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So there is a semi famous quote on 4 manifold theory, someone said 4 manifold theory is difficult because it is like the phase transition of matter. Anyone know who this quote is attributed to? I probably butchered it. If it sounds familiar or you know the reference, please reference.

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Something like that is said here: cs.elte.hu/analysis/stipsicz/articles/s10.ps – Qiaochu Yuan Feb 22 '10 at 16:48
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As Qiaochu said, the quote is "One might think of dimension 4 as representing a phase transition between low- and high-dimensional topology, where we find uniquely complicated phenomena and diverse connections with other fields." This is from the paper "4-Manifolds and Kirby calculus" by Gompf and Stipsicz. – José Figueroa-O'Farrill Feb 22 '10 at 18:12

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