2
$\begingroup$

I had a couple of related questions on the cut locus, conjugate points and smoothness of distance function. Let $(M,g)$ be a smooth complete Riemannian manifold and $r(x) = d(p,x)$ the distance function to a fixed point $p\in M$. Recall that the cut locus $Cut(p)$ consists of two kinds of points - points that are conjugate to $p$ along some geodesic, or points that have multiple minimal geodesics connecting them to $p$.

1) I know that $r$ is smooth on $M\backslash (Cut(p)\cup \{p\}$. Is it true that $r$ is in fact smooth at $x$ as long as there is a unique minimal geodesic connecting it to $p$? The only proof of smoothness involves the exponential map, but the exponential map is not invertible at conjugate points, so that approach wont work.

2) Is there a simple example of $(M,g,p)$ with points conjugate to $p$ but with unique minimal geodesics to $p$.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

1) Yes, the distance function has to be differentiable at $x$ if there is a unique minimizing geodesic $[p,x]$. The proof is straightforward.

2) Take a surface of revolution for an even function $f$; say $f(0)=1$, $f''<0$. You can make it so that the curvature on the equator $(f(0)\cdot \sin t,f(0)\cdot\cos t,0)$ is positive and it takes maximal value on the surface. Then the maximal minimizing arc on the equator is unique minimal geodesics between its ends.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.