Résume | Critical points of the H-functional E include conformal parameterisations of constant mean curvature surfaces in R^3. All critical points have H-energy E at least 4π/3, with equality attained if and only if we are parametrising a round sphere (so S itself must be a sphere) - this is the classical isoperimetric inequality.
Here we will address the simple question: can one approach the natural lower energy bound by critical points along fixed surfaces of higher genus? In fact we prove more subtle quantitative estimates for any (almost-)critical point whose energy is close to 4π/3. Standard theory (of Brezis-Coron) tells us that a sequence of (almost-)critical points on a fixed torus T, whose energy approaches 4π/3, must bubble-converge to a sphere: there is a shrinking disc on the torus that gets mapped to a larger and larger region of the round sphere, and away from the disc our maps converge to a constant. Thus the limit object is really a map from a sphere, and the challenge is to compare the limiting maps from a torus with that of the limit sphere (i.e. after a change of topology in the limit). In particular we will prove a gap theorem for the lowest energy level on a fixed surface and estimate the rates at which bubbling maps u are becoming spherical in terms of the size of dE[u] - these are commonly referred to as Łojasiewicz-type estimates.
This is a joint work with Andrea Malchiodi (SNS Pisa) and Melanie Rupflin (Oxford). |