The symplectic Thom conjecture


In this paper, we demonstrate a relation among Seiberg-Witten invariants which arises from embedded surfaces in four-manifolds whose self-intersection number is negative. These relations, together with Taubes’ basic theorems on the Seiberg-Witten invariants of symplectic manfiolds, are then used to prove the symplectic Thom conjecture: a symplectic surface in a symplectic four-manifold is genus-minimizing in its homology class. Another corollary of the relations is a general adjunction inequality for embedded surfaces of negative self-intersection in four-manifolds.


Peter Oszváth

Zoltán Szabó