Abstract:
The theory of dual mixed volumes is extended to star bodies in cotangent bundles and is used to prove several isosystolic inequalities for Hamiltonian systems and Finsler metrics.

Abstract:
We explore a natural generalization of systolic geometry to Finsler metrics and optical hypersurfaces with special emphasis on its relation to the Mahler conjecture and the geometry of numbers. In particular, we show that if an optical hypersurface of contact type in the cotangent bundle of the 2-dimensional torus encloses a volume $V$, then it carries a periodic characteristic whose action is at most $\sqrt{V/3}$. This result is deduced from an interesting dual version of Minkowski's lattice-point theorem: if the origin is the unique integer point in the interior of a planar convex body, the area of its dual body is at least 3/2.

Abstract:
The results of this paper have been greatly superseded by those in the paper "Contact geometry and isosystolic inequalities" (arXiv:1109.4253) by the same authors.

Abstract:
If a closed smooth n-manifold M admits a finite cover whose Z/2Z-cohomology has the maximal cup-length, then for any riemannian metric g on M, we show that the systole Sys(M,g) and the volume Vol(M,g) of the riemannian manifold (M,g) are related by the following isosystolic inequality: Sys(M,g)^n \leq n! Vol(M,g). The inequality can be regarded as a generalization of Burago and Hebda's inequality for closed essential surfaces and as a refinement of Guth's inequality for closed n-manifolds whose Z/2Z-cohomology has the maximal cup-length. We also establish the same inequality in the context of possibly non-compact manifolds under a similar cohomological condition. The inequality applies to (i) T^n and all other compact euclidean space forms, (ii) RP^n and many other spherical space forms including the Poincar\'e dodecahedral space, and (iii) most closed essential 3-manifolds including all closed aspherical 3-manifolds.

Abstract:
This is an introductory text on the more topological aspects of contact geometry, written for the Handbook of Differential Geometry vol. 2. After discussing (and proving) some of the fundamental results of contact topology (neighbourhood theorems, isotopy extension theorems, approximation theorems), I move on to a detailed exposition of the original proof of the Lutz-Martinet theorem. The text ends with a guide to the literature.

Abstract:
These notes are an expanded version of an introductory lecture on contact geometry given at the 2001 Georgia Topology Conference. They are intended to present some of the "topological" aspects of three dimensional contact geometry.

Abstract:
We present an approach to Jacobi and contact geometry that makes many facts, presented in the literature in an overcomplicated way, much more natural and clear. The key concepts are Kirillov manifolds and Kirillov algebroids, i.e. homogeneous Poisson manifolds and, respectively, homogeneous linear Poisson manifolds. The difference with the existing literature is that the homogeneity of the Poisson structure is related to a principal $GL(1,\mathbb{R})$-bundle structure on the manifold and not just to a vector field. This allows for working with Jacobi bundle structures on nontrivial line bundles and drastically simplifies the picture of Jacobi and contact geometry. In this sense, the properly understood concept of a Jacobi structure is a specialisation rather than a generalisation of a Poission structure. Our results easily reduce to various basic theorems of Jacobi and contact geometry when the principal bundle structure is trivial, as well as give new insight in the theory. For instance, we describe the structure of Lie groupoids with a compatible principal $G$-bundle structure and the `integrating objects' for Kirillov algebroids, define anonical contact groupoids, and show that any contact groupoid has a canonical realisation as a contact subgroupoid of the latter.

Abstract:
Cartan's method of moving frames is briefly recalled in the context of immersed curves in the homogeneous space of a Lie group $G$. The contact geometry of curves in low dimensional equi-affine geometry is then made explicit. This delivers the complete set of invariant data which solves the $G$-equivalence problem via a straightforward procedure, and which is, in some sense a supplement to the equivariant method of Fels and Olver. Next, the contact geometry of curves in general Riemannian manifolds $(M,g)$ is described. For the special case in which the isometries of $(M,g)$ act transitively, it is shown that the contact geometry provides an explicit algorithmic construction of the differential invariants for curves in $M$. The inputs required for the construction consist only of the metric $g$ and a parametrisation of structure group $SO(n)$; the group action is not required and no integration is involved. To illustrate the algorithm we explicitly construct complete sets of differential invariants for curves in the Poincaré half-space $H^3$ and in a family of constant curvature 3-metrics. It is conjectured that similar results are possible in other Cartan geometries.

Abstract:
Cartan's method of moving frames is briefly recalled in the context of immersed curves in the homogeneous space of a Lie group $G$. The contact geometry of curves in low dimensional equi-affine geometry is then made explicit. This delivers the complete set of invariant data which solves the $G$-equivalence problem via a straightforward procedure, and which is, in some sense a supplement to the equivariant method of Fels and Olver. Next, the contact geometry of curves in general Riemannian manifolds $(M,g)$ is described. For the special case in which the isometries of $(M,g)$ act transitively, it is shown that the contact geometry provides an explicit algorithmic construction of the differential invariants for curves in $M$. The inputs required for the construction consist only of the metric $g$ and a parametrisation of structure group SO(n); the group action is not required and no integration is involved. To illustrate the algorithm we explicitly construct complete sets of differential invariants for curves in the Poincare half-space $H^3$ and in a family of constant curvature 3-metrics. It is conjectured that similar results are possible in other Cartan geometries.

Abstract:
In the 3-dimensional Riemannian geometry, contact structures equipped with an adapted Riemannian metric are divergence-free, nondegenerate eigenforms of the Laplace-Beltrami operator. We trace out a 2-d analogue of this fact: there is a close relationship between the topology of the contact structure on a convex surface in the 3-manifold (the dividing curves) and the nodal curves of Laplacian eigenfunctions on that surface. Motivated by this relationship, we consider a topological version of Payne's conjecture for the free membrane problem. We construct counterexamples to Payne's conjecture for closed Riemannian surfaces. In light of the correspondence between the nodal lines and dividing curves, we interpret Payne's conjecture in terms of the tight versus overtwisted dichotomy for contact structures.