Tori and Heegaard splittings
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Tori and Heegaard splittings

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Haken showed that the Heegaard splittings of reducible 3-manifolds are reducible, that is, a reducing 2-sphere can be found which intersects the Heegaard surface in a single simple closed curve. When the genus of the "interesting" surface increases from zero, more complicated phenomena occur. Kobayashi showed that if a 3-manifold $M^3$ contains an essential torus $T$, then it contains one which can be isotoped to intersect a strongly irreducible Heegaard splitting surface $F$ in a collection of simple closed curves which are essential in $T$ and in $F$. In general there is no global bound on the number of curves in this collection. We give conditions under which a global bound can be obtained.

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