On the variation of curvature functionals in a space form with application to a generalized Willmore energy

Anthony Gruber, Magdalena Toda, Hung Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Functionals involving surface curvature are important across a range of scientific disciplines, and their extrema are representative of physically meaningful objects such as atomic lattices and biomembranes. Inspired in particular by the relationship of the Willmore energy to lipid bilayers, we consider a general functional depending on a surface and a symmetric combination of its principal curvatures, and provided the surface is immersed in a 3-D space form of constant sectional curvature. We calculate the first and second variations of this functional, extending known results and providing computationally accessible expressions given entirely in terms of the basic geometric information found in the surface fundamental forms. Further, we motivate and introduce the p-Willmore energy functional, applying the stability criteria afforded by our calculations to prove a result about the p-Willmore energy of spheres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-165
Number of pages19
JournalAnnals of Global Analysis and Geometry
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Keywords

  • Curvature functionals
  • Surface immersions
  • Variational problems
  • Willmore energy

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