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Harmonically Immersed Gauss Curvature, by Chris Bryant

Harmonically Immersed Gauss Curvature, by Chris Bryant

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Published by Chris Bryant
In this paper, we derive, from the defining equations of Gauss and Weingarten, an intrinsic and concise expression for the Gauss curvature in the simple class of parametric, C3 harmonic immersions from a domain in R2 (with the induced metric) into RN (N > or = 3 ), which reduces to the corresponding (familiar) formula should the harmonic immersion turn out minimal. Using it, we then deduce a corollary, exposing another quantity--also originally defined with reference to the ambient space--as intrinsic. The nature of the proof initially follows the traditional approach used for codimension one. And, for the sake of clarity, we have retained the elementary notation of classical surface theory albeit, of arbitrary codimension.
In this paper, we derive, from the defining equations of Gauss and Weingarten, an intrinsic and concise expression for the Gauss curvature in the simple class of parametric, C3 harmonic immersions from a domain in R2 (with the induced metric) into RN (N > or = 3 ), which reduces to the corresponding (familiar) formula should the harmonic immersion turn out minimal. Using it, we then deduce a corollary, exposing another quantity--also originally defined with reference to the ambient space--as intrinsic. The nature of the proof initially follows the traditional approach used for codimension one. And, for the sake of clarity, we have retained the elementary notation of classical surface theory albeit, of arbitrary codimension.

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Harmonically Immersed Gauss

Curvature
Chris E. Bryant
Department of Mathematics
Oregon State University
cbryant@math.orst.edu
October 25, 2002
Introduction.
In a remarkable paper [5], the late Tilla K. Weinstein (at the
time, Tilla K. Milnor) explored the similarities and differences be-
tween two-dimensional minimal immersions, and their more general
relatives, the two-dimensional harmonic immersions. One of the few
geometric objects she did not compare—at least, in her published
work—was their Gauss curvatures. Recently re-reading this article,
it became clear that there should be an intrinsic and concise ex-
pression for the Gauss curvature in the simple class of parametric,
C
3
harmonic immersions from a domain in R
2
(with the induced
metric) into R
N
( N ≥ 3 ), which would reduce to the corresponding
(familiar) formula should the harmonic immersion turn out minimal.
That an intrinsic expression exists is assured by Gauss’ (generalized)
Theorema Egregium (see [3] for an exceptionally clear treatment).
That such an expression reveals more than it obscures is another
matter entirely. It turns out that, in this restricted class, an intrin-
sic formula may be expressed in a very concise form, clearly exposing
the underlying minimal version as an obvious special case.
In this paper, we derive just such a formulation from the defin-
ing equations of Gauss and Weingarten. Using it, we then deduce
a corollary, exposing another quantity—also originally defined with
reference to the ambient space—as intrinsic. The nature of the proof
initially follows the traditional approach used for codimension one
(see, for instance, [2] or [4] ). And, for the sake of clarity, we have
retained the elementary notation of classical surface theory—albeit,
of arbitrary codimension. Finally, as a courtesy to the reader, several
crucial, but tedious, calculations have been placed in an Appendix
at the conclusion—for referral or avoidance, as the case may be.
1
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 2
Theorem 1. Suppose that χ = χ(u, v) : D ⊂ R
2
−→ R
N
(with
N 3 and D a domain ) is a C
3
parametric map, harmonically
(i.e., χ
uu
+ χ
vv
= 0 ) immersed in R
N
, and let z = u + iv be the
induced complex parameter. Also, let E : = χ
u
· χ
u
, F : = χ
u
· χ
v
,
and G : = χ
v
· χ
v
be the coefficients of the induced metric, through
which, the energy-density: ε = ε(z) and “conformal impedance”:
h = h(z) , may be defined by
ε : =
1
2
(E +G) and h : =
1
2
(E −G) − iF .
Then the Gauss curvature, K
χ
= K
χ
(z) , is given by
K
χ
= −
∆og(ε
2
−|h|
2
)
4 ε

1
2 ε
¸
¸
¸
¸
ε
3
(h/ε
2
)
z
ε
2
−|h|
2
¸
¸
¸
¸
2
(1)
where ∆ : = 4 ∂
z

z
= (∂
u
)
2
+ (∂
v
)
2
, with ∂
z
: =
1
2
(∂
u
−i∂
v
) .
Remarks.
1. Observe that h ≡ 0 ( iff the harmonic immersion already
comes fully-equipped with conformal parameters) gives the well-
known classical formula, wherein ε = E = G .
2. Each of ε, h and K
χ
are actually defined on the induced, com-
plex domain, D

⊂ C—essentially the same open, connected
set as D ⊂ R
2
, but recast in its complex role via z = u + iv .
Through this description
1
the metric naturally emerges as the
sum, ds
2
χ
= ε |dz|
2
+ Re{ hdz
2
} .
3. For any such harmonic immersion, what has been termed the
“conformal impedance” is always a analytic function. To prove
this, notice that h = 2 χ
z
· χ
z
. Therefore,
h
z
= 2 ( χ
z
· χ
z
)
z
= 4 χ
z
· χ
z z
= χ
z
· ∆χ = 0 ,
by the harmonicity of χ . Hence, h : D

−→ C is analytic,
since it satisfies the (complex) Cauchy-Riemann equation.
1
Pairing D

with its conformal structure creates an open Riemann surface. Since thereon,
the conformal change: z −→ z(w) induces the change: ∂
z
−→ (z

(w))
−1

w
(and, of course,
dz −→ z

(w) dw), using ε = 2 χ
z
· χ
z
and h = 2 χ
z
· χ
z
, one may verify directly that
K
χ
, ε |dz|
2
and hdz
2
are invariantly defined (i.e., conformally invariant) on this surface.
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 3
Proof . First, we write out the Gauss-Weingarten equations for
a two-dimensional, class C
3
harmonic immersion into R
N
, where
N ≥ 3, assuming ( N
1
, . . . , N
N−2
) forms an orthonormal frame for
the normal space at each point, p
o
= χ(u
o
, v
o
)—that is, we write
out
χ
uu
= Γ
1
11
χ
u
+ Γ
2
11
χ
v
+
α
N
α
( = −χ
vv
)
χ
uv
= Γ
1
12
χ
u
+ Γ
2
12
χ
v
+ m
α
N
α
( = χ
vu
)
N
j
u
= a
j
11
χ
u
+ a
j
21
χ
v
+ λ
j
α
N
α
( j = 1 , . . . , N −2 )
N
j
v
= a
j
12
χ
u
+ a
j
22
χ
v
+ µ
j
α
N
α
( j = 1 , . . . , N −2 ) .
Here, the Γ
r
pq
are the Christoffel coefficients; the
α
and the m
α
correspond, for each α = 1 , . . . , N − 2 , to the (two indepen-
dent) coefficients of the second-fundamental form, in the normal
direction, N
α
—which may be defined via the complex function:
lh
α
: =
α
− im
α
: = N
α
· ( χ
uu
− iχ
uv
); and the coefficients λ
j
α
and µ
j
α
may similarly be defined as the real and imaginary parts of
the projections, ιn
j
α
: = λ
j
α
− iµ
j
α
: = N
α
· ( N
j
u
− iN
j
v
) . Finally,
the Weingarten coefficients, adapted to an harmonic χ (i.e., with

j
≡ −n
j
: = −N
j
· χ
vv
), are given (see [2], pg 155, for N = 3) by
a
j
11
=
Fm
j
−G
j
Λ
2
, a
j
21
=
F
j
−Em
j
Λ
2
,
a
j
12
=
−F
j
−Gm
j
Λ
2
, a
j
22
=
Fm
j
+E
j
Λ
2
.
Above, Λ : =

EG −F
2
( > 0 , since χ is assumed immersive ).
We are obviously employing an Einstein summation convention in
these 2N −2 vector equations. Since the ambient space is equipped
with the standard Euclidean “dot-product”, it trivially follows that
N
α
≡ N
α
. For this reason, we hope the reader will forgive the
“asymmetry” of upper and lower indices in the definitions of the
lh
α
, the ιn
j
α
, and (therefore, also) the a
j
pq
.
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 4
Second, for any such harmonic immersion, the Gauss curvature is
given extrinsically (see, for example, [6] ) by
K
χ
=
N−2

α=1

2
α
−m
2
α
Λ
2
= −
N−2

α=1
| lh
α
|
2
ε
2
−|h|
2
, (2)
where, again, ε =
1
2
(E +G) and h =
1
2
(E −G) − iF , so that
ε
2
−|h|
2
= EG −F
2
= Λ
2
.
Indeed, by rewriting the metric coefficients, ( E, F, G ) , in terms of
( ε, h) , an elementary calculation establishes ( j = 1 , . . . , N −2 )
that
2
a
j
11
+ ia
j
12
=
_
h −ε
ε
2
−|h|
2
_
lh
j
(3a)
a
j
21
+ ia
j
22
= i
_
h + ε
ε
2
−|h|
2
_
lh
j
. (3b)
Similarly, a rather lengthy computation, involving the same sort of
“metric rewrite” (relegated to the Appendix), allows us to write
A : = Γ
1
11
−iΓ
1
12
=
1
2
(a +b) (4a)
B : = Γ
2
11
−iΓ
2
12
= −
i
2
(a −b) , where (4b)
a : = ( og(ε
2
−|h|
2
) )
z
( = A+ iB ) (4c)
b : =
ε
3
(h/ε
2
)
z
ε
2
−|h|
2
( = A−iB ) . (4d)
2
The significance of these two particular combinations is revealed in the classical formula:
K
χ
=
N−2

j =1
det

a
j
11
a
j
12
a
j
21
a
j
22


N−2

j =1
Im

a
j
11
+ ia
j
12

a
j
21
+ ia
j
22

.
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 5
Third, from the C
3
assumption, 0 = (χ
uu
)
v
− (χ
uv
)
u
. Thus, using
the Gauss-Weingarten equations, re-expressing all derivatives back
in terms of the basis , ( χ
u
, χ
v
, N
1
, . . . , N
N−2
) , we obtain the fol-
lowing N scalar equations for the corresponding coefficients
0 = (Γ
1
11
)
v
−(Γ
1
12
)
u
+ Γ
1
12
( Γ
1
11
−Γ
2
12
) − Γ
1
11
( Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
)
+
β
a
β
12
−m
β
a
β
11
( coefficient of χ
u
) , [α]
0 = (Γ
2
11
)
v
−(Γ
2
12
)
u
+ Γ
2
12
( Γ
1
11
−Γ
2
12
) − Γ
2
11
( Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
)
+
β
a
β
22
−m
β
a
β
21
( coefficient of χ
v
) , [β]
0 = (
α
)
v
−(m
α
)
u
+ m
α
( Γ
1
11
−Γ
2
12
) −
α
( Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
)
+
β
µ
β
α
−m
β
λ
β
α
( coefficient of N
α
) . [γ]
Similarly, the equation: 0 = (χ
vv
)
u
−(χ
uv
)
v
= (−χ
uu
)
u
−(χ
uv
)
v
generates another set of N scalar equations
0 = (Γ
1
11
)
u
+ (Γ
1
12
)
v
+ Γ
1
11
( Γ
1
11
−Γ
2
12
) + Γ
1
12
( Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
)
+
β
a
β
11
+ m
β
a
β
12
( coefficient of χ
u
) , [ ¯ α]
0 = (Γ
2
11
)
u
+ (Γ
2
12
)
v
+ Γ
2
11
( Γ
1
11
−Γ
2
12
) + Γ
2
12
( Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
)
+
β
a
β
21
+ m
β
a
β
22
( coefficient of χ
v
) , [
¯
β]
0 = (
α
)
u
+ (m
α
)
v
+ m
α
( Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
) +
α
( Γ
1
11
−Γ
2
12
)
+
β
λ
β
α
+ m
β
µ
β
α
( coefficient of N
α
) . [¯ γ]
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 6
Verification of these coefficients is routine. However, we do wish
to stress, once again, that an Einstein-summation is in effect. For
example, the final terms in the last equation (of the previous page)
would be explicitly written

β
λ
β
α
+ m
β
µ
β
α
=
N−2

β =1
_

β
λ
β
α
+ m
β
µ
β
α
_
=
N−2

β =1
Re
_
_
λ
β
α
−iµ
β
α
_
(
β
−im
β
)
_
= Re
_
N−2

β =1
ιn
β
α
lh
β
_
.
Fourth, as one might suspect from the second line (just above),
all of the quantities forming these two sets of three equations—
which the reader will note are labelled [α] , [β] , [γ] , in the first
set, and [ ¯ α] , [
¯
β] , [¯ γ] , in the second—may be viewed as the real
(or imaginary) parts of certain complex-valued functions. Indeed,
in this step, we “complexify” corresponding equations; that is, we
form
[ ¯ α] + i[α] , [
¯
β] + i[β] , and [¯ γ] + i[γ] .
For later reference, we first form [¯ γ] + i[γ] , giving
0 = [ (
α
)
u
+ (m
α
)
v
] + i[ (
α
)
v
− (m
α
)
u
] +

α
[ Γ
1
11
−Γ
2
12
−iΓ
2
11
−iΓ
1
12
] +
m
α
[ Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
+ iΓ
1
11
−iΓ
2
12
] +

β
λ
β
α
+ m
β
µ
β
α
+ i[
β
µ
β
α
−m
β
λ
β
α
] =
( ∂
u
+ i∂
v
)(
β
−im
β
) +
(
β
+ im
β
)[ Γ
1
11
−Γ
2
12
−iΓ
2
11
−iΓ
1
12
] +
( λ
β
α
+ iµ
β
α
)(
β
−im
β
) =
2 ∂
z
lh
α
+ lh
α
b + ιn
β
α
lh
β
, or
(lh
α
)
z
= −
1
2
b lh
α

1
2
ιn
β
α
lh
β
. (5)
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 7
Equation (5) is the complex version of the Codazzi-Mainardi sys-
tem of equations—which reduces to the single complex equation,
(lh
1
)
z
= −
1
2
blh
1
, for N = 3 . ( The orthonormality of the
normal frame forces ιn
β
α
= 2 N
α
· (N
β
)
z
to be skew-symmetric. )
Note that the quantity, b, is truly the same as that defined in (4d) :
Γ
1
11
− Γ
2
12
− iΓ
2
11
− iΓ
1
12
= ( Γ
1
11
− iΓ
1
12
)
. ¸¸ .
A
−i ( Γ
2
11
− iΓ
2
12
)
. ¸¸ .
B
= b .
Next, combining [ ¯ α] + i[α] generates
0 = ( ∂
u
+ i∂
v
)( Γ
1
11
− iΓ
1
12
) +
( Γ
1
11
− Γ
2
12
)( Γ
1
11
+ iΓ
1
12
) + (Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
)( Γ
1
12
− iΓ
1
11
) +
(
β
−im
β
)( a
β
11
+ ia
β
12
) =
2 ∂
z
( Γ
1
11
− iΓ
1
12
) +
( Γ
1
11
− Γ
2
12
)( Γ
1
11
+ iΓ
1
12
) − i(Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
)( Γ
1
11
+ iΓ
1
12
) +
lh
β
( a
β
11
+ ia
β
12
) = ( by explicit summation, and (3a) : )
2 A
z
+ ( Γ
1
11
+ iΓ
1
12
)
. ¸¸ .
A
[ Γ
1
11
− Γ
2
12
− iΓ
2
11
− iΓ
1
12
]
. ¸¸ .
b
+
N−2

β =1
lh
β
__
h −ε
ε
2
−|h|
2
_
lh
β
_
=
2 A
z
+ Ab +
_
h −ε
ε
2
−|h|
2
_
N−2

β =1
| lh
β
|
2
, or, using (2) :
A
z
= −
b
2
A +
_
h −ε
2
_
K
χ
. [ g
1
]
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 8
While forming [
¯
β] + i[β] , produces the equation
0 = ( ∂
u
+ i∂
v
)( Γ
2
11
− iΓ
2
12
) +
( Γ
1
11
− Γ
2
12
)( Γ
2
11
+ iΓ
2
12
) + (Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
)( Γ
2
12
− iΓ
2
11
) +
(
β
−im
β
)( a
β
21
+ ia
β
22
) =
2 ∂
z
( Γ
2
11
− iΓ
2
12
) +
( Γ
1
11
− Γ
2
12
)( Γ
2
11
+ iΓ
2
12
) − i(Γ
2
11
+ Γ
1
12
)( Γ
2
11
+ iΓ
2
12
) +
lh
β
( a
β
21
+ ia
β
22
) = ( by explicit summation, and (3b) : )
2 B
z
+ ( Γ
2
11
+ iΓ
2
12
)
. ¸¸ .
B
[ Γ
1
11
− Γ
2
12
− iΓ
2
11
− iΓ
1
12
]
. ¸¸ .
b
+
N−2

β =1
lh
β
__
i (h + ε)
ε
2
−|h|
2
_
lh
β
_
=
2 B
z
+ B b + i
_
h + ε
ε
2
−|h|
2
_
N−2

β =1
| lh
β
|
2
, or, using (2) :
B
z
= −
b
2
B + i
_
h + ε
2
_
K
χ
. [ g
2
]
Our final task will be to combine
3
equations [ g
1
] and [ g
2
] , ulti-
mately utilizing the values determined for a, b, A, and B—hence,
the reader may want to refer to equations (4a) through (4d).
3
The Gauss-Weingarten equations may also be complexified, producing the “pair”
χ
zz
=
1
2

z
+
1
2

z
+
1
2
lh
α
N
α
( with χ
zz
≡ 0 )
N
j
z
=
lh
j
ε
2
−|h|
2


z
−ε χ
z

+
1
2
ιn
j
α
N
α
( j = 1 , . . . , N −2 ) .
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 9
Fifth, combining [ g
1
] + i[ g
2
] , we finally deduce that
a
z
= (A + iB)
z
= A
z
+ iB
z
=
_

b
2
A +
_
h −ε
2
_
K
χ
_
+ i
_

b
2
B + i
_
h + ε
2
_
K
χ
_
= −
b
2
( A + iB ) − ε K
χ
= −
b
2
( A − iB ) − ε K
χ
= −
b
2
b − ε K
χ
= −
| b|
2
2
− ε K
χ
, from which it follows that
K
χ
= −
a
z
ε

| b|
2
2 ε
= −
[ ( og(ε
2
−|h|
2
) )
z
]
z
ε

1
2 ε
¸
¸
¸
¸
ε
3
(h/ε
2
)
z
ε
2
−|h|
2
¸
¸
¸
¸
2
= −
∆og(ε
2
−|h|
2
)
4 ε

1
2 ε
¸
¸
¸
¸
ε
3
(h/ε
2
)
z
ε
2
−|h|
2
¸
¸
¸
¸
2
,
which, noting 4 ∂
z

z
≡ ∆ , completes the proof.
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 10
Corollary. Let χ = χ(u, v) satisfy the theorem’s hypothesis.
And assume ( N
1
, . . . , N
N−2
) is an orthonormal frame for the nor-
mal space, with corresponding (complexified) second fundamental
forms
4
, lh
α
: = N
α
·( χ
uu
−i χ
uv
) : D

−→C (α = 1 , . . . , N−2) ,
and induced complex parameter , z : = u + iv . Then,
(i) The function, ( lh
2
1
+ · · · + lh
2
N−2
)
z
, is intrinsic .
(ii) The function, lh
2
1
+ · · · + lh
2
N−2
, is holomorphic iff
χ is flat, or the induced metric is conformal.
Proof . Letting lh denote the column vector, (lh
1
, . . . , lh
N−2
)
T
,
and ιn : =
_
ιn
β
α
_
be the (N − 2) × (N − 2) matrix, with entries
ιn
β
α
= 2 N
α
· (N
β
)
z
, we can write the Codazzi-Mainardi system (5)
in the form
lh
z
= −
1
2
blh −
1
2
ιnlh . (5

)
Multiplying this through by the row vector, 2 lh
T
, we get
2 lh
T
lh
z
= − blh
T
lh − lh
T
ιnlh .
Now, since ιn is skew-symmetric, lh
T
ιnlh ≡ 0 . Thus, using the
more familiar notation of (real) “dot-product”, this last equation
becomes
( lh · lh)
z
= − b( lh · lh) .
However, − lh· lh = − ( | lh
1
|
2
+ · · · + | lh
N−2
|
2
) = Λ
2
K
χ
, by
formula (2). Therefore, we obtain
( lh · lh)
z
= bΛ
2
K
χ
, (6)
showing the left-hand side to be intrinsic, since the right-hand side
is entirely expressible in terms of ε , h, ε
z
, and h

( K
χ
, as given
in (1), and bΛ
2
= ε
3
(h/ε
2
)
z
), thereby proving part (i).
4
Here, we are identifying each of the N − 2 second fundamental forms (relative to the
given orthonormal frame), dσ
2
α
: =
α
(du
2
− dv
2
) + 2m
α
dudv ≡ Re{ lh
α
dz
2
} , with
their corresponding complex coefficient functions, lh
α
=
α
− im
α
. Also, notice that
( χ
uu
− i χ
uv
) ≡ 2 (∂
z
)
2
χ . Thus, each quadratic differential, lh
α
dz
2
, is conformally
invariant on the associated Riemann surface (generated by D

).
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 11
To prove (ii), first note that putting either K
χ
≡ 0 ( χ is flat) or
h ≡ 0 (the metric is conformal) into equation (6) leads immediately
to the holomorphicity of lh · lh . On the other hand, suppose that
lh·lh is holomorphic, for nonflat χ; and assume h is not identically
zero. Then we must have 0 = bΛ
2
= ε
3
(h/ε
2
)
z
. Multiplying
this last through by ε
−3
h , and using the anti-holomorphicity of
h , gives 0 = h(h/ε
2
)
z
= (hh/ε
2
)
z
= (|h|
2

2
)
z
. But then,
conjugating this, we also have 0 = (|h|
2

2
)
z
. Thus, since the open
set D

is connected, and h is not identically zero, |h|
2

2
≡ ρ
o
,
for some positive constant, ρ
o
. Therefore, ε
2
= ρ
−1
o
|h|
2
throughout
D

(with ρ
−1
o
> 1 , since 0 < Λ
2
= ε
2
− |h|
2
). As a consequence,
the Gauss curvature (1) reduces to
K
χ
= −
1
4 ε
∆og(ε
2
−|h|
2
) = −
1
4 ε
∆og
_
ε
2
_
1 −|h|
2

2
_ ¸
= −
1
4 ε
∆og
_
|h|
2
ρ
o
(1 −ρ
o
)
_
= −
1
4 ε

_
og|h|
2
+ og
_
1
ρ
o
−ρ
o
_ _
= −
1
2 ε
∆og|h| ≡ 0 ,
since og|h| = Re{ og(h)} is harmonic. Of course, this contra-
dicts the nonflatness of χ. Thus, if χ is nonflat, it must be that
h ≡ 0 , that is, the induced metric is conformal. .
Remarks.
1. Observe that lh
2
1
+ · · · + lh
2
N−2
(and so, its ∂
z
derivative), is
independent of orthonormal frame. Thus, we are free to de-
fine it via the geometrically significant vector, lh : = lh
α
N
α
.
Hence, lh
α
N
α
· lh
α
N
α
= lh
2
1
+ · · · + lh
2
N−2
, given any
orthonormal frame, ( N
1
, . . . , N
N−2
) , for the normal space.
2. In the nonflat case, part (ii) is really saying that analyticity of
the function, lh
2
1
+ · · · + lh
2
N−2
: D

−→ C , is equivalent to
χ : D ⊂
domain
R
2
−→ R
N
being a minimal immersion
5
. The
classical version (N = 3) is well known—and was, evidently,
first noted by Heinz Hopf, while working on CMC surfaces [1].
5
In this (nonflat minimal) case, note that

lh
2
1
+ · · · + lh
2
N−2
dz
2
becomes a (quite
possibly branched) holomorphic quadratic differential on the associated Riemann surface.
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 12
Appendix
To establish the identities (4) for a, b, A, and B, we use the fact
that ε =
1
2
(E +G) and h =
1
2
(E −G) − iF may be inverted
to give the following relations
E = ε + Re{h}
G = ε − Re{h}
F = − Im{h} .
Similarly, we can use these to express the partial derivatives, ∂
u
and ∂
v
, of each of the three metric coefficients in terms of the

z
: =
1
2
(∂
u
−i∂
v
) derivative of ε and h ( all the while assuming h
to be analytic, so that h
z
≡ h

) :
E
u
= Re{2 ε
z
+ h

}
G
u
= Re{2 ε
z
−h

}
F
u
= − Im{h

} , and
E
v
= − Im{2 ε
z
+ h

}
G
v
= − Im{2 ε
z
−h

}
F
v
= − Re{h

} .
Thus, for example, using the first “triplet”, one quickly finds that
G + iF = ε −h , with which we now verify formula (3a) :
Λ
2
_
a
j
11
+ ia
j
12
_
= ( Fm
j
−G
j
) + i( −F
j
−Gm
j
)
= −( G + iF )
j
− i( G + iF ) m
j
= −( G + iF ) (
j
−im
j
)
= −(ε −h) lh
j
; therefore
a
j
11
+ ia
j
12
=
(h −ε )
Λ
2
lh
j
=
_
h −ε
ε
2
−|h|
2
_
lh
j
.
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 13
Now, we compute ( Γ
1
11
− iΓ
1
12
) using the classical expressions for
these Christoffel coefficients; that is, we rewrite (see [4], pg 148):
2 Λ
2
A = 2 Λ
2
_
Γ
1
11
− iΓ
1
12
_
=
(GE
u
−2 FF
u
+FE
v
) − i (GE
v
− FG
u
) =
( Re{ε −h} Re{h

+ 2 ε
z
} −2 Im{h} Im{h

} + Im{h} Im{h

+ 2 ε
z
} )
+ i ( Re{ε −h} Im{h

+ 2 ε
z
} + Im{h} Re{h

−2 ε
z
} ) =
( ε Re{h

} + ε Re{2 ε
z
} −Re{h} Re{h

} −Re{h} Re{2 ε
z
}
−2 Im{h} Im{h

} + Im{h} Im{h

} + Im{h} Im{2 ε
z
} )
+ i ( ε Im{h

} + ε Im{2 ε
z
} −Re{h} Im{h

} −Re{h} Im{2 ε
z
}
+ Im{h} Re{h

} −Im{h} Re{2 ε
z
} )
( ε Re{h

} + ε Re{2 ε
z
} −Re{hh

} −Re{2 hε
z
} )
+ i ( ε Im{h

} + ε Im{2 ε
z
} −Im{hh

} −Im{2 hε
z
} )
= ε h

+ 2 ε ε
z
− hh

− 2 hε
z
= ( ε h
z
− 2 hε
z
) + ( ε
2
− hh)
z
, from which we obtain
A : = Γ
1
11
− iΓ
1
12
=
( ε
2
− hh)
z
2 ( ε
2
− hh)
+
ε h
z
− 2 hε
z
2 ( ε
2
− hh)
,
having made full use of the facts that Λ
2
= ε
2
−|h|
2
≡ ε
2
−hh ,
and that ( hh)
z
= hh

, by the analyticity of h . (Also, recall
that in (4a), we had set: A =
1
2
(a +b) .)
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 14
Similarly, we compute ( Γ
2
11
− iΓ
2
12
) by replacing Γ
2
11
and Γ
2
12
with their corresponding metric expressions (see, also [4], pg 148):
2 Λ
2
B = 2 Λ
2
_
Γ
2
11
− iΓ
2
12
_
=
(2 EF
u
−EE
v
−FE
u
) − i (EG
u
− FE
v
) =
( −2 Re{ε + h} Im{h

} + Re{ε + h} Im{h

+ 2 ε
z
}
+ Im{h} Re{h

+ 2 ε
z
} )
+ i ( −Re{ε + h} Re{2 ε
z
−h

} + Im{h} Im{h

+ 2 ε
z
} ) =
( −2 ε Im{h

} −2 Re{h} Im{h

} + ε Im{h

} + ε Im{2 ε
z
}
+ Re{h} Im{h

} + Re{h} Im{2 ε
z
} + Im{h} Re{2 ε
z
}
+ Im{h} Re{h

} )
+ i ( ε Re{h

} −ε Re{2 ε
z
} + Re{h} Re{h

} −Re{h} Re{2 ε
z
}
+ Im{h} Im{h

} + Im{h} Im{2 ε
z
} ) =
( −ε Im{h

} + ε Im{2 ε
z
} −Im{hh

} + Im{2 hε
z
} )
+ i ( ε Re{h

} −ε Re{2 ε
z
} + Re{hh

} −Re{2 hε
z
} )
= i ( ε h

− 2 ε ε
z
+ hh

− 2 hε
z
)
= i ( ( ε h
z
− 2 hε
z
) − ( ε
2
− hh)
z
) , so that
B : = Γ
2
11
− iΓ
2
12
= −i
_
( ε
2
− hh)
z
2 ( ε
2
− hh)

ε h
z
− 2 hε
z
2 ( ε
2
− hh)
_
.
(Again, recall our earlier notation in (4b): B = −
i
2
(a −b) .)
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 15
Then, (4c) and (4d) follow easily upon noting , first
( ε
2
− hh)
z
( ε
2
− hh)
= ( og(ε
2
−|h|
2
) )
z
,
and finally
ε h
z
− 2 hε
z
ε
2
− hh
=
ε
4
ε
4
_
ε h
z
− 2 hε
z
ε
2
− hh
_
=
ε
3
ε
2
−|h|
2
_
ε
2
h
z
− 2 hε ε
z

2
)
2
_
=
ε
3
(h/ε
2
)
z
ε
2
−|h|
2
.
References
[1] Ulrich Dierkes, Stefan Hildebrandt, Albrecht K¨ uster, Ortwin
Wohlrab, Minimal Surfaces I, Springer-Verlag, New York, 1992,
page 32.
[2] Manfredo Do Carmo, Differential Geometry Of Curves And Sur-
faces, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1976.
[3] Karsten Grove, Riemannian Geometry: A Metric Entrance,
Lecture Note Series, No. 65, University of Aarhus, Dept. of
Mathematics, Aarhus, Denmark, 1999, page 47.
[4] John McCleary, Geometry From A Differentiable Viewpoint,
Cambridge University Press, 1994.
[5] Tilla Klotz Milnor, Are Harmonically Immersed Surfaces At
All Like Minimally Immersed Surfaces? published in: Seminar
On Minimal Submanifolds, Enrico Bombieri (Editor), Princeton
University Press, 1983, pages 99-110.
[6] Tilla Klotz Milnor, Mapping Surfaces Harmonically In E
n
,
Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. (78), no. 2 , 1980, pages 270-271.
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 16
Just as in the codimension-one case, the compatibility condition,
(N
j
u
)
v
− (N
j
v
)
u
= 0 ( j = 1 , . . . , N −2 ) ,
reproduces the system of Codazzi-Mainardi equations (coming from
the tangential components). However, unlike the classical situation,
we obtain a new system of equations from the normal components—
the Ricci system of equations (?). To put the above system into
complex form, note that
4 (N
j
z
)
z
= ( ∂
u
−i∂
v
)( N
j
u
−iN
j
v
) = ∆N
j
+i
_
(N
j
u
)
v
− (N
j
v
)
u
¸
.
Consequently, we seek the normal components of the system of (real)
equations:
0 = Im
_
(N
j
z
)
z
_
.
Setting Λ
2
= ε
2
−|h|
2
, we have (from the Weingarten equations):
(N
j
z
)
z
=
_
lh
j
h
Λ
2
_
z
χ
z
+
_
lh
j
h
Λ
2
_
χ
zz

_
lh
j
ε
Λ
2
_
z
χ
z

_
lh
j
ε
Λ
2
_
χ
zz
+
1
2
(ιn
j
α
)
z
N
α
+
1
2
ιn
j
α
N
α
z
=
_

ε lh
j
lh
α
Λ
2
+
1
2
(ιn
j
α
)
z
+
1
4
ιn
j
β
ιn
β
α
_
N
α
+ ( pure tangential terms ) .
Then, the Ricci equations (?) are given by ( 1 ≤ j , α ≤ N −2 ):
Im
_

ε lh
j
lh
α
Λ
2
+
1
2
(ιn
j
α
)
z
+
1
4
ιn
j
β
ιn
β
α
_
= 0 or
K
N

=
1
2 ε
Im
_
(ιn
j
α
)
z
+
1
2
ιn
j
β
ιn
β
α
_
,
where we have set
K
N

: =
Im
_
lh
j
lh
α
_
ε
2
−|h|
2
_
= −K
N
αj
_
.
HARMONICALLY IMMERSED GAUSS CURVATURE 17
For the case: N = 4 , I believe that the right-hand side of this last
formula is the curvature of the normal bundle, K
D
, in the given
orthonormal frame—or, at least, a “simple multiple” thereof. My
problem is this: Given a general non-orthonormal tangent-basis (in
such a case, ε
2
−|h|
2
may not be assumed identically one ) what is
the proportionality factor—that is, for what value of ρ do we have
K
N
12
= −K
N
21
= ρ K
D
?
Or put another way,
K
D
=
Im
_
lh
1
lh
2
_
ε
2
−|h|
2
for what value ( = ρ
−1
) ?
Should K
D
be conformally invariant, then also must be. For
observe (in the first equality, below) that
K
N
12
=
Im{ (2 N
1
· χ
zz
)(2 N
2
· χ
zz
) }
( 2 χ
z
· χ
z
)
2
− | 2 χ
z
· χ
z
|
2
=
det
_
N
1
· χ
uu
N
1
· χ
uv
N
2
· χ
uu
N
2
· χ
uv
_
det
_
χ
u
· χ
u
χ
v
· χ
u
χ
u
· χ
v
χ
v
· χ
v
_
Recalling χ
vv
= −χ
uu
, the second equality shows that changing
the orientation of the tangent-basis, ( χ
u
, χ
v
) −→ ( χ
v
, χ
u
) , re-
verses the sign of K
N
12
—as obviously occurs when the orientation
of the normal frame is reversed. This is characteristic of the cur-
vature of the normal bundle in codimension two. (Thus changing
both orientations does not effect this curvature.)

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