Journal of Symplectic Geometry

Volume 21 (2023)

Number 1

Lagrangian cobordisms between enriched knot diagrams

Pages: 159 – 234



Ipsita Datta (School of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.)


In this paper, we present new obstructions to the existence of Lagrangian cobordisms in $\mathbb{R}^4$ that depend only on the enriched knot diagrams of the boundary knots or links, using holomorphic curve techniques. We define enriched knot diagrams for generic smooth links. The existence of Lagrangian cobordisms gives a well-defined transitive relation on equivalence classes of enriched knot diagrams that is a strict partial order when restricted to exact enriched knot diagrams To establish obstructions we study 1-dimensional moduli spaces of holomorphic disks with corners that have boundary on Lagrangian tangles—an appropriate immersed Lagrangian closely related to embedded Lagrangian cobordisms. We adapt existing techniques to prove compactness and transversality, and compute dimensions of these moduli spaces. We produce obstructions as a consequence of characterizing all boundary points of such moduli spaces. We use these obstructions to recover and extend results about “growing” and “shrinking” Lagrangian slices. We hope that this investigation will open up new directions in studying Lagrangian surfaces in $\mathbb{R}^4$.

Received 21 January 2022

Accepted 1 October 2022

Published 27 July 2023