Surprisingly, there exist connected components of character varieties of fundamental groups of surfaces in semisimple Lie groups consisting only of injective representations with discrete image. Guichard and Wienhard introduced the notion of Θ-positive representations as a conjectural framework to explain this phenomenon. I will discuss joint work with Jonas Beyrer in which we establish several geometric properties of Θ-positive representations in PO(p,q). As an application, we deduce that they indeed form connected components of character varieties.
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