Heegaard Floer homology and cosmetic surgeries in S3

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If a knot K in S3 admits a pair of truly cosmetic surgeries, we show that the surgery slopes are either ±2 or ±1=q for some value of q that is explicitly determined by the knot Floer homology of K. Moreover, in the former case the genus of K must be 2, and in the latter case there is a bound relating q to the genus and the Heegaard Floer thickness of K. As a consequence, we show that the cosmetic crossing conjecture holds for alternating knots (or more generally, Heegaard Floer thin knots) with genus not equal to 2. We also show that the conjecture holds for any knot K for which each prime summand of K has at most 16 crossings; our techniques rule out cosmetic surgeries in this setting except for slopes ±1 and ±2 on a small number of knots, and these remaining examples can be checked by comparing hyperbolic invariants. These results make use of the surgery formula for Heegaard Floer homology, which has already proved to be a powerful tool for obstructing cosmetic surgeries; we get stronger obstructions than previously known by considering the full graded theory. We make use of a new graphical interpretation of knot Floer homology and the surgery formula in terms of immersed curves, which makes the grading information we need easier to access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1627-1669
Number of pages43
JournalJournal of the European Mathematical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Dehn surgery
  • cosmetic surgery
  • knot Floer homology


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