## 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“.

In this paper, we establish the existence and uniqueness of Ricci flow that admits an embedded closed convex surface in $\mathbb{R}^3$ as metric initial condition. The main point is a family of smooth Ricci flows starting from smooth convex surfaces whose metrics converge uniformly to the metric of the initial surface in intrinsic sense.

**Related project(s):****75**Solutions to Ricci flow whose scalar curvature is bounded in L^p II

This article explores the interplay between the finite quotients of finitely generated residually finite groups and the concept of amenability.

We construct a finitely generated, residually finite, amenable group A and an uncountable family of finitely generated, residually finite non-amenable groups all of which are profinitely isomorphic to A. All of these groups are branch groups.

Moreover, picking up Grothendieck's problem, the group A embeds in these groups such that the inclusion induces an isomorphism of profinite completions.

In addition, we review the concept of uniform amenability, a strengthening of amenability introduced in the 70's, and we prove that uniform amenability indeed is detectable from the profinite completion.

**Related project(s):****58**Profinite perspectives on l2-cohomology

Building on work of Bowden-Hensel-Webb, we study the action of the homeomorphism group of a surface $S$ on the fine curve graph $\mathcal{C}^\dagger(S)$. While the definition of $\mathcal{C}^\dagger(S)$ parallels the classical curve graph for mapping class groups, we show that the dynamics of the action of $\mathrm{Homeo}(S)$ on $\mathcal{C}^\dagger(S)$ is much richer: homeomorphisms induce parabolic isometries in addition to elliptics and hyperbolics, and all positive reals are realized as asymptotic translation lengths.

When the surface $S$ is a torus, we relate the dynamics of the action of a homeomorphism on $\mathcal{C}^\dagger(S)$ to the dynamics of its action on the torus via the classical theory of {\em rotation sets}. We characterize homeomorphisms acting hyperbolically, show asymptotic translation length provides a lower bound for the area of the rotation set, and, while no characterisation purely in terms of rotation sets is possible, we give sufficient conditions for elements to be elliptic or parabolic.

Journal | preprint |

Link to preprint version |

**Related project(s):****38**Geometry of surface homeomorphism groups

We show that the identity component of the group of diffeomorphisms of a closed oriented surface of positive genus admits many unbounded quasi-morphisms. As a corollary, we also deduce that this group is not uniformly perfect and its fragmentation norm is unbounded, answering a question of Burago--Ivanov--Polterovich. As a key tool we construct a hyperbolic graph on which these groups act, which is the analog of the curve graph for the mapping class group.

Journal | to appear in the Journal of the American Mathematical Society |

Link to preprint version |

**Related project(s):****38**Geometry of surface homeomorphism groups

This paper investigates realisations of elliptic differential operators of general order on manifolds with boundary following the approach of Bär-Ballmann to first order elliptic operators. The space of possible boundary values of elements in the maximal domain is described as a Hilbert space densely sandwiched between two mixed order Sobolev spaces. The description uses Calderón projectors which, in the first order case, is equivalent to results of Bär-Bandara using spectral projectors of an adapted boundary operator. Boundary conditions that induce Fredholm as well as regular realisations, and those that admit higher order regularity, are characterised. In addition, results concerning spectral theory, homotopy invariance of the Fredholm index, and well-posedness for higher order elliptic boundary value problems are proven.

**Related project(s):****37**Boundary value problems and index theory on Riemannian and Lorentzian manifolds

We use the Dirac operator technique to establish sharp distance estimates for compact spin manifolds under lower bounds on the scalar curvature in the interior and on the mean curvature of the boundary. In the situations we consider, we thereby give refined answers to questions on metric inequalities recently proposed by Gromov. This includes optimal estimates for Riemannian bands and for the long neck problem. In the case of bands over manifolds of non-vanishing \(\widehat{\mathrm{A}}\)-genus, we establish a rigidity result stating that any band attaining the predicted upper bound is isometric to a particular warped product over some spin manifold admitting a parallel spinor. Furthermore, we establish scalar- and mean curvature extremality results for certain log-concave warped products. The latter includes annuli in all simply-connected space forms. On a technical level, our proofs are based on new spectral estimates for the Dirac operator augmented by a Lipschitz potential together with local boundary conditions.

**Related project(s):****42**Spin obstructions to metrics of positive scalar curvature on nonspin manifolds**78**Duality and the coarse assembly map II

For a mean curvature flow of complete graphical hypersurfaces *M**_t*=graph *u*(⋅,*t*) defined over domains Ω*_t*, the enveloping cylinder is ∂Ω*_t*×R. We prove the smooth convergence of *M**_t* − *h **e_*{*n*+1} to the enveloping cylinder under certain circumstances. Moreover, we give examples demonstrating that there is no uniform curvature bound in terms of the inital curvature and the geometry of Ω_*t*. Furthermore, we provide an example where the hypersurface increasingly oscillates towards infinity in both space and time. It has unbounded curvature at all times and is not smoothly asymptotic to the enveloping cylinder. We also prove a relation between the initial spatial asymptotics at the boundary and the temporal asymptotics of how the surface vanishes to infinity for certain rates in the case Ω*_t* are balls.

**Related project(s):****29**Curvature flows without singularities

We consider the evolution of hypersurfaces in R^{*n*+1} with normal velocity given by a positive power of the mean curvature. The hypersurfaces under consideration are assumed to be strictly mean convex (positive mean curvature), complete, and given as the graph of a function. Long-time existence of the *H**^α*-flow is established by means of approximation by bounded problems.

**Related project(s):****29**Curvature flows without singularities

By a symmetric double graph we mean a hypersurface which is mirror-symmetric and the two symmetric parts are graphs over the hyperplane of symmetry. We prove that there is a weak solution of mean curvature flow that preserves these properties and singularities only occur on the hyperplane of symmetry. The result can be used to construct smooth solutions to the free Neumann boundary problem on a supporting hyperplane with singular boundary. For the construction we introduce and investigate a notion named "vanity" and which is similar to convexity. Moreover, we rely on Sáez' and Schnürer's "mean curvature flow without singularities" to approximate weak solutions with smooth graphical solutions in one dimension higher.

**Related project(s):****29**Curvature flows without singularities

We introduce Riemannian metrics of positive scalar curvature on manifolds with Baas-Sullivan singularities, prove a corresponding homology invariance principle and discuss admissible products.

Using this theory we construct positive scalar curvature metrics on closed smooth manifolds of dimensions at least five which have odd order abelian fundamental groups, are non-spin and atoral. This solves the Gromov-Lawson-Rosenberg conjecture for a new class of manifolds with finite fundamental groups.

Journal | Geometry & Topology |

Publisher | MSP |

Volume | 25 (2021) |

Pages | 497-546 |

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

The unit conjecture, commonly attributed to Kaplansky, predicts that if *\(K\)* is a field and \(G\) is a torsion-free group then the only units of the group ring \(K[G]\) are the trivial units, that is, the non-zero scalar multiples of group elements. We give a concrete counterexample to this conjecture; the group is virtually abelian and the field is order two.

**Related project(s):****48**Profinite and RFRS groups

For a countable group G we construct a small, idempotent complete, symmetric monoidal, stable ∞-category KK^G_sep whose homotopy category recovers the triangulated equivariant Kasparov category of separable G-C*-algebras, and exhibit its universal property. Likewise, we consider an associated presentably symmetric monoidal, stable ∞-category KK^G which receives a symmetric monoidal functor kk^G from possibly non-separable G-C*-algebras and discuss its universal property. In addition to the symmetric monoidal structures, we construct various change-of-group functors relating these KK-categories for varying G. We use this to define and establish key properties of a (spectrum valued) equivariant, locally finite K-homology theory on proper and locally compact G-topological spaces, allowing for coefficients in arbitrary G-C*-algebras. Finally, we extend the functor kk^G from G-C*-algebras to G-C*-categories. These constructions are key in a companion paper about a form of equivariant Paschke duality and assembly maps.

**Related project(s):****45**Macroscopic invariants of manifolds

We prove that any length metric space homeomorphic to a surface may be decomposed into non-overlapping convex triangles of arbitrarily small diameter. This generalizes a previous result of Alexandrov--Zalgaller for surfaces of bounded curvature.

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

Based on Morse theory for the energy functional on path spaces we develop a deformation theory for mapping spaces of spheres into orthogonal groups. This is used to show that these mapping spaces are weakly homotopy equivalent, in a stable range, to mapping spaces associated to orthogonal Clifford representations. Given an oriented Euclidean bundle $V \to X$ of rank divisible by four over a finite complex $X$ we derive a stable decomposition result for vector bundles over the sphere bundle $\mathbb{S}( \mathbb{R} \oplus V)$ in terms of vector bundles and Clifford module bundles over $X$. After passing to topological K-theory these results imply classical Bott-Thom isomorphism theorems.

Journal | São Paulo Journal of Mathematical Sciences (to appear) |

Link to preprint version |

**Related project(s):****15**Spaces and Moduli Spaces of Riemannian Metrics with Curvature Bounds on compact and non-compact Manifolds**52**Spaces and Moduli Spaces of Riemannian Metrics with Curvature Bounds on compact and non-compact Manifolds II

We investigate the class of geodesic metric discs satisfying a uniform quadratic isoperimetric inequality and uniform bounds on the length of the boundary circle. We show that the closure of this class as a subset of Gromov-Hausdorff space is intimately related to the class of geodesic metric disc retracts satisfying comparable bounds. This kind of discs naturally come up in the context of the solution of Plateau's problem in metric spaces by Lytchak and Wenger as generalizations of minimal surfaces.

Journal | Geom. Dedicata |

Volume | 210 |

Pages | 151-164 |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

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

A Calderón projector for an elliptic operator $P$ on a manifold with boundary $X$ is a projection from general boundary data to the set of boundary data of solutions $u$ of $Pu=0$. Seeley proved in 1966 that for compact $X$ and for $P$ uniformly elliptic up to the boundary there is a Calder\'on projector which is a pseudodifferential operator on $\partial X$. We generalize this result to the setting of fibred cusp operators, a class of elliptic operators on certain non-compact manifolds having a special fibred structure at infinity.

This applies, for example, to the Laplacian on certain locally symmetric spaces or on particular singular spaces, such as a domain with cusp singularity or the complement of two touching smooth strictly convex domains in Euclidean space. Our main technical tool is the $\phi$-pseudodifferential calculus introduced by Mazzeo and Melrose.

In our presentation we provide a setting that may be useful for doing analogous constructions for other types of singularities.

**Related project(s):****13**Analysis on spaces with fibred cusps**49**Analysis on spaces with fibred cusps II

We study the low energy resolvent of the Hodge Laplacian on a manifold equipped with a fibred boundary metric. We determine the precise asymptotic behavior of the resolvent as a fibred boundary (aka $\phi$-) pseudodifferential operator when the resolvent parameter tends to zero.

This generalizes previous work by Guillarmou and Sher who considered asymptotically conic metrics, which correspond to the special case when the fibres are points. The new feature in the case of non-trivial fibres is that the resolvent has different asymptotic behavior on the subspace of forms that are fibrewise harmonic and on its orthogonal complement. To deal with this, we introduce an appropriate 'split' pseudodifferential calculus, building on and extending work by Grieser and Hunsicker. Our work sets the basis for the discussion of spectral invariants on $\phi$-manifolds.

**Related project(s):****13**Analysis on spaces with fibred cusps**23**Spectral geometry, index theory and geometric flows on singular spaces**49**Analysis on spaces with fibred cusps II

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.

Journal | International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics |

Publisher | World Scientific |

Volume | 17(13) |

Line | art. no. 2050200 |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

**Related project(s):****32**Asymptotic geometry of the Higgs bundle moduli space**69**Wall-crossing and hyperkähler geometry of moduli spaces

We construct smooth bundles with base and fiber products of two spheres whose total spaces have nonvanishing A-hat-genus. We then use these bundles to locate nontrivial rational homotopy groups of spaces of Riemannian metrics with lower curvature bounds for all Spin manifolds of dimension 6 or at least 10, which admit such a metric and are a connected sum of some manifold and \(S^n\times S^n\) or \(S^n\times S^{n+1}\), respectively. We also construct manifolds M whose spaces of Riemannian metrics of positive scalar curvature have homotopy groups that contain elements of infinite order that lie in the image of the orbit map induced by the push-forward action of the diffeomorphism group of M.

Journal | International Mathematics Research Notices |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

**Related project(s):****9**Diffeomorphisms and the topology of positive scalar curvature**15**Spaces and Moduli Spaces of Riemannian Metrics with Curvature Bounds on compact and non-compact Manifolds

We characterize cohomogeneity one manifolds and homogeneous spaces with a compact Lie group action admitting an invariant metric with positive scalar curvature.

**Related project(s):****36**Cohomogeneity, curvature, cohomology