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Homotopy string links over surfaces Yurasovskaya, Ekaterina


In his 1947 work "Theory of Braids" Emil Artin asked whether the braid group remained unchanged when one considered classes of braids under linkhomotopy, allowing each strand of a braid to pass through itself but not through other strands. We generalize Artin's question to string links over orientable surface M and show that under link-homotopy surface string links form a group PBn(M), which is isomorphic to a quotient of the surface pure braid group PBn(M). Surface braid groups and their properties are an area of active research by González-Meneses, Paris and Rolfsen, Goçalves and Guaschi, and our work explores the geometric and visual beauty of this subject. We compute a presentation of PBn(M) in terms of the generators and relations and discuss the orderability of the group in the case when the surface in question is a unit disk D.

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