Connected sums of constant mean curvature surfaces in Euclidean 3 space. (English) Zbl 0972.53010

We establish a general ‘gluing theorem’, which states roughly that if two nondegenerate constant mean curvature surfaces are juxtaposed, so that their tangent planes are parallel and very close to one another, but oppositely oriented, then there is a new constant mean curvature surface quite near to this configuration (in the Hausdorff topology), but which is a topological connected sum of the two surfaces. Here nondegeneracy refers to the invertibility of the Jacobi, or linearized mean curvature operator. This paper treats the simplest context for our result namely when the surfaces are compact with nonempty boundary, however the construction applies in the complete noncompact setting as well. The surfaces we produce here are nondegenerate for generic choices of the free parameters in the construction.


53A10 Minimal surfaces in differential geometry, surfaces with prescribed mean curvature
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