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Four–dimensional metrics conformal to Kähler

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2010

Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WA. e-mail:
The Mathematical Institute, Oxford University, 24–29 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LB. e-mail:


We derive some necessary conditions on a Riemannian metric (M, g) in four dimensions for it to be locally conformal to Kähler. If the conformal curvature is non anti–self–dual, the self–dual Weyl spinor must be of algebraic type D and satisfy a simple first order conformally invariant condition which is necessary and sufficient for the existence of a Kähler metric in the conformal class. In the anti–self–dual case we establish a one to one correspondence between Kähler metrics in the conformal class and non–zero parallel sections of a certain connection on a natural rank ten vector bundle over M. We use this characterisation to provide examples of ASD metrics which are not conformal to Kähler.

We establish a link between the ‘conformal to Kähler condition’ in dimension four and the metrisability of projective structures in dimension two. A projective structure on a surface U is metrisable if and only if the induced (2, 2) conformal structure on M = TU admits a Kähler metric or a para–Kähler metric.

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Copyright © Cambridge Philosophical Society 2010

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Four–dimensional metrics conformal to Kähler
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