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Cobordism of singular maps

András Szűcs

Geometry & Topology 12 (2008) 2379–2452

Throughout this paper we consider smooth maps of positive codimensions, having only stable singularities (see Arnold, Guseĭn-Zade and Varchenko [Monographs in Math. 83, Birkhauser, Boston (1988)]. We prove a conjecture, due to M Kazarian, connecting two classifying spaces in singularity theory for this type of singular maps. These spaces are: 1) Kazarian’s space (generalising Vassiliev’s algebraic complex and) showing which cohomology classes are represented by singularity strata. 2) The space Xτ giving homotopy representation of cobordisms of singular maps with a given list of allowed singularities as in work of Rimányi and the author [Topology 37 (1998) 1177–1191; Mat. Sb. (N.S.) 108 (150) (1979) 433–456, 478; Lecture Notes in Math. 788, Springer, Berlin (1980) 223–244].

We obtain that the ranks of cobordism groups of singular maps with a given list of allowed stable singularities, and also their p–torsion parts for big primes p coincide with those of the homology groups of the corresponding Kazarian space. (A prime p is “big” if it is greater than half of the dimension of the source manifold.) For all types of Morin maps (ie when the list of allowed singularities contains only corank 1 maps) we compute these ranks explicitly.

We give a very transparent homotopical description of the classifying space Xτ as a fibration. Using this fibration we solve the problem of elimination of singularities by cobordisms. (This is a modification of a question posed by Arnold [Itogi Nauki i Tekniki, Moscow (1988) 5–257].)

cobordism, singular map, Pontrjagin–Thom construction, Kazarian spectral sequence
Mathematical Subject Classification 2000
Primary: 57R45, 55P42
Secondary: 57R42, 55P15
Received: 8 September 2006
Revised: 27 June 2008
Accepted: 26 July 2008
Published: 18 September 2008
Proposed: Yasha Eliashberg
Seconded: Ralph Cohen, Steve Ferry
András Szűcs
Eötvös Loránd University
Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C, 3-206
1117 Budapest