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1 Lectures 15: Parallel Transport Disclaimer. As we have a textbook, this lecture note is for guidance and supplement only. It should not be relied on when preparing for exams. In this lecture we study the how two vectors at dierent points on a surface S can be said to be parallel to each other. The required textbook sections are 7.4, The optional sections are 9.5 I try my best to make the examples in this note dierent from examples in the textbook. Please read the textbook carefully and try your hands on the exercises. During this please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Table of contents Lectures 15: Parallel Transport Motivation and denitions Properties Calculation of the covariant derivative and Christoel symbols Parallel transport map

2 Dierential Geometry of Curves & Surfaces 1. Motivation and denitions In classical geometry, one of the most important ideas is parallelism. Two vectors are parallel if we can move one of them, without changing its direction, to coincide with the other. However on a curved surface without changing its direction becomes problematic. For example consider the following situation: Consider the unit sphere. Let B be the north pole and A; B be two points on the equator. Then clearly v B should be the tangent vector at B that is parallel to v A at A. Similarly v C k v B, v~ A k v C. However it is clear that v A k v~ A. v B B v A A v C C v~ A Figure 1. v A k v B ; v B k v C ; v C k v~ A. One possible way to x this is the following. Recall that in Euclidean geometry, to guarantee without changing its direction, we draw a straight line connecting the two base points, and then measure the angles between the vectors and this line. As straight line segments are shortest paths between the two base points, this approach works for curved surfaces. Another possibility is the following more intuitive appraoch. Instead of comparing vectors at two dierent points, we consider the following situation. Let C be a curve on a surface S. Let w be a tangent vector eld along C, that is w: S 7! R 3 such that w(p) 2 T p S for every p 2. Remark 1. As soon as C is parametrized by some (t), we can form the composite function w((t)). When no confusion should arise, we abuse notation a bit and simply write w(t). Remark 2. It is easy to see how a tangent vector eld on S should be dened. Exercise 1. Give a reasonable denition to a tangent vector eld on S. We would like to give denition to w does not change direction along C. 2

3 One reasonable denition is the following. Covariant derivative. In the above setting, the covariant derivative of w along (t) is given by the tangential component of w_ : r w = w_ (w_ N S ) N S (1) where N S is the unit normal of the surface. Then we say w to be parallel along if r w = 0 at every point of. Remark 3. Clearly, r w = 0 () w_?t (t) S () w_ (t) k N S ((t)): (2) Example 4. Let S be the x-y plane. Let (t) =(u(t);v(t); 0). Let w(t):= _(t)=(u_(t);v_(t); 0) and r w(t) = (t) [(t) N S (t)]n S (t) = (u(t); v(t); 0) (3) as N S (t) = (0; 0; 1) for all t. Consequently _(t) is parallel along if and only if u(t) = v(t) = 0, that is u = a 1 t + a 0 ; v = b 1 t + b 0. Thus a plane curve is straight when it is a straight line. Remark 5. Thus we see that parallel transport is slightly dierent from our intuitive idea of parallel. Example 6. Let S be the cylinder (u;v)=(cosu; sinu;v). Let (t)=(cosu(t);sinu(t);v(t)). Let and On the other hand, we have therefore Thus we can calculate Therefore r w(t) = 0 () w(t) := _(t) = (( sin u(t)) u_(t); (cos u(t)) u_(t); v_(t)) (4) w_ (t) = (( cos u) u_ 2 (sin u) u; ( sin u) u_ 2 + (cos u) u; v): (5) u = ( sin u; cos u; 0); v = (0; 0; 1); (6) N S = u v = (cos u; sin u; 0): (7) k u v k r w(t) = ( (sin u) u; (cos u) u; v): (8) (sin u) u = 0; (cos u) u = 0; v= 0: (9) This is equivalent to u = 0; v= 0. Thus a cylindrical curve is straight when it is of the form (cos u(t); sin u(t); v(t)) where (u(t); v(t)) is a straight line in the plane. 3

4 Dierential Geometry of Curves & Surfaces Example 7. Let S be the unit sphere given by (u; v) = (cos u cos v; cos u sin v; sin u). We consider (t)=(cosu 0 cost;cosu 0 sin t;sinu 0 ). Let w(t)= _(t) be the tangent vector. We have On the other hand we have Therefore w_ (t) = ( cos u 0 cos t; cos u 0 sin t; 0): (10) N S (u; v) = (cos u cos v; cos u sin v; sin u): (11) r w(t) = sin 2 u 0 2 ( sin u 0 cos t; sin u 0 sin t; cos u 0 ): (12) We see that it is zero only if u 0 = 0, that is is part of a big circle. Exercise 2. What about u 0 = /2? Example 8. Of course we should not restrict ourselves to the tangent of the curve. We take the setting of Example 7 and let w(t) := ( sin u 0 cos t; sin u 0 sin t; cos u 0 ) be the unit tangent vector at (t) pointing north. We have Again Therefore w_ (t) = (sin u 0 sin t; sin u 0 cos t; 0): (13) N S (u; v) = (cos u cos v; cos u sin v; sin u): (14) r w(t) = sin u 0 (sin t; cos t; 0): (15) Again w(t) is parallel along if and only if u 0 = 0, that is is part of a big circle. Exercise 3. Study r w(t) for w(t) = _(t) for an arbitrary spherical curve. 2. Properties Remark 9. 1 Let be a curve on a surface S and let w 0 be a tangent vector of S at the point (t 0 ). Then there is exactly one tangent vector eld w that is parallel along and is such that w(t 0 ) = w 0. Lemma 10. Let (t) be a curve on S. Let w be a tangent vector eld along. Then the condition r w = 0 is independent of the parametrization of. Proof. Let (t); ~(t~) be two dierent parametrizations of (t). Then there is a function T~(t) such that ~(t~) = T~(t). Since w is a vector eld along, we have Consequently w~(t~) = w T~(t) : (16) r ~ w~ = w_ T ~ _ w_ T ~ _ NS N S = T ~ _ r w: (17) 1. Corollary of the textbook. 4

5 Therefore r w = 0 () r ~ w~ = 0. Remark 11. Note that r w =/ r ~ w~. Exercise 4. Is r w independent of the parametrization of? Remark 12. Lemma 10 justies the notation r where parametrization is not involved. The situation can be further simplied by the following lemma, which says that covariant derivative is simply directional derivative on surfaces. Lemma 13. Let ; ~ be two curves on S that are tangent at p 2 S. Let w be a tangent vector eld of S, that is w: S 7! R 3 with w(p) 2 T p S. Let ; ~ be parametrized by (t); ~(t~) with p = (t 0 ) = ~(t~ 0 ) and furthermore _(t 0 ) = ~_(t~ 0 ). Then r w = r ~ w at p. Proof. We have Consequently r w = dw dw dt (t 0) dw dt (t 0) = D p w(_(t 0 )) = D p w(x~_(t~ 0 )) = dw dt~ (t ~ 0 ): (18) dt (t 0) N S exactly what we need to prove. N S = dw dt~ (t ~ dw 0 ) dt~ (t ~ 0 ) N S N S = r ~ w; (19) Lemma 14. Let (t) be a curve on S. Then the following are equivalent. i. Along there holds (t) = j n j; ii. Along there holds g = 0; iii. T (t), the unit tangent vector to, is parallel along. Remark 15. Thus the three seemingly dierent ways to characterize as straight as possible curves on a curved surface, 1. (t) = j n ((t))j, 2. g (t) = 0; 3. r T (t) = 0, are all equivalent. Proof. Thanks to Lemma 10, we can take x(s) to be the arc length parametrization of. Then recall that by denition of n ; g we have Consequently and the conclusion follows. (s) = n N S + g (T N S ): (20) r T = (s) n N S ; (21) 5

6 Dierential Geometry of Curves & Surfaces Exercise 5. There is a minor gap in the above argument. Can you x it? 3. Calculation of the covariant derivative and Christoel symbols How to calculate covariant derivative on an abstract surface, with only the two fundamental forms given? Set up. Let S be a surface parametrized by the patch (u; v). Let (t) = (u(t); v(t)) and w = w(u; v) be a tangent vector eld along. Therefore there are (t); (t) such that w = u + v. Now we calculate w_ = _ u + _ v + [ uu u_ + uv v_] + [ vu u_ + vv v_] = _ u + _ v + ( u_) uu + ( v_ + u_) uv + ( v_) vv : (22) Therefore r w = w_ (w_ N S ) N S = _ u + _ v +( u_) ( uu ( uu N S ) N S ) +( v_ + u_) ( uv ( uv N S ) N S ) +( v_) ( vv ( vv N S ) N S ): (23) To understand this formula we introduce Christoel symbols k ij equations. and the related Gauss Proposition 16. (Gauss Equations) Let (u; v) be a surface patch with rst and second fundamental forms Then E du F du dv + G dv 2 and L du M du dv + N dv 2 : (24) uu = 11 u + 11 v + L N ; (25) uv = 12 u + 12 v + M N ; (26) vv = 22 u + 22 v + N N ; (27) where 11 1 = G E u 2 F F u + F E v ; 2 11 = 2 E F u E E v + F E u ; 1 12 = G E v F G u ; 12 2 = E G u F E v ; 22 1 = 2 G F v G G u F G v ; 2 22 = E G v 2 F F v + F G u : (28) The six coecients in these formulas are called Christoel symbols. Remark 17. The formulas (28) look very complicated. However we will see in the proof below that it is not hard to derive them on the y. 6

7 Proof. First note that as f u ; v ; N g form a basis of R 3 at p, there must exist nine numbers such that (2527) hold. Take inner product of (2527) with N we see that the coecients for N must be L; M; N. Now consider (25). Taking inner product with u and v we have E 1 2 E 11 + F 11 = uu u = ; (29) 2 u F G 11 2 G = uv v = 2 : (30) u The rst line of formulas in (28) immediately follows. The proofs for the other four formulas are similar and left as exercise. With the help of Christoel symbols, we can characterize conditions for a tangent vector eld w(t) := (t) u + (t) v to be parallel along a curve (t) = (u(t); v(t)). Theorem w(t) is parallel along (t) if and only if the following equations are satised: _ + ( 1 11 u_ v_) + ( 1 12 u_ v_) = 0; _ (31) + ( 2 11 u_ v_) + ( 2 12 u_ v_) = 0: Proof. This follows easily from (2527). Remark 19. Note that the above equations are easier to remember in matrix form: " 1 1 _ = 0; (32) and _ + " ! u_ v_! u_ v_ # # = 0: (33) Remark 20. Also keep in mind that when we upgrade to Riemannian geometry, a surface will not be given as a surface patch with explicit formulas, but as a collection of quantities dened at every p 2 S: E; F; G; L; M; N and k ij. Observe that in (31) only the rst fundamental form and the tangent direction _(t) are involved. Examples and remarks. Example 21. Let S be the x-y plane, parametrized by (u; v) = (u; v; 0). Then we easily have k ij = 0 for all i; j; k. (31) now becomes _ = _ = 0: (34) 2. Proposition of the textbook. 7

8 Dierential Geometry of Curves & Surfaces Just as we expected. Remark 22. The Christoel symbol k ij is roughly the k-th component of the change of the i-th coordinate vector along the j-th direction. Note that if k ij = 0 for all i; j; k, then the coordinate vectors u ; v are parallel along u = const and v = const. Example 23. Let S be the cylinder (cos u; sin u; v). Then we have and u = ( sin u; cos u; 0); v = (0; 0; 1) (35) E = 1; F = 0; G = 1: (36) Thus k ij = 0 for all i; j; k. (31) again gives _ = _ = 0: (37) Example 24. Let S be the unit sphere (cos u cos v; cos u sin v; sin u). We have This leads to E = 1; F = 0; G = cos 2 u: (38) 1 11 = G E u 2 F F u + F E v = 0; 2 11 = 2 E F u E E v + F E u = 0; 1 12 = G E v F G u = 0; 12 2 = E G u F E v = tan u; 1 22 = 2 G F v G G u F G v = sin u cos u; 2 22 = E G v 2 F F v + F G u = 0: (39) (31) now becomes _ + (sin u cos u) v_ = 0; _ (tan u) v_ = 0: (40) Thus w is parallel along if and only if (40) holds. 4. Parallel transport map Definition 25. Let p; q 2 S and let (t) be a curve on S connecting p; q with p = (t 0 ); q = (t 1 ). Let w 0 2 T p S. Then there is a unique vector eld w(t) parallel along with w(t 0 ) = w 0. The map pq : T p S 7! T q S taking w 0 to w(t 1 ) is called parallel transport from p to q along. Proposition 26. pq is an isometry. Proof. We have d dt (w w~) = w_ w~ + w w~ _ = 0: (41) 8

9 as w_ ; w~_ k N. Therefore for w 0 ; w~ 0 2 T p S, Z pq (w 0 ) pq (w~ 0 ) w 0 w~ 0 = and the conclusion follows. t 0 t 1 d (w w~) dt = 0; (42) dt Example 27. Let S be the unit sphere (cos u cos v; cos u sin v; sin u). We have seen that a vector eld (t) u + (t) v is parallel along is equivalent to _ + (sin u cos u) v_ = 0; _ (tan u) v_ = 0: (43) Now notice that unless sin u = 0, that is is the big circle, the solution does not satisfy _ = _ = 0. 9

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