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March 2018 On the Björling problem for Willmore surfaces
David Brander, Peng Wang
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J. Differential Geom. 108(3): 411-457 (March 2018). DOI: 10.4310/jdg/1519959622


We solve the analogue of Björling’s problem for Willmore surfaces via a harmonic map representation. For the umbilic-free case the problem and solution are as follows: given a real analytic curve $y_0$ in $\mathbb{S}^3$, together with the prescription of the values of the surface normal and the dual Willmore surface along the curve, lifted to the light cone in Minkowski $5$-space $\mathbb{R}^5_1$, we prove, using isotropic harmonic maps, that there exists a unique pair of dual Willmore surfaces $y$ and $\hat{y}$ satisfying the given values along the curve. We give explicit formulae for the generalized Weierstrass data for the surface pair. For the three dimensional target, we use the solution to explicitly describe the Weierstrass data, in terms of geometric quantities, for all equivariant Willmore surfaces. For the case that the surface has umbilic points, we apply the more general half-isotropic harmonic maps introduced by Hélein to derive a solution: in this case the map $\hat{y}$ is not necessarily the dual surface, and the additional data of a derivative of $\hat{y}$ must be prescribed. This solution is generalized to higher codimensions.


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David Brander. Peng Wang. "On the Björling problem for Willmore surfaces." J. Differential Geom. 108 (3) 411 - 457, March 2018.


Received: 13 September 2014; Published: March 2018
First available in Project Euclid: 2 March 2018

zbMATH: 06846982
MathSciNet: MR3770847
Digital Object Identifier: 10.4310/jdg/1519959622

Rights: Copyright © 2018 Lehigh University


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Vol.108 • No. 3 • March 2018
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