School of Mathematical Sciences

Topological branched coverings and invariant complex structures menu

Topological branched coverings and invariant complex structures

Davoud Cheraghi (Imperial College London)
Tue, 21/11/2017 - 15:00
Seminar series: 

Let f be an orientation preserving branched covering of the two dimensional sphere. Is f realized (up to homotopy) by a rational function of the sphere? If yes, is the corresponding rational function unique up to the Mobius transformations (the rigidity)? These questions amount to the existence and uniqueness of a complex structure that is invariant under the action of (the homotopy class of) f. The geometric and topological structure of "the orbits of the branched points”, play a key role in these problems. When this set has finite cardinality, a classical result of W. Thurston provides a complete topological characterisation of the branched coverings that are realised by rational functions (and the uniqueness). On the other hand, when the orbits of branched points forms a more complicated set of points, say a Cantor set, the questions have been extensively studied over the last three decades. In this talk we survey the main results of these studies, and describe a recent advance made on the uniqueness part using a renormalization technique.