Volume 12, issue 4 (2008)

Download this article
Download this article For screen
For printing
Recent Issues

Volume 28, 1 issue

Volume 27, 9 issues

Volume 26, 8 issues

Volume 25, 7 issues

Volume 24, 7 issues

Volume 23, 7 issues

Volume 22, 7 issues

Volume 21, 6 issues

Volume 20, 6 issues

Volume 19, 6 issues

Volume 18, 5 issues

Volume 17, 5 issues

Volume 16, 4 issues

Volume 15, 4 issues

Volume 14, 5 issues

Volume 13, 5 issues

Volume 12, 5 issues

Volume 11, 4 issues

Volume 10, 4 issues

Volume 9, 4 issues

Volume 8, 3 issues

Volume 7, 2 issues

Volume 6, 2 issues

Volume 5, 2 issues

Volume 4, 1 issue

Volume 3, 1 issue

Volume 2, 1 issue

Volume 1, 1 issue

The Journal
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Editorial Interests
Editorial Procedure
Submission Guidelines
Submission Page
Policies for Authors
Ethics Statement
ISSN (electronic): 1364-0380
ISSN (print): 1465-3060
Author Index
To Appear
Other MSP Journals
Coarse and synthetic Weil–Petersson geometry: quasi-flats, geodesics and relative hyperbolicity

Jeffrey Brock and Howard Masur

Geometry & Topology 12 (2008) 2453–2495

We analyze the coarse geometry of the Weil–Petersson metric on Teichmuller 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 bounded distance from a single product. For all higher dimensions there is no nontrivial collection of subsets with respect to which it strongly relatively hyperbolic; this extends a theorem of Behrstock, Drutu and Mosher [submitted] in dimension 6 and higher into the intermediate range (it is hyperbolic if and only if the dimension is 1 or 2 by Brock and Farb [Amer. J. Math. 128 (2006) 1-22]). 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.

Teichmüller space, Weil–Petersson geometry, pants graph, relative hyperbolicity
Mathematical Subject Classification 2000
Primary: 30F60
Secondary: 20F67
Received: 12 July 2007
Revised: 14 September 2008
Accepted: 10 July 2008
Published: 8 October 2008
Proposed: Walter Neumann
Seconded: Benson Farb, Dave Gabai
Jeffrey Brock
Department of Mathematics
Brown University
Box 1917
Providence, RI 02912
Howard Masur
Department of Mathematics
Chicago, IL 60607