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We present a novel C0-characterization of symplectic embeddings and diffeomorphisms in terms of Lagrangian embeddings. Our approach is based on the shape invariant, which was discovered by J.-C. Sikorav and Y. Eliashberg, intersection theory and the displacement energy of Lagrangian submanifolds, and the fact that non-Lagrangian submanifolds can be displaced immediately. This characterization gives rise to a new proof of C0-rigidity of symplectic embeddings and diffeomorphisms. The various manifestations of Lagrangian rigidity that are used in our arguments come from J-holomorphic curve methods. An advantage of our techniques is that they can be adapted to a C0-characterization of contact embeddings and diffeomorphisms in terms of coisotropic (or pre-Lagrangian) embeddings, which in turn leads to a proof of C0-rigidity of contact embeddings and diffeomorphisms. We give a detailed treatment of the shape invariants of symplectic and contact manifolds, and demonstrate that shape is often a natural language in symplectic and contact topology. We consider homeomorphisms that preserve shape, and propose a hierarchy of notions of Lagrangian topological submanifold. Moreover, we discuss shape related necessary and sufficient conditions for symplectic and contact embeddings, and define a symplectic capacity from the shape.


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