Concept

Incompressible surface

Summary
In mathematics, an incompressible surface is a surface properly embedded in a 3-manifold, which, in intuitive terms, is a "nontrivial" surface that cannot be simplified. In non-mathematical terms, the surface of a suitcase is compressible, because we could cut the handle and shrink it into the surface. But a Conway sphere (a sphere with four holes) is incompressible, because there are essential parts of a knot or link both inside and out, so there is no way to move the entire knot or link to one side of the punctured sphere. The mathematical definition is as follows. There are two cases to consider. A sphere is incompressible if both inside and outside the sphere there are some obstructions that prevent the sphere from shrinking to a point and also prevent the sphere from expanding to encompass all of space. A surface other than a sphere is incompressible if any disk with its boundary on the surface spans a disk in the surface. Incompressible surfaces are used for decomposition of Hak
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