For unit speed curves $\gamma'(s)\cdot\sigma'(s) \geq \cos(2Ks)$ with bounded curvature

Suppose that we have two unit speed curves $$\gamma,\sigma:[0,l] \to \mathbb{R}^n$$ or $$\mathbb{R}^2$$ if necessary and that $$\gamma'(0) = \sigma'(0)$$. If we assume that the curvature for both curves is bounded from above by $$K > 0$$, then I would like to say that for $$s\in [0,\frac{\pi}{2K}]$$ we have an estimate of the form $$\gamma'(s)\cdot\sigma'(s) \geq \cos(2 K s)$$

This inequality would be equivalent to showing that for $$s\in [0,\frac{\pi}{2K}]$$ we have that $$\gamma'(s)\cdot\sigma'(s) \geq \tilde{\gamma}'(s)\cdot\tilde{\sigma}'(s)$$ where $$\tilde{\gamma},\tilde{\sigma}$$ are unit speed curves on two circles of radius $$\frac{1}{K}$$ which touch at the point $$\gamma(0) = \sigma(0)$$ which are traveling in oppposite directions but are constantly curving with curvature $$K$$. The inner product inequality is also equivalent to showing that $$||\gamma'(s)-\sigma'(s)|| \leq || \tilde{\gamma}'(s)- \tilde{\sigma}'(s) ||$$

This can be seen by squaring both sides and organizing terms since $$||\gamma'(s)||^2 = ||\sigma'(s)||^2 = ||\tilde{\gamma}'(s)||^2 = ||\tilde{\sigma}'(s)|| = 1$$

For example, in 2D this could be $$\tilde{\gamma}(t) = (\frac{1}{K}\cos(Kt),\frac{1}{K}\sin(Kt))$$ and $$\tilde{\sigma}(t) = (\frac{2-\cos(Kt)}{K},\frac{1}{K}\sin(Kt))$$. Then $$\tilde{\gamma}'(t) = (-\sin(Kt),\cos(Kt))$$, $$\tilde{\sigma}'(t) = (\sin(Kt),\cos(Kt))$$ and so $$\tilde{\gamma}'(0) = \tilde{\sigma}'(0) = (1,0)$$ and by double angle identities we have that $$\tilde{\gamma}'(t)\cdot \tilde{\sigma}'(t) = \cos(2Kt)$$.

So far I have been able to show that if $$\kappa_\gamma,\kappa_\sigma$$ represent the curvature at time $$s$$ and $$N_\gamma,N_\sigma$$ are the unit normal curves for $$\gamma$$ and $$\sigma$$ respectively, then we have that $$\gamma'(s)\cdot\sigma'(s) \geq 1 - 2Ks.$$ This inequality follows from the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus \begin{align*} \gamma'(s)\cdot\sigma'(s) &= \gamma'(0)\cdot\sigma'(0) + \int_0^s\Big(\gamma'(t)\cdot\sigma'(t)\Big)'dt\\ &= 1 + \int_0^s \gamma''(t)\cdot\sigma'(t) + \gamma'(t)\cdot\sigma''(t)dt\\ &= 1 + \int_0^s \kappa_\gamma(t)N_\gamma(t)\cdot\sigma'(t) + \kappa_\sigma(t)\gamma'(t)\cdot N_\sigma(t)dt\\ &\geq 1 - \int_0^s|\kappa_\gamma(t)|+|\kappa_\sigma(t)|dt\\ &\geq 1 - \int_0^s2Kdt\\ &= 1 - 2Ks \end{align*}

I appreciate any recommendations.

• I'm lost at the beginning. How do you refer to curves traveling in opposite directions when we start with $\gamma'(0)=\sigma'(0)$? Why is the inequality equivalent to the statement you claim? Please edit to include that. Commented Sep 4 at 20:19
• Maybe you can regroup your integrand on line 3 of your computation and get a differential inequality on $\gamma'\cdot\sigma'$? Commented Sep 4 at 20:23
• @TedShifrin I gave an example of the curves that should give the lower bound. They start with the same velocity, but they are curving in opposite directions. I had thought of trying to find a differential equation, but I am struggling on finding the correct starting function. Commented Sep 4 at 21:07

First note that since $$\gamma$$ and $$\sigma$$ are unit speed curves, then $$\gamma'(s),\sigma'(s) \in\mathbb{S}^n$$ for all $$s\in\mathbb{R}$$. This then allows us to define smooth curves $$\alpha,\beta:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{S}^n$$ by $$\alpha(s) = \gamma'(s)$$ and $$\beta(s) = \sigma'(s)$$. In particular, since $$\gamma'(0) = \sigma'(0)$$, then we have that $$\alpha(0) = \beta(0)$$.
Next we introduce the standard round metric on $$\mathbb{S}^n$$ which is defined for $$p,q\in \mathbb{S}^n\subset\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$$ to be the quantity $$d_{\mathbb{S}^n}(p,q) := \arccos(p\cdot q)$$ where $$p\cdot q$$ is the classical dot product on $$\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$$. Since $$x\to \arccos(x)$$ is strictly decreasing on $$[-1,1]$$, then our goal of minimizing $$\gamma'(s)\cdot \sigma'(s)$$ is equivalent to maximizing $$d_{\mathbb{S}^n}(\alpha(s),\beta(s))$$ subject to the constraint that the curvature of $$\gamma$$ and $$\sigma$$ are both bounded above by $$K$$. Now the curvature for a unit speed curve at time $$s$$ is the quantity $$||\gamma''(s)||$$. Now the velocity vector of $$\alpha$$ is $$\alpha'(s) = \gamma''(s) \in T_{\gamma'(s)}\mathbb{S}^n$$ and with respect to the round metric on $$\mathbb{S}^n$$ we see that the curvature bound of $$K$$ implies that $$|\alpha'(s)| = ||\gamma''(s)||\leq K$$. That is, the speed of $$\alpha$$ and $$\beta$$ are both bounded above by $$K$$.
Now $$\overline{B_{\mathbb{S}^n}(\alpha(0),sK)}$$ is the set of all points which can be reached by time $$s$$ when traveling a long a curve of speed at most $$K$$. Thus $$\alpha(s),\beta(s) \in \overline{B_{\mathbb{S}^n}(\alpha(0),sK)}$$ for all $$s > 0$$. Using facts from Riemannian geometry, as long as $$sK\leq \frac{\pi}{2}$$, then $$\text{diam}(\overline{B_{\mathbb{S}^n}(\alpha(0),sK)}) = 2sK$$. Thus provided $$s\in [0,\frac{\pi}{2K}]$$, we will have that $$d_{\mathbb{S}^n}(\alpha(s),\beta(s)) \leq \text{diam}(\overline{B_{\mathbb{S}^n}(\alpha(0),sK)}) = 2sK$$ Then by the definition of the round metric as well as that $$\alpha(s) = \gamma'(s)$$ and $$\beta(s) = \sigma'(s)$$, we find that for $$s\in [0,\frac{\pi}{2K}]$$ that $$\gamma'(s)\cdot\sigma'(s) \geq \cos(2Ks)$$ We can similarly show that for the same assumptions on $$\sigma$$ that if $$s\in [0,\frac{\pi}{K}]$$ then $$\sigma'(0)\cdot\sigma'(s)\geq \cos(Ks).$$ I will also mention that the lower bound is achieved when traveling along geodesics in opposite directions for the main result and for the statement above, the result holds when traveling along a geodesic as well.