## 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 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 $\Gamma$. The right hand side of $\mu_\tau$ is functorial with respect to the group $\Gamma$.

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 show that a properly convex projective structure \(\mathfrak{p}\) on a closed oriented surface of negative Euler characteristic arises from a Weyl connection if and only if \(\mathfrak{p}\) is hyperbolic. We phrase the problem as a non-linear PDE for a Beltrami differential by using that \(\mathfrak{p}\) 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 \(L^2\)-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 construct $\eta$- and $\rho$-invariants for Dirac operators, on the universal covering of a closed manifold, that are invariant under the projective action associated to a 2-cocycle of the fundamental group. We prove an Atiyah–Patodi–Singer index theorem in this setting, as well as its higher generalisation. Applications concern the classification of positive scalar curvature metrics on closed spin manifolds. We also investigate the properties of these twisted invariants for the signature operator and the relation to the higher invariants.

Journal | Math. Proc. Camb. Philos. Soc. |

Publisher | Cambridge University Press |

Volume | August 2018 |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

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

For a closed, connected direct product Riemannian manifold (M,g)=(M1×⋯×Ml,g1⊕⋯⊕gl), we define its multiconformal class [[g]] as the totality {f12g1⊕⋯⊕fl2gl} of all Riemannian metrics obtained from multiplying the metric gi of each factor Mi by a function fi2>0 on the total space M. A multiconformal class [[g]] contains not only all warped product type deformations of g but also the whole conformal class [g~] of every g~∈[[g]]. In this article, we prove that [[g]] carries a metric of positive scalar curvature if and only if the conformal class of some factor (Mi,gi) does, under the technical assumption dimMi≥2. We also show that, even in the case where every factor (Mi,gi) has positive scalar curvature, [[g]] carries a metric of scalar curvature constantly equal to −1 and with arbitrarily large volume, provided l≥2 and dimM≥3. In this case, such negative scalar curvature metrics within [[g]] for l=2 cannot be of any warped product type.

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

We study the behavior of the spectrum of the Dirac operator together with a symmetric W1,∞-potential on a collapsing sequence of spin manifolds with bounded sectional curvature and diameter losing one dimension in the limit. If there is an induced spin or pin− structure on the limit space N, then there are eigenvalues that converge to the spectrum of a first order differential operator D on N together with a symmetric W1,∞-potential. In the case of an orientable limit space N, D is the spin Dirac operator DN on N if the dimension of the limit space is even and if the dimension of the limit space is odd, then D=DN⊕−DN.

Journal | Manuscripta Mathematica |

Publisher | Springer |

Pages | 1-24 |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

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

We consider pseudodifferential operators of tensor product type, also called bisingular pseudodifferential operators, which are defined on the product manifold $M_1 \times M_2$ for closed manifolds $M_1$ and $M_2$. We prove a topological index theorem for Fredholm operators of tensor product type. To this end we construct a suitable double deformation groupoid and prove a Poincaré duality type result in relative $K$-theory.

**Related project(s):****3**Geometric operators on a class of manifolds with bounded geometry

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.

Journal | Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society |

Link to preprint version |

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

The Bartnik mass is a quasi-local mass tailored to asymptotically flat Riemannian manifolds with non-negative scalar curvature. From the perspective of general relativity, these model time-symmetric domains obeying the dominant energy condition without a cosmological constant. There is a natural analogue of the Bartnik mass for asymptotically hyperbolic Riemannian manifolds with a negative lower bound on scalar curvature which model time-symmetric domains obeying the dominant energy condition in the presence of a negative cosmological constant. Following the ideas of Mantoulidis and Schoen [2016], of Miao and Xie [2016], and of joint work of Miao and the authors [2017], we construct asymptotically hyperbolic extensions of minimal and constant mean curvature (CMC) Bartnik data while controlling the total mass of the extensions. We establish that for minimal surfaces satisfying a stability condition, the Bartnik mass is bounded above by the conjectured lower bound coming from the asymptotically hyperbolic Riemannian Penrose inequality. We also obtain estimates for such a hyperbolic Bartnik mass of CMC surfaces with positive Gaussian curvature.

Journal | J. Geom. Phys. |

Publisher | Elsevier |

Volume | 132 |

Pages | 338--357 |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

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

We propose a new foliation of asymptotically Euclidean initial data sets by 2-spheres of constant spacetime mean curvature (STCMC). The leaves of the foliation have the STCMC-property regardless of the initial data set in which the foliation is constructed which asserts that there is a plethora of STCMC 2-spheres in a neighborhood of spatial infinity of any asymptotically flat spacetime. The STCMC-foliation can be understood as a covariant relativistic generalization of the CMC-foliation suggested by Huisken and Yau. We show that a unique STCMC-foliation exists near infinity of any asymptotically Euclidean initial data set with non-vanishing energy which allows for the definition of a new notion of total center of mass for isolated systems. This STCMC-center of mass transforms equivariantly under the asymptotic Poincaré group of the ambient spacetime and in particular evolves under the Einstein evolution equations like a point particle in Special Relativity. The new definition also remedies subtle deficiencies in the CMC-approach to defining the total center of mass suggested by Huisken and Yau which were described by Cederbaum and Nerz.

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

We define a functional \({\cal J}(h)\) for the space of Hermitian metrics on an arbitrary Higgs bundle over a compact Kähler manifold, as a natural generalization of the mean curvature energy functional of Kobayashi for holomorphic vector bundles, and study some of its basic properties. We show that \({\cal J}(h)\) is bounded from below by a nonnegative constant depending on invariants of the Higgs bundle and the Kähler manifold, and that when achieved, its absolute minima are Hermite-Yang-Mills metrics. We derive a formula relating \({\cal J}(h)\) and another functional \({\cal I}(h)\), closely related to the Yang-Mills-Higgs functional, which can be thought of as an extension of a formula of Kobayashi for holomorphic vector bundles to the Higgs bundles setting. Finally, using 1-parameter families in the space of Hermitian metrics on a Higgs bundle, we compute the first variation of \({\cal J}(h)\), which is expressed as a certain \(L^{2}\)-Hermitian inner product. It follows that a Hermitian metric on a Higgs bundle is a critical point of \({\cal J}(h)\) if and only if the corresponding Hitchin-Simpson mean curvature is parallel with respect to the Hitchin-Simpson connection.

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

We prove that a minimal disc in a CAT(0) space is a local embedding away from a finite set of "branch points". On the way we establish several basic properties of minimal surfaces: monotonicity of area densities, density bounds, limit theorems and the existence of tangent maps.

As an application, we prove Fary-Milnor's theorem in the CAT(0) setting.

**Related project(s):****24**Minimal surfaces in metric spaces

A surface which does not admit a length nonincreasing deformation is called metric minimizing. We show that metric minimizing surfaces in CAT(0) spaces are locally CAT(0) with respect to their intrinsic metric.

**Related project(s):****24**Minimal surfaces in metric spaces

We prove an analog of Schoen-Yau univalentness theorem for saddle maps between discs.

**Related project(s):****24**Minimal surfaces in metric spaces

In this paper we first introduce quermassintegrals for free boundary hypersurfaces in the (*n*+1)-dimensional Euclidean unit ball. Then we solve some related isoperimetric type problems for convex free boundary hypersurfaces, which lead to new Alexandrov-Fenchel inequalities. In particular, for *n*=2 we obtain a Minkowski-type inequality and for *n*=3 we obtain an optimal Willmore-type inequality. To prove these estimates, we employ a specifically designed locally constrained inverse harmonic mean curvature flow with free boundary.

**Related project(s):****22**Willmore functional and Lagrangian surfaces

In this paper, by providing the uniform gradient estimates for approximating equations, we prove the existence, uniqueness and regularity of conical parabolic complex Monge-Ampère equation with weak initial data. As an application, we obtain a regularity estimate, that is, any $L^{\infty}$-solution of the conical complex Monge-Ampère equation admits the $C^{2,\alpha,\beta}$-regularity.

Journal | Calculus of Variations and Partial Differential Equations |

Link to preprint version |

**Related project(s):****31**Solutions to Ricci flow whose scalar curvature is bounded in Lp.

We show that local deformations, near closed subsets, of solutions to open partial differential relations can be extended to global deformations, 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 convex embeddings of hypersurfaces, differential forms, and lapse functions in Lorentzian geometry.

The main application is a general approximation result by sections which have very restrictive local properties an open dense subsets. This shows, for instance, that given any *K*∈R every manifold of dimension at least two carries a complete *C^*1,1-metric which, on a dense open subset, is smooth with constant sectional curvature *K*. Of course this is impossible for *C^*2-metrics in general.

**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

Given two weighted graphs $(X,b_k,m_k)$, $k=1,2$ with $b_1\sim b_2$ and $m_1\sim m_2$, we prove a weighted $L^1$-criterion for the existence and completeness of the wave operators $W_{\pm}(H_{2},H_1, I_{1,2})$, where $H_k$ denotes the natural Laplacian in $\ell^2(X,m_k)$ w.r.t. $(X,b_k,m_k)$ and $I_{1,2}$ the trivial identification of $\ell^2(X,m_1)$ with $\ell^2(X,m_2)$. In particular, this entails a general criterion for the absolutely continuous spectra of $H_1$ and $H_2$ to be equal.

Journal | Math. Phys. Anal. Geom. |

Pages | 21-28 |

Link to preprint version |

**Related project(s):****19**Boundaries, Greens formulae and harmonic functions for graphs and Dirichlet spaces

The purpose of this article is to define and study new invariants of topological spaces: the *p*-adic Betti numbers and the *p*-adic torsion. These invariants take values in the *p*-adic numbers and are constructed from a virtual pro-*p* completion of the fundamental group. The key result of the article is an approximation theorem which shows that the *p*-adic invariants are limits of their classical analogues. This is reminiscent of Lück's approximation theorem for *L*2-Betti numbers.

After an investigation of basic properties and examples we discuss the *p*-adic analog of the Atiyah conjecture: When do the *p*-adic Betti numbers take integer values? We establish this property for a class of spaces and discuss applications to cohomology growth.

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

We define a Toledo number for actions of surface groups and complex hyperbolic lattices on infinite dimensional Hermitian symmetric spaces, which allows us to define maximal representations. When the target is not of tube type we show that there cannot be Zariski-dense maximal representations, and whenever the existence of a boundary map can be guaranteed, the representation preserves a finite dimensional totally geodesic subspace on which the action is maximal. In the opposite direction we construct examples of geometrically dense maximal representation in the infinite dimensional Hermitian symmetric space of tube type and finite rank. Our approach is based on the study of boundary maps, that we are able to construct in low ranks or under some suitable Zariski-density assumption, circumventing the lack of local compactness in the infinite dimensional setting.

**Related project(s):****28**Rigidity, deformations and limits of maximal representations

Manifolds all of whose geodesics are closed have been studied a lot, but there are only few examples known. The situation is different if one allows in addition for orbifold singularities. We show, nevertheless, that the abundance of new examples is restricted to even dimensions. As one key ingredient we provide a characterization of orientable manifolds among orientable orbifolds in terms of characteristic classes.

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