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Ubiquity of geometric finiteness in mapping class groups of Haken 3-manifolds

By Sungbok Hong and Darryl McCullough


Mapping class groups of Haken 3-manifolds enjoy many of the homological finiteness properties of mapping class groups of 2-manifolds of finite type. For example, H(M) has a torsionfree subgroup of finite index, which is geometrically finite (i. e. is the fundamental group of a finite aspherical complex). This was proven by J. Harer for 2-manifolds and by the second author for Haken 3-manifolds. In this paper we prove that H(M) acts properly discontinuously on a contractible simplicial complex, with compact quotient. This implies that every torsionfree subgroup of finite index in H(M) is geometrically finite. Also, a simplified proof of the fact that torsionfree subgroups of finite index in H(M) exist is given. All results are proven for mapping class groups that preserve a boundary pattern in the sense of K. Johannson. As an application, we show that if F is a nonempty compact 2-manifold in the boundary of M, then the classifying space BDiff(M rel F) of the diffeomorphism group of M relative to F has the homotopy type of a finite aspherical complex.Comment: 33 page

Topics: Mathematics - Geometric Topology, 57M99
Year: 1997
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