Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Mathematics (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Nikolai Saveliev

Second Committee Member

Kenneth Baker

Third Committee Member

Alexander Dvorsky

Fourth Committee Member

Orlando Alvarez


The singular instanton Floer homology was defined by Kronheimer and Mrowka in connection with their proof that the Khovanov homology is an unknot detector. We study this theory for knots and two-component links using equivariant gauge theory on their double branched covers. We show that the special generator in the singular instanton Floer homology of a knot is graded by the knot signature mod 4, thereby providing a purely topological way of fixing the absolute grading in the theory. Our approach also results in explicit computations of the generators of the singular instanton Floer chain complex for several classes of knots with simple double branched covers, such as two-bridge knots, torus knots, and Montesinos knots, as well as for several families of two-components links. The instanton Floer homology of admissible bundles on 3-manifolds was defined by Floer in the late 1980s. Taubes proved that, for integral homology spheres, its Euler characteristic equals twice the Casson invariant. We extend this result to all closed oriented 3-manifolds with positive first Betti number by establishing a similar relationship between the Lescop invariant of the manifold and its instanton Floer homology. Our formula matches the one conjectured in the physics literature.


Link Homology; Gauge Theory; Lescop Invariant; Instanton Floer Homology