A branch of differential geometry dealing with Riemannian manifolds. *Riemannian manifolds* are smooth manifolds with an inner product smoothly attached to the tangent space of each point. Usually, Riemannian geometry focuses on the notions of distance, curvature, and shape. Consider using this tag ...

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Gross-Zagier formulae outside of number theory

(Edit: I have asked this question on MO.) The Gross-Zagier formula and various variations of it form the starting point in most of the existing results towards the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer ...
26
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2answers
1k views

PDEs on manifold: what changes from Euclidean case?

I know some PDE theory for nice open domains in $\mathbb{R}^n.$ I want to know what the changes are when I switch to other domains like manifolds. For example, do things like Poincare's inequality ...
25
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2answers
717 views

Why is the Laplacian important in Riemannian geometry?

As I've learned more Riemannian geometry, many of my teachers have said that studying the Laplacian (and its eigenvalues) is very important. But I must admit, I've never fully understood why. ...
19
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2answers
498 views

Yarn-like functions

When wrapping yarn around a ball you cannot make sharp turns or the yarn will fall off. If we think of the yarn as a curve on the surface of the sphere, we would say it must have curvature less than ...
18
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1answer
288 views

Review on Riemannian Geometry

I'm currently reading through Griffiths and Harris Principles of Algebraic Geometry, and the only subject in the foundational material section that I am not completely comfortable with is riemannian ...
17
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3answers
1k views

The space of Riemannian metrics on a given manifold.

For a finite-dimensional smooth (Hausdorff, second-countable) manifold $M$, consider the set $$\mathcal{Met}(M) = \{ g : g \text{ is a Riemannian metric on }M \}.$$ I'd like to know about the typical ...
16
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1answer
118 views

Are there spaces that 'look the same' at every point, but are not homogeneous?

A metric space is homogeneous if for any two points there is a global isometry that maps one into the other. It is locally homogeneous if any two points have isometric neighborhoods, i.e. the space ...
14
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Geometrical interpretation of Ricci curvature

I see the scalar curvature $R$ as an indicator of how a manifold curves locally (the easiest example is for a $2$-dimensional manifold $M$, where the $R=0$ in a point means that it is flat there, ...
14
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3k views

Definitions of Hessian in Riemannian Geometry

I am wondering is there any quick way to see the following two definitions of Hessian are coinside with each othere without using local coordinates? $\operatorname{Hess}(f)(X,Y)= \langle \nabla_X ...
14
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222 views

Can a continuous map $S^2 \rightarrow S^2$ preserve orthogonality without being an isometry?

Suppose I have a map $\phi: S^2 \rightarrow S^2$ and I know that a) $\phi$ is continuous and bijective b) If $a$ and $b$ subtend an angle of $\pi / 2$ at the center of the sphere, then so do ...
13
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525 views

Can every curve on a Riemannian manifold be interpreted as a geodesic of a given metric?

Given a metric $g_{\mu\nu}$ it is possible to find the equations of the geodesic on the Riemannian manifold $M$ defined by the metric itself: $$\frac{d^2x^a}{ds^2} + ...
13
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2answers
600 views

Computation of Laplace-Beltrami operator in a conformally equivalent metric

Could anyone tell me where I'm wrong with the following elementary calculation? Given a smooth Riemannian manifold $(M, g)$, I'd prove that if $\tilde{g}$ is conformally equivalent to $g$ (that is, ...
13
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424 views

metric in the Wasserstein space of gaussian measures

I am reading the paper "Wasserstein Geometry of Gaussian measures" by Asuka Takatsu (section 3 is of interest to me) and I have difficulties understanding how the metric is used. In particular, I am ...
13
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1answer
511 views

Adjoint of the covariant derivative on a Riemannian manifold

Let $\nabla_X$ be the covariant derivative on a Riemannian manifold w.r.t. the vector field $X$. It is not clear to me what the (formal) adjoint of this operator is: I mean the operator ...
13
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1answer
336 views

Question about the proof of the index theorem appearing in Milnor's Morse Theory

I am trying to get through the proof of the index theorem. The background: I have been stuck for quite a while on the following point which Milnor says is evident: Let $\gamma: [0,1]\rightarrow M$ be ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Are there simple examples of Riemannian manifolds with zero curvature and nonzero torsion

I am trying to grasp the Riemann curvature tensor, the torsion tensor and their relationship. In particular, I'm interested in necessary and sufficient conditions for local isometry with Euclidean ...
12
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1answer
374 views

Dolbeault Cohomology is invariant under homeomorphisms

If $X$ and $Y$ are two complex manifolds, which are homeomorphic but not necessarily diffeomorphic, must their Dolbeault cohomology groups be isomorphic? Here the Dolbeault cohomology groups ...
12
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1answer
485 views

Do eigenfunctions of elliptic operator form basis of $H^k(M)$?

We know that the eigenfunctions of the Laplacian on a compact manifold $M$ form a countable basis of $H^1(M)$. If $L$ is a $2k$-order elliptic operator, do the eigenfunctions of $L$ form a basis for ...
12
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440 views

Reversing the Ricci flow

Suppose $S$ is a closed, oriented surface (2-manifold) embedded in $\mathbb{R}^3$, which inherits the metric from $\mathbb{R}^3$, so that distances are measured by shortest paths on the surface. If ...
12
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311 views

What meaning did Riemann assign to $dx$?

Detlef Laugwitz wrote a monumental biography of Riemann. The book was translated into English by Shenitzer. Laugwitz discusses Riemann's fundamental essay Uber die Hypothesen, welche der Geometrie ...
12
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319 views

Riemannian metric making a given function harmonic

I have a nice 3-manifold (closed, oriented) which fibers over the circle, i.e. we are given a fibration $f:M\to S^1$. Apparently $M$ should admit a metric such that $f$ is harmonic. I don't quite ...
11
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2k views

Is the Nash Embedding Theorem a special case of the Whitney Embedding Theorem?

The Whitney Embedding Theorem states that every smooth manifold can be embedded in Euclidean space. The Nash Embedding Theorem states that every Riemannian manifold can be embedded in Euclidean ...
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314 views

The equivalence of two formulae for the Laplace—Beltrami operator

Let $M$ be a (pseudo-)Riemannian manifold with metric $g_{ab}$. Let $\nabla_a$ be the Levi-Civita connection on $M$. It's well-known that the Laplace—Beltrami operator can be defined in this context ...
11
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3answers
364 views

Why is $\langle \operatorname{grad} f, X\rangle_g$ independent of the metric on a Riemannian manifold?

Let $(M,g)$ be a Riemannian manifold and let $f \in C^{\infty}(M)$. Let $X$ be a smooth vector field on $M$. In smooth local coordinates $(x^i)$ on $M$, we can write $g = g_{ij} dx^i \otimes dx^j$ as ...
11
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340 views

Smooth Poincaré Conjecture

One of my professors wrote the following open question on the blackboard: If $M$ is a compact, connected smooth $4$-manifold such that $\pi_1(M) = 0$, $\pi_2(M) = 0$ (first two homotopy groups are ...
11
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2answers
291 views

Non-ellipticity of Yang-Mills equations

Let $D=\text{d}+A$ be a metric connection on a vector bundle with curvature $F=F_D$. How does one prove that the Yang-Mills equations $$ \frac{\partial}{\partial x^i}F_{ij}+[A_i,F_{ij}]=0 $$ from ...
11
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1answer
263 views

why is the spectrum of the schrödinger operator discrete?

let (M,g) be a compact riemannian manifold. Then the spectrum of the Schrödinger opartor $H=-\Delta +V$ with bounded potential V acting on $L^2(M)$ consists of discrete Eigenvalues ...
11
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130 views

Intuitive interpretation of Ricci Flow

What is the best way to interpret, explain or somehow visualize the basic idea behind formal definition of Ricci Flow? I am familiar with the hackneyed expressions like "Ricci Flow is a ...
10
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3answers
573 views

Existence of a Riemannian metric inducing a given distance.

Let $M$ be a smooth, finite-dimensional manifold. Suppose $M$ is also a metric space, with a given distance function $d: M \times M \rightarrow \mathbb{R}_{+}$, which is compatible with the original ...
10
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4answers
977 views

Why are we interested in closed geodesics?

There's a lot of work about the existence, number and other properties of closed geodesics on a Riemannian manifold (belonging to some specific class of manifolds). In the case of geodesics ...
10
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1answer
215 views

Is every scalar differential operator on $(M,g)$ that commutes with isometries a polynomial of the Laplacian?

On $(\mathbb{R}^n, g_{\text{std}})$ with $\Delta$ the Laplacian, the following holds: Fact: Every scalar differential operator $D$ that satisfies $D \circ F^* = F^* \circ D$ for all isometries $F ...
10
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461 views

Geometric meaning of symmetric connection

If $(M, g)$ is Riemannian manifold, there is unique connection $\nabla$, called Levi-Civita connection, satisfying the following: 1) Compatibility with Riemannian metric, i.e. $\nabla(g)$=0 2) ...
10
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315 views

Are closed geodesics the prime numbers of Riemannian manifolds?

I wonder to what extent one can support the analogy that primitive closed geodesics are the prime numbers of Riemannian manifolds? ("Primitive": traced once, as opposed to $m$-fold for $m \ge 2$.) In ...
10
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1answer
186 views

How can I understand the three-dimensional space forms?

Here is what I know: A space form is defined as a manifold admitting a Riemannian manifold of constant sectional curvature A classical result of Cartan states that a manifold is a space form if and ...
10
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2answers
327 views

Ricci curvature: step in proof of a paper by Hamilton

In Hamilton's paper "The Ricci Curvature Equation" (in Seminar on Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations, here), I can do all of Lemma 4.2 except for the following relation: $$ ...
10
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1answer
131 views

Using index notation to write $d^2=0$ in terms of a torsion free connection.

Let $(M,g)$ be a Riemannian manifold and let $\omega$ be a $1$-form on $M$. I want to rewrite $d^2\omega=0$ in terms of the Levi-Civita connection. I can show the following: $$d\omega(X,Y) = ...
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+100

Newton iteration on Riemannian manifolds

Suppose $f:M \to N$ is a smooth map between complete Riemannian manifolds of the same dimension. Suppose $Df(m_0)$ is invertible, and $n$ is a point close to $f(m_0)$. Can we perform Newton iteration ...
10
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139 views

On the variation of a Kähler metric on a surface by pullback of the complex structure

Let $\Sigma$ be a compact, connected, oriented surface, and let $\rho\in\Omega^2(\Sigma)$ be a fixed volume form. Then any (almost) complex structure $J\in\Omega^0(M;\operatorname{End}TM)$ compatible ...
10
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1answer
113 views

Why are diffeomorphism-invariant PDE not elliptic?

In reading geometric analysis papers, I frequently encounter a statement of the form, "The PDE in question is diffeomorphism-invariant, and therefore cannot be elliptic." My vague understanding is ...
9
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1answer
257 views

Creating geodesics on manifolds

Suppose I have two points on a Riemannian manifold $M$, called $p_0$ and $p_1$. I have a family of curves $\gamma:[0,\infty)\times[0,L]\to M$ such that $\gamma(t,0) = p_0$ and $\gamma(t,L) = p_1$. ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Existence of a local geodesic frame

Let $(M,g)$ be a Riemannian manifold of dimension $n$ with Riemannian connection $\nabla,$ and let $p \in M.$ Show that there exists a neighborhood $U \subset M$ of $p$ and $n$ (smooth) vector fields ...
9
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1answer
252 views

Which coefficients of the characteristic polynomial of the shape operator are isometric invariants?

Let $M^n \subset \mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ be an isometrically immersed Riemannian hypersurface. The shape operator $s$ is the $(1,1)$ tensor field characterized by $$\langle X, sY \rangle = \langle ...
8
votes
2answers
88 views

Totally geodesic hypersurface in compact hyperbolic manifold

In [Zeghib: Laminations et hypersurfaces géodésiques des variétés hyperboliques, Annales scientifiques de l'ENS, 1991] it is shown, that in a compact manifold of negative curvature, there exists only ...
8
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1answer
369 views

Most succinct proof of the uniqueness and existence of the Levi-Civita connection.

Seeing as proving the existence and/or uniqueness of the Levi-Civita connection seems to crop up in every single exam in Geometry and General Relativity, what is the most succinct proof of this, to ...
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670 views

Prerequisite for Petersen's Riemannian Geometry

A professor recently told me that if I can cover the chapters on curvature in Petersen's Riemannian geometry book (linked here) within the next few months then I can work on something with him. ...
8
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2answers
256 views

Cartan Theorem.

Cartan Theorem: Let $M$ be a compact riemannian manifold. Let $\pi_1(M)$ be the set of all the classes of free homotopy of $M.$ Then in each non trival class there is a closed geodesic. (i.e a closed ...
8
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127 views

What hyperbolic space *really* looks like

There are several models of hyperbolic space that are embedded in Euclidean space. For example, the following image depicts the Beltrami-Klein model of a hyperbolic plane: where geodesics are ...
8
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1answer
307 views

Is there a codifferential for a covariant exterior derivative?

For forms on a Riemannian $n$-manifold $(M,g)$ there is a notion of a codifferential $\delta$, which is adjoint to the exterior derivative: $$\int \langle d \alpha, \beta \rangle \operatorname{vol} = ...
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1answer
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Isometries preserve geodesics

Let $f$ be an isometry (i.e a diffeomorphism which preserves the Riemannian metrics) between Riemannian manifolds $(M,g)$ and $(N,h).$ One can argue that $f$ also preserves the induced metrics $d_1, ...
8
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2answers
458 views

sign error proving product rule for the Laplacian on a product of Riemannian manifolds

Given two Riemannian manifolds $M$ and $N$, of dimension $m$ and $n$ respectively, the product manifold $M\times N$ has a Riemannian structure, and there is a Laplacian operator $\Delta_{M\times N}$ ...