Riemannian manifold

Riemannian manifold

In Riemannian geometry, a Riemannian manifold ("M","g") (with Riemannian metric "g") is a real differentiable manifold "M" in which each tangent space is equipped with an inner product "g" in a manner which varies smoothly from point to point. The metric "g" is a positive definite metric tensor. This allows one to define various notions such as angles, lengths of curves, areas (or volumes), curvature, gradients of functions and divergence of vector fields. In other words, a Riemannian manifold is a differentiable manifold in which the tangent space at each point is a finite-dimensional Hilbert space. The terms are named after German mathematician Bernhard Riemann.


The tangent bundle of a smooth manifold "M" assigns to each fixed point of "M" a vector space called the tangent space, and each tangent space can be equipped with an inner product. If such a collection of inner products on the tangent bundle of a manifold varies smoothly as one traverses the manifold, then concepts that were defined only pointwise at each tangent space can be extended to yield analogous notions over finite regions of the manifold. For example, a smooth curve α("t"): [0, 1] → "M" has tangent vector α′("t"0) in the tangent space T"M"("t"0) at any point "t"0 ∈ (0, 1), and each such vector has length ||α′("t"0)||, where ||·|| denotes the norm induced by the inner product on T"M"("t"0). The integral of these lengths gives the length of the curve α:

:L(alpha) = int_0^1{|alpha^{prime}(t)|, mathrm{d}t}.

Smoothness of ||α′("t")|| for "t" in [0, 1] guarantees that the integral "L"(α) exists and the length of this curve is defined.

In many instances, in order to pass from a linear-algebraic concept to a differential-geometric one, the smoothness requirement is very important.

Every smooth submanifold of R"n" has an induced Riemannian metric "g": the inner product on each tangent space is the restriction of the inner product on R"n". In fact, as follows from the Nash embedding theorem, all Riemannian manifolds can be realized this way.In particular one could "define" Riemannian manifold as a metric space which is isometric to a smooth submanifold of R"n" with the induced intrinsic metric, where isometry here is meant in the sense of preserving the length of curves. This definition might theoretically not be flexible enough, but it is quite useful to build the first geometric intuitions in Riemannian geometry.

Riemannian manifolds as metric spaces

Usually a Riemannian manifold is defined as a smooth manifold with a smooth section of the positive-definite quadratic forms on the tangent bundle. Then one has to work to show that it can be turned to a metric space:

If γ: ["a", "b"] → "M" is a continuously differentiable curve in the Riemannian manifold "M", then we define its length "L"(γ) in analogy with the example above by

:L(gamma) = int_a^b |gammaprime(t)|, mathrm{d}t.

With this definition of length, every connected Riemannian manifold "M" becomes a metric space (and even a length metric space) in a natural fashion: the distance "d"("x", "y") between the points "x" and "y" of "M" is defined as

:"d"("x","y") = inf{ L(γ) : γ is a continuously differentiable curve joining "x" and "y"}.

Even though Riemannian manifolds are usually "curved", there is still a notion of "straight line" on them: the geodesics. These are curves which locally join their points along shortest paths.

Assuming the manifold is compact, any two points "x" and "y" can be connected with a geodesic whose length is "d"("x","y"). Without compactness, this need not be true. For example, in the punctured plane R2 {0}, the distance between the points (−1, 0) and (1, 0) is 2, but there is no geodesic realizing this distance.


In Riemannian manifolds, the notions of geodesic completeness, topological completeness and metric completeness are the same: that each implies the other is the content of the Hopf-Rinow theorem.

Riemannian metrics

Let "M" be a second countable Hausdorff differentiable manifold of dimension "n". A Riemannian metric on "M" is a family of (positive definite) inner products

:g_p : T_pM imes T_pMlongrightarrow mathbb R,qquad pin M

such that, for all differentiable vector fields "X","Y" on "M",

: pmapsto g_p(X(p), Y(p))

defines a differentiable function "M" → R. The assignment of an inner product "g""p" to each point "p" of the manifold is called a metric tensor.

In a system of local coordinates on the manifold "M" given by "n" real-valued functions "x"1,"x"2, …, "x""n", the vector fields

:left{frac{partial}{partial x_1},dots, frac{partial}{partial x_n} ight}

give a basis of tangent vectors at each point of "M". Relative to this coordinate system, the components of the metric tensor are, at each point "p",

:g_{ij}(p):=g_pBiggl(left(frac{partial }{partial x_i} ight)_p,left(frac{partial }{partial x_j} ight)_pBiggr).

Equivalently, the metric tensor can be written in terms of the dual basis {d"x"1, …, d"x""n"} of the cotangent bundle as

: g=sum_{i,j}g_{ij}mathrm d x_iotimes mathrm d x_j. Endowed with this metric, the differentiable manifold ("M","g") is a Riemannian manifold.


* With frac{partial }{partial x_i} identified with e_i=(0,dots, 1,dots, 0), the standard metric over an open subset Usubsetmathbb R^n is defined by

::g^{mathrm{can_p : T_pU imes T_pUlongrightarrow mathbb R,qquad left(sum_ia_ifrac{partial}{partial x_i},sum_jb_jfrac{partial}{partial x_j} ight)longmapsto sum_i a_ib_i.

:Then "g" is a Riemannian metric, and

::g^{mathrm{can_{ij}=langle e_i,e_j angle = delta_{ij}.

:Equipped with this metric, Rn is called Euclidean space of dimension "n" and "g"ijcan is called the Euclidean metric.
* Let ("M","g") be a Riemannian manifold and Nsubset M be a submanifold of "M". Then the restriction of "g" to vectors tangent along "N" defines a Riemannian metric over "N".
* More generally, let "f":"M"n→"N"n+k be an immersion. Then, if "N" has a Riemannian metric, "f" induces a Riemannian metric on "M" via pullback:

::g^M_p : T_pM imes T_pMlongrightarrow mathbb R,qquad (u,v)longmapsto g^M_p(u,v):=g^N_{f(p)}(T_pf(u), T_pf(v)).

:This is then a metric; the positive definiteness follows of the injectivity of the differential of an immersion.
* Let ("M","g"M) be a Riemannian manifold, "h":"M"n+k→"N"k be a differentiable application and "q"∈"N" be a regular value of "h" (the differential "dh"("p") is surjective for all "p"∈"h"-1("q")). Then "N"="h"-1("q")⊂"M" is a submanifold of "M" of dimension "n". Thus "N" carries the Riemannian metric induced by inclusion.

* In particular, consider the following application :

::h: mathbb R^nlongrightarrow mathbb R,qquad (x_1, dots, x_n)longmapsto sum_{i=1}^nx_i^2-1.

:Then, "0" is a regular value of "h" and

::h^{-1}(0)={xinmathbb R^nvert sum_{i=1}^nx_i^2=1}=S^{n-1}

:is the unit sphere S^{n-1}subset mathbb R^n. The metric induced from mathbb R^n on S^{n-1} is called the canonical metric of S^{n-1}.
* Let M_1 and M_2 be two Riemannian manifolds and consider the cartesian product M_1 imes M_2 with the product structure. Furthermore, let pi_1:M_1 imes M_2 ightarrow M_1 and pi_2:M_1 imes M_2 ightarrow M_2 be the natural projections. For (p,q)in M_1 imes M_2, a Riemannian metric on M_1 imes M_2 can be introduced as follows :

::g^{M_1 imes M_2}_{(p,q)}:T_{(p,q)}(M_1 imes M_2) imes T_{(p,q)}(M_1 imes M_2) longrightarrow mathbb R,qquad (u,v)longmapsto g^{M_1}_p(T_{(p,q)}pi_1(u), T_{(p,q)}pi_1(v))+g^{M_2}_q(T_{(p,q)}pi_2(u), T_{(p,q)}pi_2(v)).

:The identification

::T_{(p,q)}(M_1 imes M_2) cong T_pM_1oplus T_qM_2

:allows us to conclude that this defines a metric on the product space.

:The torus S^1 imesdots imes S^1=T^n possesses for example a Riemannian structure obtained by choosing the induced Riemannian metric from mathbb R^2 on the circle S^1subset mathbb R^2 and then taking the product metric. The torus T^n endowed with this metric is called the flat torus.
* Let g_0,g_1 be two metrics on M. Then,

:: ilde g:=lambda g_0 + (1-lambda)g_1,qquad lambdain [0,1] ,

:is also a metric on "M".

The pullback metric

If "f":"M"→"N" is a diffeomorphism and ("N","g"N) be a Riemannian manifold, then the pullback of "g"N along "f" is a Riemannian metric on "M". The pullback is the metric "f"*"g"N on "M" defined for "v", "w" ∈ "T"p"M" by

: (f^*g^N)(v,w) = g^N(df(v),df(w)),.

Existence of a metric

Every paracompact differentiable manifold admits a Riemannian metric. To prove this result, let "M" be a manifold and {("U"α, φ("U"α))|α∈"I"} a locally finite atlas of open subsets "U" of "M" and diffeomorphisms onto open subsets of Rn

:phi : U_alpha o phi(U_alpha)subseteqmathbb{R}^n.

Let τα be a differentiable partition of unity subordinate to the given atlas. Then define the metric "g" on "M" by

:g:=sum_eta au_etacdot ilde{g}_eta,qquad ext{with}qquad ilde{g}_eta:= ilde{phi}_eta^*g^{mathrm{can.

where "g"can is the Euclidean metric. This is readily seen to be a metric on "M".


Let (M, g^M) and (N, g^N) be two Riemannian manifolds, and f:M ightarrow N be a diffeomorphism. Then, "f" is called an isometry, if

:g^M_p(u,v) = g^N_{f(p)}(T_pf(u), T_pf(v))qquad forall pin M, forall u,vin T_pM.

Moreover, a differentiable mapping f:M ightarrow N is called a local isometry at pin M if there is a neighbourhood Usubset M, U i p, such that f:U ightarrow f(U) is a diffeomorphism satisfying the previous relation.

Riemannian manifolds as metric spaces

A connected Riemannian manifold carries the structure of a metric space whose distance function is the arclength of a minimizing geodesic.

Specifically, let ("M","g") be a connected Riemannian manifold. Let c: [a,b] ightarrow M be a parametrized curve in "M", which is differentiable with velocity vector "c"′. The length of "c" is defined as:L_a^b(c) := int_a^b sqrt{g(c'(t),c'(t))},mathrm d t = int_a^b|c'(t)|,mathrm d t

By change of variables, the arclength is independent of the chosen parametrization. In particular, a curve [a,b] ightarrow M can be parametrized by its arc length. A curve is parametrized by arclength if and only if |c'(t)|=1 for all tin [a,b] .

The distance function "d" : "M"×"M" → [0,∞) is defined by: d(p,q) = inf L(gamma)where the infimum extends over all differentiable curves γ beginning at "p"∈"M" and ending at "q"∈"M".

This function "d" satisfies the properties of a distance function for a metric space. The only property which is not completely straightforward is to show that "d"("p","q")=0 implies that "p"="q". For this property, one can use a normal coordinate system, which also allows one to show that the topology induced by "d" is the same as the original topology on "M".


The diameter of a Riemannian manifold "M" is defined by

:mathrm{diam}(M):=sup_{p,qin M} d(p,q)in mathbb R_{geq 0}cup{+infty}.

The diameter is invariant under global isometries. Furthermore, the Heine-Borel property holds for (finite-dimensional) Riemannian manifolds: "M" is compact if and only if it is complete and has finite diameter.

Geodesic completeness

A Riemannian manifold "M is geodesically complete"' if for all pin M, the exponential map exp_p is defined for all vin T_pM, i.e. if any geodesic gamma(t) starting from "p" is defined for all values of the parameter tinmathbb R. The Hopf-Rinow theorem asserts that "M" is geodesically complete if and only if it is complete as a metric space.

If "M" is complete, then "M" is non-extendable in the sense that it is not isometric to a proper submanifold of any other Riemannian manifold. The converse is not true, however: there exist non-extendable manifolds which are not complete.

See also

* Riemannian geometry
* Finsler manifold
* sub-Riemannian manifold
* pseudo-Riemannian manifold
* Metric tensor
* Hermitian manifold

External links

*springer|id=R/r082180|title=Riemannian metric|author=L.A. Sidorov


* [http://www.amazon.fr/Riemannian-Geometry-Manfredo-P-Carmo/dp/0817634908/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=english-books&qid=1201537059&sr=8-1]

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