3 noticed that the first question is answered

I'm sure this is standard but I don't know where to look. Let $M$ be a contractible compact smooth $n$-manifold with boundary. Does it have to be homeomorphic to $D^n$? What about diffeomorphic?

If not, there

[UPDATE: the answer is more well-known to say be negative as many people kindly pointed out. But actually I assume more about $M$: there the manifold, namely the following:]

There is a Riemannian metric on $M$ such that every two points are connected by a unique shortest path. So $M$ can be contracted to a point $p\in M$ by sending every point along a shortest path to $p$. These paths can bend along the boundary and can merge because of this. But they are relatively nice (namely $C^{1,1}$) curves and their first derivatives depend continuously on their endpoints. Given all this, can one conclude that $M$ is a disc?

ADDED: These curves are of course gradient curves of a function (the distance to $p$) which is $C^1$ and has no critical points in the interior of $M$, except at $p$.

2 added a remark about distance function

I'm sure this is standard but I don't know where to look. Let $M$ be a contractible compact smooth $n$-manifold with boundary. Does it have to be homeomorphic to $D^n$? What about diffeomorphic?

If not, there is more to say about $M$: there is a Riemannian metric on $M$ such that every two points are connected by a unique shortest path. So $M$ can be contracted to a point $p\in M$ by sending every point along a shortest path to $p$. These paths can bend along the boundary and can merge because of this. But they are relatively nice (namely $C^{1,1}$) curves and their first derivatives depend continuously on their endpoints. Given all this, can one conclude that $M$ is a disc?

ADDED: These curves are of course gradient curves of a function (the distance to $p$) which is $C^1$ and has no critical points in the interior of $M$, except at $p$.

1

# Contractible manifold with boundary - is it a disc?

I'm sure this is standard but I don't know where to look. Let $M$ be a contractible compact smooth $n$-manifold with boundary. Does it have to be homeomorphic to $D^n$? What about diffeomorphic?

If not, there is more to say about $M$: there is a Riemannian metric on $M$ such that every two points are connected by a unique shortest path. So $M$ can be contracted to a point $p\in M$ by sending every point along a shortest path to $p$. These paths can bend along the boundary and can merge because of this. But they are relatively nice (namely $C^{1,1}$) curves and their first derivatives depend continuously on their endpoints. Given all this, can one conclude that $M$ is a disc?