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Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture

Thurston's conjecture has to do with geometric structures on 3-D Manifolds. Before stating Thurston's conjecture, some background information is useful. 3-dimensional Manifolds possess what is known as a standard 2-level Decomposition. First, there is the Connected Sum Decomposition, which says that every Compact 3-Manifold is the Connected Sum of a unique collection of Prime 3-Manifolds.

The second Decomposition is the Jaco-Shalen-Johannson Torus Decomposition, which states that irreducible orientable Compact 3-Manifolds have a canonical (up to Isotopy) minimal collection of disjointly Embedded incompressible Tori such that each component of the 3-Manifold removed by the Tori is either ``atoroidal'' or ``Seifert-fibered.''

Thurston's conjecture is that, after you split a 3-Manifold into its Connected Sum and then Jaco-Shalen-Johannson Torus Decomposition, the remaining components each admit exactly one of the following geometries:

1. Euclidean Geometry,

2. Hyperbolic Geometry,

3. Spherical Geometry,

4. the Geometry of $\Bbb{S}^2 \times \Bbb{R}$,

5. the Geometry of $\Bbb{H}^2 \times \Bbb{R}$,

6. the Geometry of ${\it SL}_2R$,

7. Nil Geometry, or

8. Sol Geometry.
Here, $\Bbb{S}^2$ is the 2-Sphere and $\Bbb{H}^2$ is the Hyperbolic Plane. If Thurston's conjecture is true, the truth of the Poincaré Conjecture immediately follows.

See also Connected Sum Decomposition, Euclidean Geometry, Hyperbolic Geometry, Jaco-Shalen-Johannson Torus Decomposition, Nil Geometry, Poincaré Conjecture, Sol Geometry, Spherical Geometry

© 1996-9 Eric W. Weisstein