## Publications of SPP2026

On this site you find preprints and publications produced within the projects and with the support of the DFG priority programme „Geometry at Infinity“.

We develop the theory of agrarian invariants, which are algebraic counterparts to $L^2$-invariants. Specifically, we introduce the notions of agrarian Betti numbers, agrarian acyclicity, agrarian torsion and agrarian polytope.

We use the agrarian invariants to solve the torsion-free case of a conjecture of Friedl--Tillmann: we show that the marked polytopes they constructed for two-generator one-relator groups with nice presentations are independent of the presentations used. We also show that, for such groups, the agrarian polytope encodes the splitting complexity of the group. This generalises theorems of Friedl--Tillmann and Friedl--Lück--Tillmann. Finally, we prove that for agrarian groups of deficiency $1$, the agrarian polytope admits a marking of its vertices which controls the Bieri--Neumann--Strebel invariant of the group, improving a result of the second author and partially answering a question of Friedl--Tillmann.

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

We prove that if a quasi-isometry of warped cones is induced by a map between the base spaces of the cones, the actions must be conjugate by this map. The converse is false in general, conjugacy of actions is not sufficient for quasi-isometry of the respective warped cones. For a general quasi-isometry of warped cones, using the asymptotically faithful covering constructed in a previous work with Jianchao Wu, we deduce that the two groups are quasi-isometric after taking Cartesian products with suitable powers of the integers.

Secondly, we characterise geometric properties of a group (coarse embeddability into Banach spaces, asymptotic dimension, property A) by properties of the warped cone over an action of this group. These results apply to arbitrary asymptotically faithful coverings, in particular to box spaces. As an application, we calculate the asymptotic dimension of a warped cone and improve bounds by Szabo, Wu, and Zacharias and by Bartels on the amenability dimension of actions of virtually nilpotent groups.

In the appendix, we justify optimality of our result on general quasi-isometries by showing that quasi-isometric warped cones need not come from quasi-isometric groups, contrary to the case of box spaces.

Journal | Proc. Lond. Math. Soc. |

Publisher | Wiley |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

We show that local deformations of solutions to open partial differential relations near suitable subsets can be extended to global solutions, provided all but the highest derivatives stay constant along the subset. The applicability of this general result is illustrated by a number of examples, dealing with ordinary differential inequalities, convex embeddings of hypersurfaces, differential forms, and lapse functions in Lorentzian geometry. The main application concerns Riemannian metrics. We prove an approximation result which implies, for instance, that every compact surface carries a *C^{*1,1}-metric with Gauss curvature ≥1 a.e. on a dense open subset. For *C*^2-metrics this is, of course, impossible if the genus of the surface is positive.

**Related project(s):****5**Index theory on Lorentzian manifolds**15**Spaces and Moduli Spaces of Riemannian Metrics with Curvature Bounds on compact and non-compact Manifolds

We construct a Baum--Connes assembly map localised at the unit element of a discrete group $\Gamma$.

This morphism, called $\mu_\tau$, is defined in $KK$-theory with coefficients in $\mathbb{R}$ by means of the action of the projection $[\tau]\in KK_\mathbb{R}^\Gamma(\mathbb{C},\mathbb{C})$ canonically associated to the group trace of $\Gamma$.

We show that the corresponding $\tau$-Baum--Connes conjecture is weaker then the classical one but still implies the strong Novikov conjecture.

**Related project(s):****4**Secondary invariants for foliations

We consider the unnormalized Yamabe flow on manifolds with conical singularities. Under certain geometric assumption on the initial cross-section we show well posedness of the short time solution in the \(L^q\)-setting. Moreover, we give a picture of the deformation of the conical tips under the flow by providing an asymptotic expansion of the evolving metric close to the boundary in terms of the initial local geometry. Due to the blow up of the scalar curvature close to the singularities we use maximal \(L^q\)-regularity theory for conically degenerate operators.

**Related project(s):****30**Nonlinear evolution equations on singular manifolds

In this note we refine examples by Aka from arithmetic to S-arithmetic groups to show that the vanishing of the *i*-th ℓ²-Betti number is not a profinite invariant for all *i*≥2.

**Related project(s):****18**Analytic L2-invariants of non-positively curved spaces

Given an S-arithmetic group, we ask how much information on the ambient algebraic group, number field of definition, and set of places S is encoded in the commensurability class of the profinite completion. As a first step, we show that the profinite commensurability class of an S-arithmetic group with CSP determines the number field up to arithmetical equivalence and the places in S above unramified primes. We include some applications to profiniteness questions of group invariants.

**Related project(s):****18**Analytic L2-invariants of non-positively curved spaces

We review some recent results on geometric equations on Lorentzian manifolds such as the wave and Dirac equations. This includes well-posedness and stability for various initial value problems, as well as results on the structure of these equations on black-hole spacetimes (in particular, on the Kerr solution), the index theorem for hyperbolic Dirac operators and properties of the class of Green-hyperbolic operators.

Publisher | de Gruyter |

Book | J. Brüning, M. Staudacher (Eds.): Space - Time - Matter |

Pages | 324-348 |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

**Related project(s):****5**Index theory on Lorentzian manifolds

We show that a properly convex projective structure p on a closed oriented surface of negative Euler characteristic arises from a Weyl connection if and only if p is hyperbolic. We phrase the problem as a non-linear PDE for a Beltrami differential by using that p admits a compatible Weyl connection if and only if a certain holomorphic curve exists. Turning this non-linear PDE into a transport equation, we obtain our result by applying methods from geometric inverse problems. In particular, we use an extension of a remarkable L2-energy identity known as Pestov's identity to prove a vanishing theorem for the relevant transport equation.

**Related project(s):****26**Projective surfaces, Segre structures and the Hitchin component for PSL(n,R)

We study the Newton polytopes of determinants of square matrices defined over rings of twisted Laurent polynomials. We prove that such Newton polytopes are single polytopes (rather than formal differences of two polytopes); this result can be seen as analogous to the fact that determinants of matrices over commutative Laurent polynomial rings are themselves polynomials, rather than rational functions. We also exhibit a relationship between the Newton polytopes and invertibility of the matrices over Novikov rings, thus establishing a connection with the invariants of Bieri-Neumann-Strebel (BNS) via a theorem of Sikorav.

We offer several applications: we reprove Thurston's theorem on the existence of a polytope controlling the BNS invariants of a 3-manifold group; we extend this result to free-by-cyclic groups, and the more general descending HNN extensions of free groups. We also show that the BNS invariants of Poincare duality groups of type F in dimension 3 and groups of deficiency one are determined by a polytope, when the groups are assumed to be agrarian, that is their integral group rings embed in skew-fields. The latter result partially confirms a conjecture of Friedl.

We also deduce the vanishing of the Newton polytopes associated to elements of the Whitehead groups of many groups satisfying the Atiyah conjecture. We use this to show that the *L*2-torsion polytope of Friedl-Lueck is invariant under homotopy. We prove the vanishing of this polytope in the presence of amenability, thus proving a conjecture of Friedl-Lueck-Tillmann.

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

In this paper we establish stability of the Ricci de Turck flow near Ricci-flat metrics with isolated conical singularities. More precisely, we construct a Ricci de Turck flow which starts sufficiently close to a Ricci-flat metric with isolated conical singularities and converges to a singular Ricci-flat metric under an assumption of integrability, linear and tangential stability. We provide a characterization of conical singularities satisfying tangential stability and discuss examples where the integrability condition is satisfied.

Pages | 46 |

Link to preprint version |

**Related project(s):****21**Stability and instability of Einstein manifolds with prescribed asymptotic geometry**23**Spectral geometry, index theory and geometric flows on singular spaces

We show that in each dimension 4n+3, n>1, there exist infinite sequences of closed smooth simply connected manifolds M of pairwise distinct homotopy type for which the moduli space of Riemannian metrics with nonnegative sectional curvature has infinitely many path components. Closed manifolds with these properties were known before only in dimension 7, and our result also holds for moduli spaces of Riemannian metrics with positive Ricci curvature. Moreover, inconjunction with work of Belegradek, Kwasik and Schultz, we obtain that for each such M the moduli space of complete nonnegative sectional curvature metrics on the open simply connected manifold M × R also has infinitely many path components.

Journal | Bulletin of the London Math. Society |

Volume | 50 |

Pages | 96-107 |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

**Related project(s):****15**Spaces and Moduli Spaces of Riemannian Metrics with Curvature Bounds on compact and non-compact Manifolds

We decompose locally in time maximal \(L^{q}\)-regular solutions of abstract quasilinear parabolic equations as a sum of a smooth term and an arbitrary small−with respect to the maximal \(L^{q}\)-regularity space norm−remainder. In view of this observation, we next consider the porous medium equation and the Swift-Hohenberg equation on manifolds with conical singularities. We write locally in time each solution as a sum of three terms, namely a term that near the singularity is expressed as a linear combination of complex powers and logarithmic integer powers of the singular variable, a term that decays to zero close to the singularity faster than each of the non-constant summands of the previous term and a remainder that can be chosen arbitrary small with respect e.g. to the \(C^{0}\)-norm. The powers in the first term are time independent and determined explicitly by the local geometry around the singularity, e.g. by the spectrum of the boundary Laplacian in the situation of straight conical tips. The case of the above two problems on closed manifolds is also considered and local space asymptotics for the solutions are provided.

**Related project(s):****30**Nonlinear evolution equations on singular manifolds

We study spaces and moduli spaces of Riemannian metrics with non-negative Ricci or non-negative sectional curvature on closed and open manifolds and construct, in particular, the first classes of manifolds for which these spaces have non-trivial rational homotopy, homology and cohomology groups. We also show that in every dimension at least seven (respectively, at least eight) there exist closed (respectively, open) manifolds for which the moduli space of Riemannian metrics with non-negative sectional curvature has infinitely many path components. An analogous statement holds for spaces of non-negative Ricci curvature metrics in every dimension at least eleven (respectively, twelve).

**Related project(s):****15**Spaces and Moduli Spaces of Riemannian Metrics with Curvature Bounds on compact and non-compact Manifolds

We prove that the smallest non-trivial quotient of the mapping class group of a connected orientable surface of genus at least 3 without punctures is Sp_2*g*(2), thus confirming a conjecture of Zimmermann. In the process, we generalise Korkmaz's results on C-linear representations of mapping class groups to projective representations over any field.

**Related project(s):****8**Parabolics and invariants

Let M be a Milnor sphere or, more generally, the total space of a linear S^3-bundle over S^4 with H^4(M;Q) = 0. We show that the moduli space of metrics of nonnegative sectional curvature on M has infinitely many path components. The same holds true for the moduli space of m etrics of positive Ricci curvature on M.

Journal | preprint arXiv |

Pages | 11 pages |

Link to preprint version |

**Related project(s):****15**Spaces and Moduli Spaces of Riemannian Metrics with Curvature Bounds on compact and non-compact Manifolds

We extend two known existence results to simply connected manifolds with

positive sectional curvature: we show that there exist pairs of simply

connected positively-curved manifolds that are tangentially homotopy equivalent

but not homeomorphic, and we deduce that an open manifold may admit a pair of

non-homeomorphic simply connected and positively-curved souls. Examples of such

pairs are given by explicit pairs of Eschenburg spaces. To deduce the second

statement from the first, we extend our earlier work on the stable converse

soul question and show that it has a positive answer for a class of spaces that

includes all Eschenburg spaces.

**Related project(s):****15**Spaces and Moduli Spaces of Riemannian Metrics with Curvature Bounds on compact and non-compact Manifolds

We study the asymptotics of the natural \(L^2\) metric on the Hitchin moduli space with group \(G=SU(2)\). Our main result, which addresses a detailed conjectural picture made by Gaiotto, Neitzke and Moore, is that on the regular part of the Hitchin system, this metric is well-approximated by the semiflat metric. We prove that the asymptotic rate of convergence for gauged tangent vectors to the moduli space has a precise polynomial expansion, and hence that the the difference between the two sets of metric coefficients in a certain natural coordinate system also has polynomial decay. Very recent work by Dumas and Neitzke indicates that the convergence rate for the metric is exponential, at least in certain directions.

**Related project(s):****32**Asymptotic geometry of the Higgs bundle moduli space

We study immersed tori in 3-space minimizing the Willmore energy in their respective conformal class. Within the rectangular conformal classes (0,b) with $b\rightarrow 1$ the homogenous tori are known to be unique constrained Willmore minimizers (up to invariance). In this paper we generalize the result and determine constrained Willmore minimizers in non-rectangular conformal classes (a,b). In a first step we explicitly construct a 2-dimensional family of putative minimizers parametrized by their conformal class (a,b). For $b\rightarrow 1$, b≠1 fixed, this family is then shown to minimize for $a\rightarrow 0^+$. Difficulties arise from the fact that these minimizers are non-degenerate for a≠0 but smoothly converge to the degenerate homogenous tori as a→0. As a byproduct of our arguments, we show that the minimal Willmore energy ω(a,b) is real analytic and concave in a∈(0, a^b) for some b>0 and fixed $b \rightarrow 1$,

**Related project(s):****16**Minimizer of the Willmore energy with prescribed rectangular conformal class

On a compact globally hyperbolic Lorentzian spin manifold with smooth spacelike Cauchy boundary the (hyperbolic) Dirac operator is known to be Fredholm when Atiyah-Patodi-Singer boundary conditions are imposed. In this paper we investigate to what extent these boundary conditions can be replaced by more general ones and how the index then changes. There are some differences to the classical case of the elliptic Dirac operator on a Riemannian manifold with boundary.

Journal | tba |

Link to preprint version |

**Related project(s):****5**Index theory on Lorentzian manifolds