On the stability for Alexandrov’s soap bubble theorem. (English) Zbl 1472.53013

Summary: Alexandrov’s Soap Bubble Theorem dates back to 1958 and states that a compact embedded hypersurface in \(\mathbb{R}^N\) with constant mean curvature must be a sphere. For its proof, A. D. Alexandrov invented his reflection principle. In [Indiana Univ. Math. J. 26, 459–472 (1977; Zbl 0391.53019)], R. C. Reilly gave an alternative proof, based on integral identities and inequalities, connected with the torsional rigidity of a bar. In this article we study the stability of the spherical symmetry: the question is how near is a hypersurface to a sphere, when its mean curvature is near to a constant in some norm?
We present a stability estimate that states that a compact hypersurface \(\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^N\) can be contained in a spherical annulus whose interior and exterior radii, say \(\rho_i\) and \(\rho_e\), satisfy the inequality \[\rho_e - \rho_i \leq C \| H - H_0\|_{L^1(\Gamma)}^{\tau_N},\] where \(\tau_N = 1/2\) if \(N = 2, 3\), and \(\tau_N = 1/(N + 2)\) if \(N \geq 4\). Here, \(H\) is the mean curvature of \(\Gamma,\ H_0\) is some reference constant, and \(C\) is a constant that depends on some geometrical and spectral parameters associated with \(\Gamma\). This estimate improves previous results in the literature under various aspects. We also present similar estimates for some related overdetermined problems.


53A07 Higher-dimensional and -codimensional surfaces in Euclidean and related \(n\)-spaces
53A10 Minimal surfaces in differential geometry, surfaces with prescribed mean curvature
49Q10 Optimization of shapes other than minimal surfaces


Zbl 0391.53019
Full Text: DOI arXiv


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