Quantitative embedded contact homology

Michael Hutchings University of California

Differential Geometry mathscidoc:1609.10224

Journal of Differential Geometry, 88, (2), 231-266, 2011
Define a “Liouville domain” to be a compact exact symplectic manifold with contact-type boundary. We use embedded contact homology to assign to each four-dimensional Liouville domain (or subset thereof) a sequence of real numbers, which we call “ECH capacities”. The ECH capacities of a Liouville domain are defined in terms of the “ECH spectrum” of its boundary, which measures the amount of symplectic action needed to represent certain classes in embedded contact homology. Using cobordism maps on embedded contact homology (defined in joint work with Taubes), we show that the ECH capacities are monotone with respect to symplectic embeddings. We compute the ECH capacities of ellipsoids, polydisks, certain subsets of the cotangent bundle of T 2, and disjoint unions of examples for which the ECH capacities are known. The resulting symplectic embedding obstructions are sharp in some interesting cases, for example for the problem of embedding an ellipsoid into a ball (as shown by McDuff-Schlenk) or embedding a disjoint union of balls into a ball. We also state and present evidence for a conjecture under which the asymptotics of the ECH capacities of a Liouville domain recover its symplectic volume.
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  author={Michael Hutchings},
  booktitle={Journal of Differential Geometry},
Michael Hutchings. QUANTITATIVE EMBEDDED CONTACT HOMOLOGY . 2011. Vol. 88. In Journal of Differential Geometry. pp.231-266. http://archive.ymsc.tsinghua.edu.cn/pacm_paperurl/20160913203719252213885.
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