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Should We Solve Plateau’s Problem Again?

Should We Solve Plateau’s Problem Again?

(p.108) Chapter Six Should We Solve Plateau’s Problem Again?
Advances in Analysis
Guy David, Charles Fefferman, Alexandru D. Ionescu, D. H. Phong, Stephen Wainger
Princeton University Press

This chapter gives a partial account of the situation of Plateau's problem on the existence and regularity of soap films with a given boundary. It starts with a description of some of the most celebrated solutions of Plateau's problem, followed by a description of a few easy examples. The chapter then returns to the modeling problem and mentions a few additional ways to state a Plateau problem. It briefly describes the known local regularity properties of the Almgren minimal sets, and why we would like to extend some of these regularity results to sliding minimal sets, all the way to the boundary. At the same time, the chapter considers why these solutions are not always entirely satisfactory. Finally, the chapter explains why the regularity results for sliding Almgren minimal sets also apply to solutions of the Reifenberg and size minimization problems described earlier in the chapter.

Keywords:   Plateau's problem, soap films, Almgren minimal sets, Reifenberg, size minimization problems, sliding minimal sets

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