The horofunction compactification of a metric space keeps track of the possible limits of balls whose centers go off to infinity. This construction was introduced by Gromov, and although it is usually hard to visualize, it has proved to be a useful tool for studying negatively curved spaces. In this talk I will explain how, under some metric assumptions, the horofunction compactification is a refinement of the significantly simpler visual compactification. I will then go over how this relation allows us to use the simplicity of the visual compactification to get geometric and topological properties of the horofunction compactification. Most of these applications will be in the context of Teichmüller spaces with respect to the Teichmüller metric, where the relation allows us to prove, among other things, that Busemann points are not dense within the horoboundary and that the horoboundary is path connected.

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Last updated: 22 Sep 2023