Generalising the Willmore equation: submanifold conformal invariants from a boundary Yamabe problem


The Willmore energy, alias bending energy or rigid string action, and its variation-the Willmore invariant-are important surface conformal invariants with applications ranging from cell membranes to the entanglement entropy in quantum gravity. In work of Andersson, Chrusciel, and Friedrich, the same invariant arises as the obstruction to smooth boundary asymptotics to the Yamabe problem of finding a metric in a conformal class with constant scalar curvature. We use conformal geometry tools to describe and compute the asymptotics of the Yamabe problem on a conformally compact manifold and thus produce higher order hypersurface conformal invariants that generalise the Willmore invariant. We give a holographic formula for these as well as variational principles for the lowest lying examples.Comment: 5 pages LaTe

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