Tohoku Mathematical Journal, Second Series
Online ISSN : 2186-585X
Print ISSN : 0040-8735
ISSN-L : 0040-8735
WILLMORE SURFACES IN SPHERES VIA LOOP GROUPS III: ON MINIMAL SURFACES IN SPACE FORMS
Peng Wang
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2017 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 141-160

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Abstract

The family of Willmore immersions from a Riemann surface into $S^{n+2}$ can be divided naturally into the subfamily of Willmore surfaces conformally equivalent to a minimal surface in $\mathbb{R}^{n+2}$ and those which are not conformally equivalent to a minimal surface in $\mathbb{R}^{n+2}$. On the level of their conformal Gauss maps into $Gr_{1,3}(\mathbb{R}^{1,n+3})=SO^+(1,n+3)/$ $SO^+(1,3)\times SO (n)$ these two classes of Willmore immersions into $S^{n+2}$ correspond to conformally harmonic maps for which every image point, considered as a 4-dimensional Lorentzian subspace of $\mathbb{R}^{1,n+3}$, contains a fixed lightlike vector or where it does not contain such a “constant lightlike vector”. Using the loop group formalism for the construction of Willmore immersions we characterize in this paper precisely those normalized potentials which correspond to conformally harmonic maps containing a lightlike vector. Since the special form of these potentials can easily be avoided, we also precisely characterize those potentials which produce Willmore immersions into $S^{n+2}$ which are not conformal to a minimal surface in $\mathbb{R}^{n+2}$. It turns out that our proof also works analogously for minimal immersions into the other space forms.

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© 2017 THE TOHOKU UNIVERSITY
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