Borromean surgery formula for the Casson invariant

Mathematics – Geometric Topology

Scientific paper

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Final version. 11 pages. To appear in Algebraic & Geometric Topology

Scientific paper

It is known that every oriented integral homology 3-sphere can be obtained from S^3 by a finite sequence of Borromean surgeries. We give an explicit formula for the variation of the Casson invariant under such a surgery move. The formula involves simple classical invariants, namely the framing, linking number and Milnor's triple linking number. A more general statement, for n independent Borromean surgeries, is also provided, which involves an additional cubic expression in some linking numbers of the surgery link.

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