We use the knot filtration on the Heegaard Floer complex CF to define an integer invariant τ(K) for knots. Like the classical signature, this invariant gives a homomorphism from the knot concordance group to ℤ. As such, it gives lower bounds for the slice genus (and hence also the unknotting number) of a knot; but unlike the signature, τ gives sharp bounds on the four-ball genera of torus knots. As another illustration, we calculate the invariant for several ten-crossing knots.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geometry and Topology
- 4-ball genus
- Floer homology
- Knot concordance