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Advances in Mathematics
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 220  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 791 - 803

Conjugate points in length spaces

K. Shankar and C. Sormani    

Abstract: In this paper we extend the concept of a conjugate point in a Riemannian manifold to geodesic spaces. In particular, we introduce symmetric conjugate points and ultimate conjugate points and relate these notions to prior notions developed for more restricted classes of spaces. We generalize the long homotopy lemma of Klingenberg to this setting as well as the injectivity radius estimate also due to Klingenberg which was used to produce closed geodesics or conjugate points on Riemannian manifolds. We close with applications of these new kinds of conjugate points to CBA(κ) spaces: proving both known and new theorems. In particular we prove a Rauch comparison theorem, a Relative Rauch Comparison Theorem, the fact that there are no ultimate conjugate points less than π apart in a CBA(1) space and a few facts concerning closed geodesics. This paper is written to be accessible to students and includes open problems.

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