Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


On the Topologies of Moduli Spaces of Polygons: A Taxonomic Approach 公开 Deposited




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  • Consider a polygon lying in the Euclidean plane with labeled edge lengths. The moduli space of polygons is the space of all polygons with the same labeled edge lengths, modulo orientation preserving isometries. It is well known that this space is generically a smooth manifold. For certain combinations of edge lengths, however, non-smooth points can arise. We show these points to be isolated, each with a neighborhood homeomorphic to a cone over a product of spheres. We proceed to explicitly compute the homeomorphism types that arise from non-smooth moduli spaces of pentagons. We then turn our attention to the number of different (up to diffeomorphism) smooth manifolds that can arise as moduli spaces of polygons. It is known that, for a fixed number of edges, this number is finite. The exact number is only known up to the case of pentagons, however. We provide a new structure that summarizes the possible manifold topologies of a moduli space of polygons in a directed graph. We then use this structure to provide bounds on the number of diffeomorphism types that can arise as moduli spaces of polygons with no more than eight edges.
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