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Geometry-Topology Seminar

Thursday, February 8, 2024 - 3:30pm

Zhenhua Liu

Princeton University


University of Pennsylvania


We will review some recent progress on the general geometric behavior of homologically area-minimizing subvarieties, namely, objects that minimize area with respect to homologous competitors. They are prevalent in geometry, for instance, as holomorphic subvarieties of a Kahler manifold, or as special Lagrangians on a Calabi-Yau, etc. A fine understanding of the geometric structure of homological area-minimizers can give far-reaching consequences for related problems. 
Camillo De Lellis and his collaborators have proven that area-minimizing integral currents have codimension two rectifiable singular sets. A pressing next question is what one can say about the geometric behavior of area-minimizing currents beyond this. Almost all known examples and results point towards that area-minimizing subvarieties are subanalytic, generically smooth, calibrated, and have a priori curvature bounds. It is natural to ask if these hold in general. In this direction, we prove that all of these properties thought to be true generally and proven to be true in special cases are totally false in general. We prove that area-minimizing subvarieties can have fractal singular sets. Smoothable singularities are non-generic. Calibrated area minimizers are non-generic. A priori L^2 curvature bounds even fail for holomorphic subvarieties. Consequently, we answer several conjectures of Frederick J. Almgren Jr., Frank Morgan, and Brian White from the 1980s.