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Mathematics  2012 

On Almost-Riemannian Surfaces

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Abstract:

An almost-Riemannian structure on a surface is a generalized Riemannian structure whose local orthonormal frames are given by Lie bracket generating pairs of vector fields that can become collinear. The distribution generated locally by orthonormal frames has maximal rank at almost every point of the surface, but in general it has rank 1 on a nonempty set which is generically a smooth curve. In this paper we provide a short introduction to 2-dimensional almost-Riemannian geometry highlighting its novelties with respect to Riemannian geometry. We present some results that investigate topological, metric and geometric aspects of almost- Riemannian surfaces from a local and global point of view.

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