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The index conjecture for symmetric spaces

Jürgen Berndt and Carlos Olmos

Abstract

In 1980, Oniščik [A. L. Oniščik, Totally geodesic submanifolds of symmetric spaces, Geometric methods in problems of algebra and analysis. Vol. 2, Yaroslav. Gos. Univ., Yaroslavl’ 1980, 64–85, 161] introduced the index of a Riemannian symmetric space as the minimal codimension of a (proper) totally geodesic submanifold. He calculated the index for symmetric spaces of rank 2 , but for higher rank it was unclear how to tackle the problem. In [J. Berndt, S. Console and C. E. Olmos, Submanifolds and holonomy, 2nd ed., Monogr. Res. Notes Math., CRC Press, Boca Raton 2016], [J. Berndt and C. Olmos, Maximal totally geodesic submanifolds and index of symmetric spaces, J. Differential Geom. 104 2016, 2, 187–217], [J. Berndt and C. Olmos, The index of compact simple Lie groups, Bull. Lond. Math. Soc. 49 2017, 5, 903–907], [J. Berndt and C. Olmos, On the index of symmetric spaces, J. reine angew. Math. 737 2018, 33–48], [J. Berndt, C. Olmos and J. S. Rodríguez, The index of exceptional symmetric spaces, Rev. Mat. Iberoam., to appear] we developed several approaches to this problem, which allowed us to calculate the index for many symmetric spaces. Our systematic approach led to a conjecture, formulated first in [J. Berndt and C. Olmos, Maximal totally geodesic submanifolds and index of symmetric spaces, J. Differential Geom. 104 2016, 2, 187–217], for how to calculate the index. The purpose of this paper is to verify the conjecture.

Funding statement: The second author acknowledges financial support from Famaf, UNC and Ciem, CONICET.

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Received: 2020-04-06
Published Online: 2020-08-05
Published in Print: 2021-03-01

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