Waist Size for Cusps in Hyperbolic-3 Manifolds II

The waist size of a cusp in an orientable hyperbolic 3-manifold is the length of the shortest nontrivial curve generated by a parabolic isometry in the maximal cusp boundary. Previously, it was shown that the smallest possible waist size, which is 1, is realized only by the cusp in the figure-eight knot complement. In this paper, it is proved that the next two smallest waist sizes are realized uniquely for the cusps in the 5252 knot complement and the manifold obtained by (2,1)-surgery on the Whitehead link. One application is an improvement on the universal upper bound for the length of an unknotting tunnel in a 2-cusped hyperbolic 3-manifold.

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