Geometric wave propagator on Riemannian manifolds

Matteo Capoferri, Michael Levitin, Dmitri Vassiliev

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1 Citation (Scopus)


We study the propagator of the wave equation on a closed Riemannian manifold M. We propose a geometric approach to the construction of the propagator as a single oscillatory integral global both in space and in time with a distinguished complex-valued phase function. This enables us to provide a global invariant definition of the full symbol of the propagator — a scalar function on the cotangent bundle — and an algorithm for the explicit calculation of its homogeneous components. The central part of the paper is devoted to the detailed analysis of the subprincipal symbol; in particular, we derive its explicit small time asymptotic expansion. We present a general geometric construction that allows one to visualise obstructions due to caustics and describe their circumvention with the use of a complex-valued phase function. We illustrate the general framework with explicit examples in dimension two.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1713–1777
Number of pages65
JournalCommunications in Analysis and Geometry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2023


  • Analysis
  • Geometry and Topology
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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