The central theme of this book is the study of self-dual connections on four-manifolds. The authors have adopted a topologists' perspective and so have included many of the explicit calculations using the Atiyah-Singer index theorem as well as presenting arguments couched in terms of equivariant topology. The authors' aim is to present moduli space techniques applied to four-manifolds and to study vector bundles over four-manifolds whose structure group is SO(3). Results covered include Donaldson's proof that the only positive definite forms occur as intersection forms and the results of Fintushel and Stern which show that the integral homology cobordism group of integral homology three-spheres has elements of infinite order. Little previous knowledge of differential geometry is assumed and so postgraduate students and research workers will find this both an accessible and complete introduction to an area that is currently one of the most active in mathematical research.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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