The Lichnerowicz conjecture asserts that all harmonic manifolds are either flat or locally symmetric spaces of rank 1. This conjecture has been proved by Z.I. Szabo for harmonic manifolds with compact universal cover. E. Damek and F. Ricci provided examples showing that in the noncompact case the conjecture is wrong. However, such manifolds do not admit a compact quotient. The classification of all noncompact harmonic spaces is still a very difficult open problem.
In this paper we provide a survey on recent results on noncompact simply connected harmonic manifolds, and we also prove many new results, both for general noncompact harmonic manifolds and for noncompact harmonic manifolds with purely exponential volume growth. |