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On conformal Killing symmetric tensor fields on Riemannian manifolds

By Nurlan S. Dairbekov and Vladimir A. Sharafutdinov


A vector field on a Riemannian manifold is called conformal Killing if it generates one-parameter group of conformal transformations. The class of conformal Killing symmetric tensor fields of an arbitrary rank is a natural generalization of the class of conformal Killing vector fields, and appears in different geometric and physical problems. A symmetric tensor field is a trace-free field if the contraction of the field with the metric tensor is identically equal to zero. On a Riemannian manifold of dimension at least three, the space of trace-free conformal Killing symmetric tensor fields of arbitrary rank is of a finite dimension. On a two-dimensional manifold, the space can be of infinite dimension. Nevertheless, on a connected manifold of any dimension, a trace-free conformal Killing tensor field is uniquely determined by its $C^\infty$-jet at any point. We prove the statement: On a connected manifold, a trace-free conformal Killing tensor field is identically equal to zero if it vanishes on some hypersurface. This statement is a basis of the theorem on decomposition of a symmetric tensor field on a compact Riemannian manifold with boundary to a sum of three fields such that the first summand is a trace-free and divergence-free field, the second summand is a potential field with a trace-free potential vanishing on the boundary, and the last summand is a multiple of the metric tensor. The classical theorem by Bochner - Yano states the absence of conformal Killing vector fields on a closed manifold of negative Ricci curvature. We generalize the latter statements to arbitrary rank tensor fields but under the stronger hypothesis: the sectional curvature is assumed to be negative. There is no nontrivial trace-free conformal Killing symmetric tensor field of any rank on a closed negatively curved Riemannian manifold.Comment: 44 page

Topics: Mathematics - Differential Geometry, 53A45 (Primary) 53B20 (Secondary)
Year: 2011
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