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Presented By: Topology Seminar - Department of Mathematics

Topology Seminar: Generating the homology of sliding squares in a rectangle

Hannah Alpert (Auburn University)

Abstract: The configuration space of n ordered unit squares sliding in a p by q rectangle is a subspace of the configuration space of n ordered points in the plane, which is the classifying space of the pure braid group. The homology of the pure braid group is generated by cycles that have a nice geometric description. To what extent is this true of squares in a rectangle? Small computations suggest that some more intricate generators may be needed.

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