By Dao Trong Thi and A. T. Fomenko

Plateau's challenge is a systematic pattern in glossy arithmetic that unites a number of diverse difficulties attached with the research of minimum surfaces. In its easiest model, Plateau's challenge is anxious with discovering a floor of least sector that spans a given mounted one-dimensional contour in three-d space--perhaps the best-known instance of such surfaces is supplied by way of cleaning soap motion pictures. From the mathematical standpoint, such motion pictures are defined as suggestions of a second-order partial differential equation, so their habit is sort of complex and has nonetheless now not been completely studied. cleaning soap motion pictures, or, extra as a rule, interfaces among actual media in equilibrium, come up in lots of utilized difficulties in chemistry, physics, and in addition in nature. In purposes, one unearths not just two-dimensional but additionally multidimensional minimum surfaces that span fastened closed ``contours'' in a few multidimensional Riemannian area. an actual mathematical assertion of the matter of discovering a floor of least zone or quantity calls for the formula of definitions of such basic ideas as a floor, its boundary, minimality of a floor, and so forth. It seems that there are numerous usual definitions of those thoughts, which allow the research of minimum surfaces through diverse, and complementary, tools. within the framework of this relatively small ebook it might be nearly most unlikely to hide all points of the fashionable challenge of Plateau, to which an unlimited literature has been committed. even if, this publication makes a special contribution to this literature, for the authors' guideline was once to offer the fabric with a greatest of readability and not less than formalization. bankruptcy 1 comprises ancient heritage on Plateau's challenge, touching on the interval previous the Thirties, and an outline of its connections with the typical sciences. This half is meant for a really huge circle of readers and is available, for instance, to first-year graduate scholars. the subsequent a part of the e-book, comprising Chapters 2-5, provides a reasonably whole survey of varied smooth tendencies in Plateau's challenge. This part is out there to moment- and third-year scholars focusing on physics and arithmetic. the rest chapters current an in depth exposition of 1 of those tendencies (the homotopic model of Plateau's challenge by way of stratified multivarifolds) and the Plateau challenge in homogeneous symplectic areas. This final half is meant for experts attracted to the fashionable conception of minimum surfaces and will be used for specific classes; a command of the innovations of practical research is believed.

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