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January 2022 Asymptotic total geodesy of local holomorphic curves exiting a bounded symmetric domain and applications to a uniformization problem for algebraic subsets
Shan Tai Chan, Ngaiming Mok
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J. Differential Geom. 120(1): 1-49 (January 2022). DOI: 10.4310/jdg/1641413830


The current article stems from our study on the asymptotic behavior of holomorphic isometric embeddings of the Poincaré disk into bounded symmetric domains. As a first result we prove that any holomorphic curve exiting the boundary of a bounded symmetric domain $\Omega$ must necessarily be asymptotically totally geodesic. Assuming otherwise we derive by the method of rescaling a hypothetical holomorphic isometric embedding of the Poincaré disk with $\operatorname{Aut}(\Omega^\prime)$-equivalent tangent spaces into a tube domain $\Omega^\prime \subset \Omega$ and derive a contradiction by means of the Poincaré–Lelong equation. We deduce that equivariant holomorphic embeddings between bounded symmetric domains must be totally geodesic. Furthermore, we solve a uniformization problem on algebraic subsets $Z \subset \Omega$. More precisely, if $\check{\Gamma} \subset \operatorname{Aut} (\Omega)$ is a torsion-free discrete subgroup leaving $Z$ invariant such that $Z / \check{\Gamma}$ is compact, we prove that $Z \subset \Omega$ is totally geodesic. In particular, letting $\Gamma \subset \operatorname{Aut} (\Omega)$ be a torsion-free cocompact lattice, and $\pi : \Omega \to \Omega / \Gamma =: X_\Gamma$ be the uniformization map, a subvariety $Y \subset X_\Gamma$ must be totally geodesic whenever some (and hence any) irreducible component $Z$ of $\pi-(Y)$ is an algebraic subset of $\Omega$. For cocompact lattices this yields a characterization of totally geodesic subsets of $X_\Gamma$ by means of bi-algebraicity without recourse to the celebrated monodromy result of André–Deligne on subvarieties of Shimura varieties, and as such our proof applies to not necessarily arithmetic cocompact lattices. In place of the monodromy result of André–Deligne we exploit the existence theorem of Aubin and Yau on Kähler–Einstein metrics for projective manifolds $Y$ satisfying $c_1 (Y) \lt 0$ and make use of Nadel’s semisimplicity theorem on automorphism groups of noncompact Galois covers of such manifolds, together with the total geodesy of equivariant holomorphic isometric embeddings between bounded symmetric domains.


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Shan Tai Chan. Ngaiming Mok. "Asymptotic total geodesy of local holomorphic curves exiting a bounded symmetric domain and applications to a uniformization problem for algebraic subsets." J. Differential Geom. 120 (1) 1 - 49, January 2022.


Received: 25 July 2018; Accepted: 19 September 2019; Published: January 2022
First available in Project Euclid: 11 January 2022

Digital Object Identifier: 10.4310/jdg/1641413830

Rights: Copyright © 2022 Lehigh University


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Vol.120 • No. 1 • January 2022
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