Gradient flows within plane fields

  title={Gradient flows within plane fields},
  author={John B. Etnyre and Robert Ghrist},
We consider the dynamics of vector fields on three-manifolds which are constrained to lie within a plane field, such as occurs in nonholonomic dynamics. On compact manifolds, such vector fields force dynamics beyond that of a gradient flow, except in cases where the underlying manifold is topologically simple (i.e., a graph-manifold). Furthermore, there are strong restrictions on the types of gradient flows realized within plane fields: such flows lie on the boundary of the space of nonsingular… CONTINUE READING

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