We study a symplectic surgery operation we call unchaining, which effectively reduces the second Betti number and the symplectic Kodaira dimension at the same time. Using unchaining, we give novel constructions of symplectic Calabi-Yau surfaces from complex surfaces of general type, as well as from rational and ruled surfaces via the natural inverse of this oper-ation. Combining the unchaining surgery with others, which all correspond to certain monodromy substitutions for Lefschetz pencils, we provide further applications, such as a complete resolution of a conjecture of Stipsicz on the existence of exceptional sections in Lefschetz fibrations, new constructions of exotic symplectic 4-manifolds, and inequivalent pencils of the same genera and the same number of base points on families of symplectic 4-manifolds. Mean-while, we give a handy criterion for determining from the monodromy of a pencil whether its total space is spin or not.
|Publication status||Published - 2019 Mar 7|
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