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This is a draft of my master thesis.

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37 просмотров12 страницThis is a draft of my master thesis.

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group

Alessandro Socionovo, Supervisor: Nicola Arcozzi

My master thesis deals with some fine properties of the natural Carnot

distance in the Heisenberg group. In particular, we are interested in properties

related to the cut locus of a smooth surface. The cut locus of a closed subset

S of Rn , denoted by cut(S), is the set containing the endpoints of maximal

segments that minimize the distance to S (i.e. if a segment starting at S locally

minimize the distance from S, then the last distance-minimizing point of such

segment is a point of cut(S)). In the Euclidean case many properties of cut(S)

are well known if S is the C 2 boundary of an open set of Rn . For example the

cut loci of such surfaces are closed (this is the fact we will be most interested

in). Such results are still valid if the Euclidean metric is replaced with any

Riemannian metric with coefficients of class C 2 (see [1], [2]).

Not all the known properties of the cut locus in Riemannian geometry are

also known in the sub-Riemannian case. So our goal is to generalize and prove

some of them in the Heisenberg group, which has the simplest sub-Riemannian

structure. In particular we are very interested in proving that the cut loci of

surfaces which are the C 2 boundary of open sets in the Heisenberg group are

closed sets. We choose a regularity of class C 2 because there is already a

counterexample in the Riemannian C 1,1 case (see [6]).

At the moment we are not able to giva a proof of the closure of the cut

locus. So our current plan is to find some new properties of the Carnot distance

which may be related with the cut locus of a C 2 surface in the Heisenberg group

and that may be useful to prove its closure. Precisely we are investigating in

points conjugate to the surface S, since they are strictly connected with the

cut locus in the Riemannian case. In particular, in the Euclidean case such

points are related with the principal curvatures of S.

approach to the problem. We refer the reader to the titles in the bibliography

for complete and rigorous arguments. Let’s start with a quick description of

the Heisenberg group and of its geodesics.

group whose background manifold is R3 and whose Lie algebra h has the

following properties:

1

1. h = V1 ⊕ V2 , where V1 has dimension 2 and V2 has dimension 1

2. [V1 , V1 ] = V2 , [V1 , V2 ] = 0 and [V2 , V2 ] = 0

Definition 1 is well posed thanks to the following

Proposition 2. Let G be a simply connected, nilpotent Lie group and let g

be the Lie algebra of G. Then the exponential map exp : g → G is a (global)

diffeomorphism.

Infinite explicit representations of the Heisenberg group can be obtained

by identifying, with a slight abuse of notation, H as (C × R, ·) = (R3 , ·). Here

points of H are denoted by x = (z, x3 ) = (x1 + ix2 , x3 ) = (x1 , x2 , x3 ) and the

group law · is given by

(z, x3 ) · (w, y3 ) = (z + w, x3 + y3 + αIm(zw)), α∈R (1)

In this coordinates left translation by a point x is denoted by Lx y := x · y. A

base of left invariant vector fiels for the first layer of h is

X1 = ∂x1 − αx2 ∂x3

(2)

X2 = ∂x2 + αx1 ∂x3

By Definition X3 = [X1 , X2 ] = 2α∂x3 is a left invariant base for V2 . This

provides a complete description of h, depending on α. In literature the most

used choices of α are α = 1/2, α = 1 or α = 2. A canonical isomorphism (see

[5]) allows passing from one representation to another. We choose α = 2.

In the following, points in H can also be denoted as P = (x, y, t) = (z, t) =

(x + iy, t). Consequently the base for V1 becomes X = ∂x − 2y∂t and Y =

∂y + 2x∂t .

The group has an important homogeneous structure given by the dilations

δλ (P ) = (λx, λy, λ2 t), λ > 0, as a metter of fact (δλ )∗ (dx∧dy∧dt) = λ4 dx∧dy∧

dt. So the homogeneous dimension of H with respect to the group dilatations

δλ is 4. The vector fields X and Y are homogeneous of order 1 with respect to

the dilations δλ , that is X(δλ (P )) = λXP .

Definition 3. The subbundle generated by the left invariant frame X, Y of

the tangent bundle T H of H is called horizontal bundle. We denote it with

HH or simply with H. Every frame given by a linear combination of X and Y

is called horizontal and every frame having no component neither long X and

long Y is called vertical. Similarly the subspace HP := span{XP , YP } of the

tangent space TP H is called horizontal section at the point P . Every vector in

HP is called horizontal and every vector having no components in HP is called

vertical.

Definition 4. Let Ω be an open set of H and let φ : Ω → R be a C 1 function,

in the euclidean sense. We define the horizontal gradient of φ to be

∇H φ := (Xφ)X + (Y φ)Y (3)

2

Let h·, ·i0 be the inner product in H that makes X and Y an orthonormal

frame. The Carnot-Carathéodory metric in H is the sub-Riemannian metric

induced by h·, ·i0 .

if there exist measurable functions a, b : [0, 1] → R such that

Z bq

LH (γ) := hγ̇(t), (X1 )γ(t) i20 + hγ̇(t), (X2 )γ(t) i20 dt

a

Z bp (5)

= a(t)2 + b(t)2 dt

a

γ

Actually the infimum is a minimum, which is realized by the length of a

geodesic. The unit-speed geodesics passing through the origin 0=(0,0,0) are

−iφt

iα(W ) 1 − e φt − sin(φt)

γ0,φ,W (t) = e ,2 (7)

iφ φ2

by γ̇0,φ,W (0) = W . Instead φ ∈ R has the property that the geodesic is length-

minimizing over any interval of length 2π/φ.

We observe some fundamental properties of the geodesics

P at t = 0, due to the left invariance of the vector fiels X1 and X2 under

left translation.

Unlike the Riemannian case, the only initial velocity is not sufficient to

describe the geodesic.

3

Now we are ready to study the cut locus of a suface in the Heisenberg

group. From now on S will denote a surface in H. If it is not specified, S

satisfies this two hypothesis

H1. S is the boundary of an open and connected set Ω and of H r Ω

Many of the results we will discuss later have been proved in [3] with less

restrictive hypotheses. However, due to our goals discussed in the introductory

part, we consider it appropriate to suppose H1 and H2.

The distance from a point P to S is

Q∈S

Thanks to H1, we can also define the so-called signed distance from a point P

to S, that is (

−dS (P ), if P ∈ Ω

δS (P ) = (9)

dS (P ), if P ∈

/Ω

Property (iv) of H’s geodesics leads to a serious problem. Indeed, unlike

the Riemannian case, the normal geodesic to a point P ∈ S is not uniquely

determined by the normal vector of S at P . For this, it is not clear which is the

(locally) distance-minimizing geodesic which minimizes (locally) the distance

from S. This fact suggests us to introduce some new differential geometric

notions about S, which will be used to define the metric normal to S.

Definition 6. Let P ∈ S. Then TP S denote the euclidean tangent space

to S at P and ΠS P denote the euclidean plane in H tangent to S at P in

the euclidean sense. The direction tangent to S at P is VP S := TP S ∩ HP ,

while the direction normal to S at P is NP S := HP VP S. Finally let ν be

the euclidean exterior normal to S at P and let h·, ·i be the euclidean inner

product. The Pansu exterior normal to S at P , denoted by NP+ S, is the unique

vector v ∈ NP S such that hv, νi > 0.

A direct calculus provides the next result.

Proposition 7. Let S be implicitly defined by g(x, y, t) = 0. Then

denote by Char(S) the set of all characteristic points of S.

Remark 9. Each euclidean plane P of the form t = ax + by + c, a, b, c ∈ R, has

one and only one characteristic point, which is

4

Indeed the tangent space of P at (x, y, t) is spanned by (1, 0, a) and (0, 1, b).

They are both horizontal iff a = 2y and b = −2x. Any other euclidean plane

which is not of this form, has equation ax + by + c = 0. Such a plane is called

vertical and has no characteristic points. Sometimes, with a slight abuse of

notation, we said that a vertical plane P has characteristic point C at infinity

and that dC (P, C) = ∞ for all P ∈ P.

is the set of the points Q ∈ H such that dS Q = dC (Q, P ).

points of S. Similarly for P, Q ∈ S, one can ask what is the fastest path to

go from P to Q staying within S. This is the sub-Riemannian metric induced

by h·, ·i0 in S. Note that if such a path is realized by a geodesic γ of H, as a

consequence of (6) and Definition 6 it needs γ̇(0) ∈ VP S.

a, b, c ∈ R and P ∈ S is the point P = (zP , tP ) = (xP , yP , tP ) = (xP , yP , axP +

byP + c). We use the results guven by Proposition 7.

g(x, y, t) = t − ax − by − c

Xg(P ) = −a − 2yP , Y g(P ) = −b + 2xP

XP = (1, 0, −2yP ), YP = (0, 1, 2xP )

By (10) the S’s characteristic point is C = (−b/2, a/2, c). Then we have

1

C − P = (b − 2xP , −a − 2yP , −2axP − 2byP )

2

NP S = span{Xg(P )XP + Y g(P )YP } = span{(yC−P , −xC−P , tC−P + 2|zP |2 )}

VP S = span{Xg(P )YP − Y g(P )XP } = span{C − P }

istic point C = (−b/2, a/2, c). Let P = (xP , yP , tP ) ∈ S be noncharacteristic.

Then the CC distance between P and the characteristic point C of S is

b a

dC (P, C)2 = |xP + |2 + |yP − |2 (11)

2 2

that is the euclidean distance between the projections of P and C in C.

an H’s geodesic. Its length is the euclidean length of the projection in C.

Note that (8) and Definition 10 remain the same for any closed subset E

of H. The results below gives a geometic description of NP S and explain why

we have introduced the notions of Definitions 6 and 8.

5

Lemma 13. Let E be a closed subset of H and let P ∈ E. Let Q ∈ NP E

and γ : I → H be a length minimizing geodesic from P to Q, with I ⊂ R an

interval. Then γ(I) ⊂ NP E.

γ passing through Q and such that

i) γ̇(0) ∈ NQ S

l = πd(P, C), where C is the characteristic point of ΠQ S.

a suface given by Theorems 13 and 14. These facts allow us to define the

exponential map. The exponential map, in turn, is the basis of the proof of a

fundamental regularity Theorem concerning the distance function.

If P has a characteristic point C and Ω is one of the half-spaces having P as

boundary, then

h π π i

NP P = γP, 2 ,N + P − dC (P, C), dC (P, C) (12)

dC (P,C) P 2 2

and NC P = {C} is degenerate. If P is a vertical plane, then NP P is the

straight geodesic through P , in the direction NP P.

By Theorem 15 and (7) we have an explicit expression for the metric normal

to a plane.

is the support of the geodesic arc

2

1 −iφσ |z|

γP (σ) = (w(σ), s(σ)) = z(1 + e ), (φσ + sin(φσ)) (13)

2 2

(

|w(σ)| = |z|(1 + cos(φσ))

2 (14)

s(σ) = |z|2 (φσ + sin(φσ))

which is, for σ fixed, |σ| ≤ π/φ, a parametrization of the set of points having

distance σ from P = t = 0.

6

Theorem 17. Let P ∈ S be noncharacteristic and let ΠP S be the euclidean

tangent plane to S at P . Then NP S is a nontrivial geodesic arc having end-

points in Ω and H r Ω. Moreover, NP S ∩ NP ΠP S is an nontrivial geodesic

arc containing P .

Theorem 17 leads us to define the exponential map of S.

Definition 18. Let P ∈ S. The oriented metric normal to S at P , denoted

by NP+ S, is the unique parametrization of NP S such that δS (NP+ S(σ), P ) = σ,

∀σ ∈ D(NP S(σ)).

This means that, if NP+ S is nontrivial, NP+ S(σ) ∈ Ω for σ < 0, NP+ S(σ) ∈

H r Ω for σ > 0 and NP+ S(0) = NP+ S.

Now if C is characteristic for S, then by Theorems 15 and 17 we have

NC S = NC+ S = {C}. Therefore suppose that P ∈ S is noncharacteristic and

that, locally near P , S has equation g(x, y, t) = 0, where g : H → R is C 2

in the euclidean sense (according to H2) and ∇g 6= 0 pointwise on S. The

euclidean tangent plane to S at P , ΠP S, has equation

∂x g(P )(x − xP ) + ∂y g(P )(y − yP ) + ∂t g(P )(t − tP ) = 0 (15)

If ∂t g(P ) 6= 0, thanks to (10) we know the explicit expression of the character-

istic point C of ΠP S. Then by Definition 6, Example 11 and Lemma 12, by a

direct calculus we have

|∇H g(P )| ∇H g(P )

dC (P, C) = , NP+ S =

2|∂t g(P )| |∇H g(P )|

Here ∇H g(P ) 6= 0 since P in noncharacteristic. So Theorems 15 and 17 allow

us to write NP+ S in terms of g’s partial derivatives: NP+ S(σ) = P · η(σ), where

−iφσ

iα 1 − e φσ − sin(φσ)

η(σ) = e ,2 (16)

iφ φ2

and φ = 4∂t g(P )/|∇H g(P )|, cos α = Xg(P )/|∇H g(P )|, sin α = Y g(P )/|∇H g(P )|.

If ∂t g(P ) = 0 ΠP S is a vertical plane, with characteristic point at infinity. Then

dC (P, C) = ∞ and (16) becomes

η(σ) = (eiασ , 0) (17)

Definition 19. Let C := {(P, s) : P ∈ S, s ∈ D(NP+ S)} ⊂ S × R. The

exponential map associated with S is the map

expS : C → H, expS (P, s) := NP+ S(s) (18)

We call this map exponential because it extends the notion of exponential

map in the Riemannian manifolds. Clearly S = S × {0} ⊂ C and expS (P, 0) =

P , ∀ P ∈ S. Then {expS (P, 0) : P ∈ S} = expS (S, 0) = S.

Let’s define

Unp(S) := {P ∈ H : ∃! Q ∈ S s.t. dS (P ) = dC (P, Q)}. (19)

Then we have

7

Theorem 20. The map expS is a homeomorphism of int(C) onto an open

subset of int(Unp(S)). Moreover, S ∩ int(U np(S)) = S ∩ expS (int(C)).

that expS is a diffeomorphism in an open neighborhood of Srchar(S). To

do this suppose that P ∈ S is noncharacteristic and that U ⊂ S is an open

neighborhood of P free of characteristic points, parametrized by

P = (uP , vP , f (uP , vP )). Moreover the map

Lemma 21. The matrix representing JF (u, v, 0) with respect to the basis

{∂u , ∂v , ∂τ } of A × R and the basis {X, Y, ∂t } of H is

Xf

1 0 |∇H f |

Yf

0 1 (22)

|∇H f |

−Xf −Y f 0

This shows that |JF (u, v, 0)| = 2dC (P, C) 6= 0, where C is the character-

istic point of ΠP S. Then we have the desired improvement of Theorem 20.

The proof of Lemma 21 is completely given in [3]. The main fact (it will be

fundamental from now on!!) is that from (16) we have an explicit expression of

the map F . Given its importance, we want to write this explicit expression of

F . To do this let’s fix the coordinates (z, t) = (x, y, t) and (z 0 , t0 ) = (x0 , y 0 , t0 )

for H and the coordinates (u, v, τ ) = (u + iv, τ ) = (w.τ ) for A × R. By (16)

we obtain

where

|∇H f |2

0 0 0 1 −iφτ

η (τ ) = (z (τ ), t (τ )) = (1 − e ), (φτ − sin(φτ )) (24)

4 8

sion. So

(z, t) = (u + iv + z 0 , t0 + f + 2Im((u + iv)z 0 )). (25)

Then to prove Lemma 21 just calculate the deivatives of F .

From Lemma 21 (and other minor facts) it follows

8

Theorem 22. If S is C k in the euclidean sense, k ≥ 2, then δS and ∇H δS are

of class C k−1 in the euclidean sense, in an open neighborhood of S r Char(S).

δS and ∇H δS are at least of class C 1 .

Now we are ready to define the cut locus of S.

P , of NP S. When NP S reduces to the only point P , we set Q = P . The set

of such points Q as P varies over S, denoted by KS or cut(S), is the cut locus

of S in Ω. The definition of the cut locus of S in H r Ω is the same, with

Q ∈ (H r Ω).

In other words cut(S) is the set of the metric normals’ endpoint of S. Below

KS denote the cut locus of S in Ω and NP S refers to the portion of metric

normal at P which lies in Ω.

point of KS

that LH (γ) = dS (R), i.e. Unp(S) ⊂ KS

closed subset of H, but we are still unable to prove it. The first step we

would like to take is to find a link between Theorem 20 (actually, between its

“improvement”) and the cut locus KS . Clearly, by (iii) of Proposition 24, the

exponential map is differentiable in an open subset of H r KS ).

Definition 25. Let (P, s) ∈ C such that expS is not a local diffeomorphism

around (P, s) and, ∀ 0 < ε ≤ s, expS is a local diffeomorphism around (P, s−ε).

Then we call expS (P, s) conjugate point of S (or S-conjugate).

the name ”conjugate” for the similarity that is noted with the Riemannian

case. The next Lemma gives a limit condition in order that a point of H is

S-conjugate.

Lemma 26. Let Sτ denote the surface expS (S, τ ). Let P ∈ S be noncharac-

teristic and suppose that there is a σ > 0 such that expS (P, σ) is characteristic

for Sσ . Then expS (P, σ + ε) can not be S-coniugate, ∀ ε > 0.

9

Before giving the proof we need some preparation. Suppose that A is an

open subset of C and that S has implicit equation, around a noncharacteristic

point P

S = {(α(u, v), β(u, v), γ(u, v)) : (u, v) ∈ A} (26)

We want compute the tangent plane, ΠP S, of S at P and the distance between

P and the characteristic point C of ΠP S.

Since P ∈ S, we can write P = (α(u, v), β(u, v), γ(u, v)). So the tangent

plane is given by

x − α y − β t − γ

αu βu γu = 0 (27)

αv βv γv

Equation (27) becomes

1

t= ((γu βv − γv βu )(x − α) + (αu γv − αv γu )(y − β) + γ) (28)

αu βv − αv βu

if αu βv − αv βu 6= 0, while we have the vertical plane

1

C= (αv γu − αu γv , γu βv − γv βu , c) (30)

2(αu βv − αv βu )

where c contains everything that in (28) does not multiply x and y. The

distance between P and C is (in the nonvertical case)

2 2

2 αu γv − αv γu βu γv − βv γu

dC (P, C) = α+ + α+ (31)

2(αu βv − αv βu ) 2(αu βv − αv βu )

Proof of Lemma 26. We denote Pτ := expS (S, τ ) and we use the same nota-

tions of Lemma 21. Then we have a local parametrization of S around P of the

type (u, v, f (u, v)), with (u, v) ∈ A ⊂ C. Since expS is a local diffeomorphism,

we can restrict A just enough to have Sτ of class C 1 for all τ . This allow us

to derive F at each time τ .

Let τ > 0 be fixed and suppose that ΠPτ Sτ is nonvertical. This is sure

possible for a certain time τ < σ, otherwise we have that the distance from

Pτ and the characteristic point of ΠPτ Sτ should be ∞ for all τ ≤ σ. But this

contradicts our hypothesis. With these assumptions the parametrization of Sτ

is as in (26), with α = u + x0 , β = v + y 0 and γ = t0 . Then the Jacobian of the

map F at the time τ is

0 0 0

tu tv tτ

10

and

|JF (u, v, τ )| 0 yu0 t0v − t0u (1 + yv0 )

=x τ +

(1 + x0u )(1 + yv0 ) − x0v yu0 (1 + x0u )(1 + yv0 ) − x0v yu0

(33)

x0v t0u − t0v (1 + x0u )

+ yτ0 + t0τ

(1 + x0u )(1 + yv0 ) − x0v yu0

point of ΠPτ Sτ . So by (31) we have

= −2(u + x0 ) (34)

(1 + x0u )(1 + yv0 ) − x0v yu0

x0v t0u − t0v (1 + x0u )

= 2(v + y 0 ) (35)

(1 + x0u )(1 + yv0 ) − x0v yu0

Putting (34) and (35) into (33) and calculating all the derivatives (the explicit

calculus is just made in [3]) we obtain |JF (u, v, σ)| = 0.

Remark 27. As in Lemma 21 one have |JF (u, v, τ )| = 2dC (P, Cτ ) for all τ < σ.

Here Cτ is the characteristic point of the tanget plane at the time τ . Indeed

we have seen that at the time τ , Sτ has a C 1 implicit expression as in (26).

So we can restrict around the point Pτ to find an explicit expression of the

kind (u, v, f (τ ) (u, v)). Then just repeat the proof of Lemma 21 (see [3]) by

replacing f with f (τ ) . Since we have supposed that the point expS (P, τ ) is

noncharacteristic, the Jacobian of F must be other than 0 for all τ < σ. So

the characteristic points which S develops at a certain time σ (if they exist)

are all and only the conjugate points of the domain of F .

The notion of conjugate point, Lemma 26 and its consequences are the the

starting point for our study of the Carnot distance and the cut locus in the

Heisenberg group.

Now I am studying the topics covered in [8] to understand if, using similar

arguments, it is possible to extend such results to more general one. The aim

is to describe the global behavior of the conjugate points of S. Morever I am

looking for an analytic expression for the “local” conjugated points of S.

11

References

[1] P. Albano. On the cut locus of closed sets. Nonlinear Anal. 125 (2015), 398-405.

[2] P. Albano. On the stability of the cut locus. Nonlinear Anal. 136 (2016), 51-61.

[3] N. Arcozzi and F. Ferrari. Metric normal and distance function in the Heisenberg

group. Math. Z. 256 (2007), no. 3, 661-684.

[4] N. Arcozzi and F. Ferrari. The Hessian of the distance from a surface in the

Heisenberg group. Ann. Acad. Sci. Fenn. Math. 33 (2008), no. 1, 35-63.

Heisenberg and the sub-Riemannian isoperimetric problem, volume 259 of Progress

in Mathematics. Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel (2007).

tions on Riemannian manifolds. Appl. Math. Optim. 47 (2003), no. 1, 1-25.

cations, volume 91 of Mathematical Surveys and Monographs. American Mathe-

matical Society, Providence, RI (2002).

44 pages, accepted version to appear in Adv. Calc. Var, https://www.ugr.es/ ri-

tore/preprints/pr10.pdf, https://arxiv.org/abs/1703.01592 (2017).

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