Coarse and synthetic Weil–Petersson geometry: quasi-flats, geodesics and relative hyperbolicity

Jeffrey Brock, Howard Masur
2008 Geometry and Topology  
We analyze the coarse geometry of the Weil-Petersson metric on Teichm\"uller space, focusing on applications to its synthetic geometry (in particular the behavior of geodesics). We settle the question of the strong relative hyperbolicity of the Weil-Petersson metric via consideration of its coarse quasi-isometric model, the "pants graph." We show that in dimension~3 the pants graph is strongly relatively hyperbolic with respect to naturally defined product regions and show any quasi-flat lies a
more » ... y quasi-flat lies a bounded distance from a single product. For all higher dimensions there is no non-trivial collection of subsets with respect to which it strongly relatively hyperbolic; this extends a theorem of [BDM] in dimension 6 and higher into the intermediate range (it is hyperbolic if and only if the dimension is 1 or 2 [BF]). Stability and relative stability of quasi-geodesics in dimensions up through 3 provide for a strong understanding of the behavior of geodesics and a complete description of the CAT(0)-boundary of the Weil-Petersson metric via curve-hierarchies and their associated "boundary laminations."
doi:10.2140/gt.2008.12.2453 fatcat:laks74vh2zgjhkva6uyfhnu5eq