The conjugate locus in convex 3-manifolds
Keywords:conjugate locus, ellipsoid, jacobi field, singularity
In this paper we study the conjugate locus in convex manifolds. Our main tool is Jacobi fields, which we use to define a special coordinate system on the unit sphere of the tangent space; this provides a natural coordinate system to study and classify the singularities of the conjugate locus. We pay particular attention to 3-dimensional manifolds, and describe a novel method for determining conjugate points. We then make a study of a special case: the 3-dimensional (quadraxial) ellipsoid. We emphasise the similarities with the focal sets of 2-dimensional ellipsoids.