MathOverflow will be down for maintenance for approximately 3 hours, starting Monday evening (06/24/2013) at approximately 9:00 PM Eastern time (UTC-4).

## “Rounding the corners” to get contact boundary

Suppose we have symplectic manifolds $(M_1, \omega_1)$ and $(M_2, \omega_2)$ with non-empty boundary of contact . Often we need to deal with the product $M_1 \times M_2$ with the product symplectic structure. Can we round the corners to get a contact manifold as boundary?

-

In that generality, the answer is no: a symplectic form $\omega$ on $X$ which has contact-type boundary is exact on $\partial X$. Yet $\omega_1 \oplus \omega_2$ need not be exact on $M_1\times \partial M_2$, nor on $\partial M_1 \times M_2$.
It is possible, however, if $M_1$ and $M_2$ are Liouville domains, i.e., if the symplectic form $\omega_i$ is given as $d\theta_i$ for 1-forms $\theta_i$ whose dual vector field $\lambda_i$ points strictly outwards along the boundary. In fact, if you round corners sensibly, $\theta_1 \oplus \theta_2$ will have those same properties on the product.