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Hopf-Rinow II and an application
*November 15, 2009*

*Posted by Akhil Mathew in differential geometry, MaBloWriMo.*

Tags: geodesic completeness, geodesics, homotopy, Hopf-Rinow theorem, Riemannian manifolds

2 comments

Tags: geodesic completeness, geodesics, homotopy, Hopf-Rinow theorem, Riemannian manifolds

2 comments

Now, let’s finish the proof of the Hopf-Rinow theorem (the first one) started yesterday. We need to show that given a Riemannian manifold which is a metric space , the existence of arbitrary geodesics from implies that is complete with respect to . Actually, this is slightly stronger than what H-R states: geodesic completeness at one point implies completeness.

The first thing to notice is that is smooth by the global smoothness theorem and the assumption that arbitrary geodesics from exist. Moreover, it is surjective by the second Hopf-Rinow theorem.

Now fix a -Cauchy sequence . We will show that it converges. Draw minimal geodesics travelling at unit speed with

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The Hopf-Rinow theorems and geodesic completeness
*November 14, 2009*

*Posted by Akhil Mathew in differential geometry, MaBloWriMo.*

Tags: completeness, geodesic completeness, geodesics, Hopf-Rinow theorem, Riemannian manifolds

10 comments

Tags: completeness, geodesic completeness, geodesics, Hopf-Rinow theorem, Riemannian manifolds

10 comments

Ok, yesterday I covered the basic fact that given a Riemannian manifold , the geodesics on (with respect to the Levi-Civita connection) locally minimize length. Today I will talk about the phenomenon of “geodesic completeness.”

*Henceforth, all manifolds are assumed connected.*

The first basic remark to make is the following. If is a piecewise -path between and has the smallest length among piecewise paths, then is, up to reparametrization, a geodesic (in particular smooth). The way to see this is to pick very close to each other, so that is contained in a neighborhood of satisfying the conditions of yesterday’s theorem; then must be length-minimizing, so it is a geodesic. We thus see that is locally a geodesic, hence globally.

Say that is **geodesically complete** if can be defined on all of ; in other words, a geodesic can be continued to . The name is justified by the following theorem:

Theorem 1 (Hopf-Rinow)The following are equivalent:

- is geodesically complete.
- In the metric on induced by (see here), is a complete metric space (more…)