Almut Veraat (Imperial College London)
Rudolf Zeidler (Universität Münster)
In recent years, Gromov proposed studying the geometry of positive scalar curvature (psc) via various metric inequalities vaguely reminiscent of classical comparison geometry. For instance, let \(M\) be a closed manifold of dimension \(n-1\) which does not admit a metric of psc. Then with respect to any Riemannian metric of scalar curvature \(\geq n(n-1)\) on the cylinder \(V = M \times [-1,1]\), the distance between the two boundary components of \(V\) is conjectured to be at most \(2\pi/n\). In this talk, we will discuss how to approach this and other related conjectures on spin manifolds via index-theoretic techniques. We will use the spinor Dirac operator augmented by a Lipschitz potential and subject to suitable local boundary conditions. In the cases we consider, this leads to refined estimates involving the mean curvature of the boundary and to rigidity results for the extremal situation. Joint work with S. Cecchini.
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