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THE POSITIVE SCALAR CURVATURE COBORDISM CATEGORY

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Ebert, J 
Randal-Williams, Oscar  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7479-2878

Abstract

We prove that many spaces of positive scalar curvature metrics have the homotopy type of infinite loop spaces. Our result in particular applies to the path component of the round metric inside R+(Sd) if d≥6. To achieve that goal, we study the cobordism category of manifolds with positive scalar curvature. Under suitable connectivity conditions, we can identify the homotopy fibre of the forgetful map from the psc cobordism category to the ordinary cobordism category with a delooping of spaces of psc metrics. This uses a version of Quillen's Theorem B and instances of the Gromov--Lawson surgery theorem. We extend some of the surgery arguments by Galatius and the second named author to the psc setting to pass between different connectivity conditions. Segal's theory of Γ-spaces is then used to construct the claimed infinite loop space structures. The cobordism category viewpoint also illuminates the action of diffeomorphism groups on spaces of psc metrics. We show that under mild hypotheses on the manifold, the action map from the diffeomorphism group to the homotopy automorphisms of the spaces of psc metrics factors through the Madsen--Tillmann spectrum. This implies a strong rigidity theorem for the action map when the manifold has trivial rational Pontrjagin classes. A delooped version of the Atiyah--Singer index theorem proved by the first named author is used to moreover show that the secondary index invariant to real K-theory is an infinite loop map. These ideas also give a new proof of the main result of our previous work with Botvinnik.

Description

Keywords

math.AT, math.AT, math.GT, 19K56, 53C27, 55P47, 55R35, 57R22, 57R65, 57R90, 58D17, 58D05, 58J20

Journal Title

Duke Mathematical Journal

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0012-7094
1547-7398

Volume Title

Publisher

Duke University Press

Rights

All rights reserved
Sponsorship
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/M027783/1)
European Research Council (756444)
Leverhulme Trust (PLP-2017-017)
SFB 878 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft under Germany’s Excellence Strategy EXC 2044 390685587, Mathematics Münster: Dynamics–Geometry–Structure EPSRC grant EP/M027783/1 ERC under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 756444) Philip Leverhulme Prize from the Leverhulme Trust.