## 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 present an Eilenberg--Steenrod-like axiomatic framework for equivariant coarse homology and cohomology theories. We also discuss a general construction of such coarse theories from topological ones and the associated transgression maps. A large part of this paper is devoted to showing how some well-established coarse (co-)homology theories with already existing or newly introduced equivariance fit into this setup.

Furthermore, a new and more flexible notion of coarse homotopy is given which is more in the spirit of topological homotopies. Some, but not all, coarse (co-)homology theories are even invariant under these new homotopies. They also led us to a meaningful concept of topological actions of locally compact groups on coarse spaces.

**Related project(s):****10**Duality and the coarse assembly map

In each dimension $4k+1\geq 9$, we exhibit infinite families of closed manifolds with fundamental group $\mathbb Z_2$ for which the moduli space of metrics of nonnegative sectional curvature has infinitely many path components. Examples of closed manifolds with finite fundamental group with this property were known before only in dimension $5$ and dimensions $4k+3\geq 7$.

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

We study $\ell^2$ Betti numbers, coherence, and virtual fibring of random groups in the few-relator model. In particular, random groups with negative Euler characteristic are coherent, have $\ell^2$ homology concentrated in dimension 1, and embed in a virtually free-by-cyclic group with high probability. Similar results are shown with positive probability in the zero Euler characteristic case.

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

We show that a finitely generated residually finite rationally solvable (or RFRS) group *G* is virtually fibred, in the sense that it admits a virtual surjection to $\mathbb Z$ with a finitely generated kernel, if and only if the first $L^2$-Betti number of *G* vanishes. This generalises (and gives a new proof of) the analogous result of Ian Agol for fundamental groups of 3-manifolds.

Journal | J. Amer. Math. Soc |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

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

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.

Journal | Invent. Math. |

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

For every Lie group *G*, we compute the maximal *n* such that an *n*-fold product of nonabelian free groups embeds into *G*.

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

This paper relates different approaches to the asymptotic geometry of the

Hitchin moduli space of SL(2,C) Higgs bundles on a closed Riemann surface and,

via the nonabelian Hodge theorem, the character variety of SL(2,C)

representations of a surface group. Specifically, we find an asymptotic

correspondence between the analytically defined limiting configuration of a

sequence of solutions to the self-duality equations constructed by

Mazzeo-Swoboda-Weiss-Witt, and the geometric topological shear-bend parameters

of equivariant pleated surfaces due to Bonahon and Thurston. The geometric link

comes from a study of high energy harmonic maps. As a consequence we prove: (1)

the local invariance of the partial compactification of the moduli space by

limiting configurations; (2) a refinement of the harmonic maps characterization

of the Morgan-Shalen compactification of the character variety; and (3) a

comparison between the family of complex projective structures defined by a

quadratic differential and the realizations of the corresponding flat

connections as Higgs bundles, as well as a determination of the asymptotic

shear-bend cocycle of Thurston's pleated surface.

**Related project(s):****27**Invariants and boundaries of spaces**32**Asymptotic geometry of the Higgs bundle moduli space

Our main result gives an improved bound on the filling areas of closed curves in Banach spaces which are not closed geodesics. As applications we show rigidity of Pu's classical systolic inequality and investigate the isoperimetric constants of normed spaces. The latter has further applications concerning the regularity of minimal surfaces in Finsler manifolds.

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

Let $X$ be a Banach space or more generally a complete metric space admitting a conical geodesic bicombing. We prove that every closed $L$-Lipschitz curve $\gamma:S^1\rightarrow X$ may be extended to an $L$-Lipschitz map defined on the hemisphere $f:H^2\rightarrow X$. This implies that $X$ satisfies a quadratic isoperimetric inequality (for curves) with constant $\frac{1}{2\pi}$. We discuss how this fact controls the regularity of minimal discs in Finsler manifolds when applied to the work of Alexander Lytchak and Stefan Wenger.

Journal | Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. |

Volume | 373 |

Pages | 1577-1596 |

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

The Rarita-Schwinger operator is the twisted Dirac operator restricted to 3/2-spinors. Rarita-Schwinger fields are solutions of this operator which are in addition divergence-free. This is an overdetermined problem and solutions are rare; it is even more unexpected for there to be large dimensional spaces of solutions.

In this paper we prove the existence of a sequence of compact manifolds in any given dimension greater than or equal to 4 for which the dimension of the space of Rarita-Schwinger fields tends to infinity. These manifolds are either simply connected Kähler-Einstein spin with negative Einstein constant, or products of such spaces with flat tori. Moreover, we construct Calabi-Yau manifolds of even complex dimension with more linearly independent Rarita-Schwinger fields than flat tori of the same dimension.

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

We investigate rigidity properties of S-arithmetic Kac-Moody groups in characteristic 0.

Journal | J. Lie Theory |

Volume | 30 |

Pages | 9-23 |

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

When trying to cast the free fermion in the framework of functorial field theory, its chiral anomaly manifests in the fact that it assigns the determinant of the Dirac operator to a top-dimensional closed spin manifold, which is not a number as expected, but an element of a complex line. In functorial field theory language, this means that the theory is twisted, which gives rise to an anomaly theory. In this paper, we give a detailed construction of this anomaly theory, as a functor that sends manifolds to infinite-dimensional Clifford algebras and bordisms to bimodules.

Journal | Annales Henri Poincare |

Publisher | Springer |

Link to preprint version | |

Link to published version |

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

Let (Mi,gi)i∈N be a sequence of spin manifolds with uniform bounded curvature and diameter that converges to a lower dimensional Riemannian manifold (B,h) in the Gromov-Hausdorff topology. Lott showed that the spectrum converges to the spectrum of a certain first order elliptic differential operator D on B. In this article we give an explicit description of D. We conclude that D is self-adjoint and characterize the special case where D is the Dirac operator on B.

Journal | Annals of Global Analysis and Geometry |

Publisher | Springer |

Volume | 57 |

Pages | 121-151 |

Link to preprint version | |

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

In this paper, we mainly consider the relative isoperimetric inequalities for minimal submanifolds in R*n*+*m*. We first provide, following Cabré \cite{Cabre2008}, an ABP proof of the relative isoperimetric inequality proved in Choe-Ghomi-Ritoré \cite{CGR07}, by generalizing ideas of restricted normal cones given in \cite{CGR06}. Then we prove a relative isoperimetric inequalities for minimal submanifolds in R*n*+*m*, which is optimal when the codimension *m*≤2. In other words we obtain a relative version of isoperimetric inequalities for minimal submanifolds proved recently by Brendle \cite{Brendle2019}. When the codimension *m*≤2, our result gives an affirmative answer to an open problem proposed by Choe in \cite{Choe2005}, Open Problem 12.6. As another application we prove an optimal logarithmic Sobolev inequality for free boundary submanifolds in the Euclidean space following a trick of Brendle in \cite{Brendle2019b}.

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

In this work we describe horofunction compactifications of metric spaces and finite dimensional real vector spaces through asymmetric metrics and asymmetric polyhedral norms by means of nonstandard methods, that is, ultrapowers of the spaces at hand. The compactifications of the vector spaces carry the structure of stratified spaces with the strata indexed by dual faces of the polyhedral unit ball. Explicit neighborhood bases and descriptions of the horofunctions are provided.

**Related project(s):****20**Compactifications and Local-to-Global Structure for Bruhat-Tits Buildings

In this paper we consider a Ricci de Turck flow of spaces with isolated conical singularities, which preserves the conical structure along the flow. We establish that a given initial regularity of Ricci curvature is preserved along the flow. Moreover under additional assumptions, positivity of scalar curvature is preserved under such a flow, mirroring the standard property of Ricci flow on compact manifolds. The analytic difficulty is the a priori low regularity of scalar curvature at the conical tip along the flow, so that the maximum principle does not apply. We view this work as a first step toward studying positivity of the curvature operator along the singular Ricci flow.

**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 the metrisability of an oriented projective surface is equivalent to the existence of pseudo-holomorphic curves. A projective structure $\mathfrak{p}$ and a volume form $\sigma$ on an oriented surface $M$ equip the total space of a certain disk bundle $Z \to M$ with a pair $(J_{\mathfrak{p}},\mathfrak{J}_{\mathfrak{p},\sigma})$ of almost complex structures. A conformal structure on $M$ corresponds to a section of $Z\to M$ and $\mathfrak{p}$ is metrisable by the metric $g$ if and only if $[g] : M \to Z$ is a pseudo-holomorphic curve with respect to $J_{\mathfrak{p}}$ and $\mathfrak{J}_{\mathfrak{p},dA_g}$.

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

We associate a flow $\phi$ to a solution of the vortex equations on a closed oriented Riemannian 2-manifold $(M,g)$ of negative Euler characteristic and investigate its properties. We show that $\phi$ always admits a dominated splitting and identify special cases in which $\phi$ is Anosov. In particular, starting from holomorphic differentials of fractional degree, we produce novel examples of Anosov flows on suitable roots of the unit tangent bundle of $(M,g)$.

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

Given a generic stable strongly parabolic $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$-Higgs bundle

$(\mathcal{E}, \varphi)$, we describe the family of harmonic metrics $h_t$ for

the ray of Higgs bundles $(\mathcal{E}, t \varphi)$ for $t\gg0$ by perturbing

from an explicitly constructed family of approximate solutions

$h_t^{\mathrm{app}}$. We then describe the natural hyperK\"ahler metric on

$\mathcal{M}$ by comparing it to a simpler "semi-flat" hyperK\"ahler metric. We

prove that $g_{L^2} - g_{\mathrm{sf}} = O(\mathrm{e}^{-\gamma t})$ along a

generic ray, proving a version of Gaiotto-Moore-Neitzke's conjecture.

Our results extend to weakly parabolic $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$-Higgs bundles as

well.

In the case of the four-puncture sphere, we describe the moduli space and

metric more explicitly. In this case, we prove that the hyperk\"ahler metric is

ALG and show that the rate of exponential decay is the conjectured optimal one,

$\gamma=4L$, where $L$ is the length of the shortest geodesic on the base curve

measured in the singular flat metric $|\mathrm{det}\, \varphi|$.

Pages | 73 pages |

Link to preprint version |

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

Let X be a compact Calabi-Yau 3-fold, and write \(\mathcal{M}, \overline{\mathcal{M}}\) for the moduli stacks of objects in coh(X) and the derived category D^b coh(X). There are natural line bundles \(K_{\mathcal{M}} \to \mathcal{M}, K_{\overline{\mathcal{M}}} \to \overline{\mathcal{M}}\) analogues of canonical bundles. Orientation data is an isomorphism class of square root line bundles \(K_{\mathcal{M}}^{1/2}, K_{\overline{\mathcal{M}}}^{1/2}\), satisfying a compatibility condition on the stack of short exact sequences. It was introduced by Kontsevich and Soibelman in their theory of motivic Donaldson-Thomas invariants, and is also important in categorifying Donaldson-Thomas theory using perverse sheaves. We show that natural orientation data can be constructed for all compact Calabi-Yau 3-folds X, and also for compactly-supported coherent sheaves and perfect complexes on noncompact Calabi-Yau 3-folds X that admit a spin smooth projective compactification.

**Related project(s):****33**Gerbes in renormalization and quantization of infinite-dimensional moduli spaces