This is joint work in progress with Dan Cristofaro-Gardiner. We explore the topological dynamics of Reeb flows beyond periodic orbits and find the following rather general phenomenon. For any Reeb flow for a torsion contact structure on a closed 3-manifold, any point is arbitrarily close to a proper compact invariant subset of the flow. Such a statement is false if the invariant subset is required to be a periodic orbit. Stronger results can also be proved that parallel theorems of Le Calvez-Yoccoz, Franks, and Salazar for homeomorphisms of the 2-sphere. In fact, we can also extend their results to Hamiltonian diffeomorphisms of closed surfaces of any genus.

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Last updated: 29 Feb 2024