Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Preprint ims95-6

C. Gole and R. Karidi
A Note on Carnot Geodesics in Nilpotent Lie Groups

Abstract: We show that strictly abnormal geodesics arise in graded nilpotent Lie groups. We construct such a group, for which some Carnot geodesics are strictly abnormal; in fact, they are not normal in any subgroup. In the step-2 case we also prove that these geodesics are always smooth. Our main technique is based on the equations for the normal and abnormal curves, that we derive (for any Lie group) explicitly in terms of the structure constants.

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