Toward a link theoretic characterization of smoothness


10:30:00 - 12:30:00

103 , Mathematics Research Center Building (ori. New Math. Bldg.)

A theorem of Mumford states that, on complex surfaces, any normal isolated singularity whose link is dffeomorphic to a sphere is actually a smooth point. While this property fails in higher dimensions, McLean asks whether the contact structure that the link inherits from its embedding in the variety may suffice to characterize smooth points among normal isolated singularities. He proves that this is the case in dimension 3. In this paper, we use techniques from birational geometry to extend McLean's result to a large class of higher dimensional singularities. We also introduce a more refined invariant of the link using CR geometry, and conjecture that this invariant is strong enough to characterize smoothness in full generality.