Inserted: 17 may 2015
Last Updated: 15 may 2017
Journal: Journal of Geometric Analysis
We compare different notions of curvature on contact sub-Riemannian manifolds. In particular we introduce canonical curvatures as the coefficients of the sub-Riemannian Jacobi equation. The main result is that all these coefficients are encoded in the asymptotic expansion of the horizontal derivatives of the sub-Riemannian distance. We explicitly compute their expressions in terms of the standard tensors of contact geometry. As an application of these results, we obtain a sub-Riemannian version of the Bonnet-Myers theorem that applies to any contact manifold.
Keywords: Curvature, sub-Riemannian, contact, comparison