, Volume 279, Issue 3, pp 705-733
Date: 26 Feb 2008

Canonical Sasakian Metrics

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Let M be a closed manifold of Sasaki type. A polarization of M is defined by a Reeb vector field, and for any such polarization, we consider the set of all Sasakian metrics compatible with it. On this space we study the functional given by the square of the L 2-norm of the scalar curvature. We prove that its critical points, or canonical representatives of the polarization, are Sasakian metrics that are transversally extremal. We define a Sasaki-Futaki invariant of the polarization, and show that it obstructs the existence of constant scalar curvature representatives. For a fixed CR structure of Sasaki type, we define the Sasaki cone of structures compatible with this underlying CR structure, and prove that the set of polarizations in it that admit a canonical representative is open. We use our results to describe fully the case of the sphere with its standard CR structure, showing that each element of its Sasaki cone can be represented by a canonical metric; we compute their Sasaki-Futaki invariant, and use it to describe the canonical metrics that have constant scalar curvature, and to prove that only the standard polarization can be represented by a Sasaki-Einstein metric.

Communicated by G.W. Gibbons
During the preparation of this work, the first two authors were partially supported by NSF grant DMS-0504367.