
,
0
z
)s) patch together and give (, , ) (resp. (
0
,
0
,
0
)).
This completes the proof of Lemma 6.2.
So far we have constructed an exact Lefschetz bration ( ,

E, , , , X

, h) on

E := E
n
H
n
,
in other words, we extended (, , ) over the handle H

by showing that H

can be
replaced by H
n
. Next, we want to extend ( , , ) over H

by showing that H

can be
replaced by the Weinstein handle H
n+1
.
Remark 6.3. Although Weinstein handles are attached along the convex part of their
boundaries (according to the convention of present paper which coincides with the one
in [19]), we actually need to reverse the direction of the Liouville vector eld of the
Weinstein handle when it is being attached to a convex boundary of a symplectic manifold.
Otherwise it is impossible to match the Liouville directions of the symplectizations used
in the gluing. Since we have attached H
n
to E along the whole
CX
H
n
by matching

0
=
H
+r/2 /r with , we have to now consider

CV
H
n
= (
CV
H D
2
) (H S
1
)
as a subset of the convex part of the boundary

E.
20 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
Lemma 6.4. The Lefschetz handle H

can be replaced by the Weinstein handle H


n+1
.
Proof. Recall that H

is attach to

E along the Lagrangian n-sphere S on a page (X

, d [
X
)
of the boundary exact open book (X

, h) carrying the contact structure



= Ker( [


E
)
on

E. Say S

E

0
( X

) for some
0
S
1
= D
2
. From its construction (given in
Denition 3.1) and the notation introduced above, S is the union
S = L
f

0
D
of the Lagrangian n-disk L (E

0
,

0
= d

0
) and the Lagrangian core disk D( D
n
)
of the 2n-dimensional Weinstein handle (H

0
, d
0

0
). Note that H

0
H is the ber (over

0
S
1
) of the trivial bration H S
1
. By assumption L is Legendrian in (

E,

). On
the other hand, the contact form [


E
restricts to a contact form

:= ( [


E
)[
HS
1 = (

0
0
)[
HS
1 =
0
[
HS
1 =
d
2

H
=
d
2
+
n

j=1
(2x
j
dy
j
+y
j
dx
j
)
on a convex part H S
1


E. Observe that the core disk D H

0
= H
0
is given
by the set
x
1
= x
2
= = x
n
= 0, =
0
(constant),
and so clearly

= 0 on D which means that D is Legendrian in (H S


1
,

)
(

E, [


E
). Therefore, the n-sphere S is also Legendrian in (

E, [


E
) which implies
that CSN(

E, S) = 0. Moreover, we also have CSN(
CX
H
n+1
, o
n
) = 0 as o
n
is Leg-
endrian in (
CX
H
n+1
,
n+1
[

CX
H
n+1
) by denition. Then by Proposition 5.1, we can nd
neighborhoods U

of o
n
in H
n+1
and V

of S in

E and an isomorphism of isotropic setups

n+1
: (U

,
0
[
U
,
n+1
[
U
,
CX
H
n+1
U

, o
n
) (V

, [
V
, [
V
,

E V

, S)
which restricts to the embedding : o
n
S determined by Denition 3.1. Now by
Theorem 5.2 attaching H
n+1
to

E using
n+1
results in an exact symplectic manifold
E

:=

E

n+1
H
n+1
equipped with the exact symplectic data
(

) = (

n+1

0
,

n+1

n+1
,

n+1

n+1
).
Again we may assume that
CX
H
n+1
U

=
CX
H
n+1
, that is,
n+1
attaches H
n+1
to

E along the whole convex part


CX
H
n+1
of its boundary. Note that the step we just
explained replaces H

with the Weinstein handle H


n+1
. From the bundle isomorphisms

= TS

= T

S (T

E/

)[
S
we see that the framings on the normal bundle N(

E, S) which are used to attach H

and
H
n+1
coincide, and so attaching H

and H
n+1
are topologically the same. Therefore, we
know by Theorem 2.8 that when we add H
n+1
to ( ,

E, , , , X

, h), we can extend the


underlying topological Lefschetz bration ( ,

E, X

, h) over H
n+1
and get the Lefschetz
bration
o
LF
[(, E, X, h); L] = (

, E

, X

,
(,

)
h)
where
(,

)
is the right-handed Dehn twist described in Denition 3.1. The proof of
Lemma 6.4 is now complete.
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 21
To be able to say that we have constructed an exact Lefschetz bration
(

, E

, X

,
(,

)
h)
on E

, it remains to check that the exact symplectic structure (

) restricts to an
exact symplectic structure on every new regular ber E

z
. Note that this time we are
not changing the dieomorphism type of the regular ber, that is E

z


E
z
X

. The
Weinstein handle H
n+1
is attached to

E along the neighborhood


E V

N(

E

0
, S) [0, 1]
of the attaching sphere S

E

0
in

E where we identify the interval [0, 1] with a closed
arc in S
1
pt such that 0 <
0
< 1. Consider the mapping torus
X

[0, 1]/(x, 0) (h(x), 1)


of the open book (X

, h) on

E and the inclusion
N(

E

0
, S) [0, 1] X

[0, 1].
Observe that attaching H
n+1
to

E along the attaching region N(

E

0
, S) [0, 1] results in
a new mapping torus
X

[0, 1]/(x, 0) ((
(,

)
h)(x), 1)
for the open book (X

,
(,

)
h) on the new boundary (E

:= Ker(

[
E
)) obtained
from the corresponding elementary (contact) surgery on (

E,

) along the Legendrian
sphere S. To get this new mapping torus, we are just gluing two copies of X

equipped
with the exact symplectic structure (
X
, d
X
,
X
) using the symplectomorphism

(,

)
h Symp(X

,
X
).
Therefore, attaching H
n+1
does not change the exact symplectic structures of regular
bers. But of course, it does change the structure of the Lefschetz bration: Relative to
:

E D
2
, the new Lefschetz bration

: E

=

E H
n+1
D
2
has one more critical
point (and so one more singular ber) located at the origin in the Weinstein handle H
n+1
.
We conclude that (

) restricts to
(

z
,

z
,

z
) = (
z
,
z
,
z
)
on each regular ber E

z


E
z
X

of

. Hence, we have an exact Lefschetz bration


(

, E

, X

,
(,

)
h) as claimed. This nishes the proof of Theorem 6.1.
We have the following consequence of Theorem 6.1:
Corollary 6.5. Any positive stabilization of an exact open book along a properly embedded
Legendrian disk is also an exact open book.
Proof. By denition if (X, h) is an exact open book, then there exist an exact Lefschetz
bration (, E, , , , X, h) which induces (X, h) on the boundary. Let L be any properly
embedded Legendrian (and so Lagrangian) disk in (X, ). Then by Theorem 3.3 we know
that the stabilization o
OB
[(X, h); L] is induced by o
LF
[(, E, X, h); L]. Then Theorem 6.1
implies that there exists an exact Lefschetz bration (

, E

, X

, h

) whose under-
lying topological Lefschetz bration is o
LF
[(, E, X, h); L]. In particular, o
OB
[(X, h); L]
is induced by an exact Lefschetz bration (

, E

, X

, h

), and hence, it is exact


by denition.
22 SELMAN AKBULUT AND M. FIRAT ARIKAN
After all, the following denitions make sense and t into the frame very well.
Denition 6.6. (i) A convex stabilization o
C
LF
[(, E, , , , X, h); L] of an exact
Lefschetz bration (, E, , , , X, h) is dened to be the positive stabilization
o
LF
[(, E, X, h); L] where L is a properly embedded Legendrian disk on X.
(ii) A convex stabilization o
C
OB
[(X, h); L] of an exact open book (X, h) is dened to
be the positive stabilization o
OB
[(X, h); L] where L is a properly embedded Leg-
endrian disk on X.
The theorem that we state next can be considered as the exact symplectic version of
Theorem 3.3. It summarizes some of the results that we have shown in the language of
convex stabilizations. The proof is a straight forward combination of previous statements
and denitions, and so will be omitted.
Theorem 6.7. o
C
LF
[(, E, , , , X, h); L] induces the (exact) open book o
C
OB
[(X, h); L].
Conversely, if an (exact) open book (X, h) is induced by (, E, , , , X, h), then any
convex stabilization o
C
OB
[(X, h); L] of (X, h) is induced by o
C
LF
[(, E, , , , X, h); L].
Combining the results we get so far, we know that a convex stabilization of an exact
Lefschetz bration produces an another exact Lefschetz bration on a manifold which has
the same dieomorphism type with the original one. One can see that these manifolds
are, indeed, symplectomorphic:
Theorem 6.8. Let (E

) be the total space of o


C
LF
[(, E, , , , X, h); L], Then
(E

) is symplectomorphic to (E, , ) In other words, the pair


H
n
, H
n+1

used in the construction of o


C
LF
[(, E, , , , X, h); L] is a symplectically canceling pair.
Proof. We have already observed in the proof of Theorem 3.3 that H
n
, H
n+1
is a can-
celing pair in smooth category (as the belt sphere of H
n
intersects the attaching sphere
of H
n+1
transversely once). Moreover, Lemma 3.6b in [6] (see also Lemma 3.9 in [18])
implies that two Weinstein handles form a symplectically canceling pair if they form a
canceling pair in smooth category and their Morse-index dierence is one. As a result,
we conclude that H
n
, H
n+1
is a canceling pair in symplectic category as well.
As an immediate corollary, we have
Corollary 6.9. Let (resp.

) be the contact structure on E (resp. E

) induced
by the exact symplectic structure of (, E, , , , X, h) (resp. (

, E

, X

, h

) =
o
C
LF
[(, E, , , , X, h); L]). Then (E, ) is contactomorhic (E

).
Finally, as an application, we verify a well-known result for the class of exact open
books and their convex stabilizations. Namely,
Corollary 6.10. Let be a contact structure carried by an exact open book (X, h). Then
any convex stabilization o
C
OB
[(X, h); L] of (X, h) carries .
Proof. By assumption, there exist an exact Lefschetz bration (, E, , , , X, h) which
induces (X, h) on the boundary. Note that, by Theorem 4.7, (, , ) induces on
E. Theorem 6.7 implies that o
C
OB
[(X, h); L] is induced by o
C
LF
[(, E, , , , X, h); L].
STABILIZATIONS VIA LEFSCHETZ FIBRATIONS AND EXACT OPEN BOOKS 23
Moreover, again by Theorem 4.7, we know that o
C
OB
[(X, h); L] carries the contact structure
induced by the exact symplectic structure on o
C
LF
[(, E, , , , X, h); L]. Now the proof
follows from Corollary 6.9.
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Department of Mathematics, Michigan State University, Lansing MI, USA
E-mail address: akbulut@math.msu.edu
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, Bonn, GERMANY
E-mail address: arikan@mpim-bonn.mpg.de