Diffeomorphisms of discs, harmonic spinors and positive scalar curvature 11:10 Fri 17 Mar, 2017 :: Engineering Nth N218 :: Diarmuid Crowley :: University of Melbourne
Let Diff(D^k) be the space of diffeomorphisms of the k-disc fixing the boundary point wise. In this talk I will show for k > 5, that the homotopy groups \pi_*Diff(D^k) have non-zero 8-periodic 2-torsion detected in real K-theory. I will then discuss applications for spin manifolds M of dimension 6 or greater: 1) Our results input to arguments of Hitchin which now show that M admits a metric with a harmonic spinor. 2) If non-empty, space of positive scalar curvature metrics on M has non-zero 8-periodic 2-torsion in its homotopy groups which is detected in real K-theory. This is part of joint work with Thomas Schick and Wolfgang Steimle.