We establish a boundary maximum principle for free boundary minimal submanifolds in a Riemannian manifold with boundary, in any dimension and codimension. Our result holds more generally in the context of varifolds.
In this paper, we prove uniform curvature estimates for immersed stable free boundary minimal hypersurfaces satisfying a uniform area bound, which generalize the celebrated Schoen–Simon–Yau interior curvature estimates up to the free boundary. Our curvature estimates imply a smooth compactness theorem which is an essential ingredient in the min-max theory of free boundary minimal hypersurfaces developed by the last two authors. We also prove a monotonicity formula for free boundary minimal submanifolds in Riemannian manifolds for any dimension and codimension. For 3-manifolds with boundary, we prove a stronger curvature estimate for properly embedded stable free boundary minimal surfaces without a-priori area bound. This generalizes Schoen’s interior curvature estimates to the free boundary setting. Our proof uses the theory of minimal laminations developed by Colding and Minicozzi.
In this paper, we prove a general existence theorem for properly embedded minimal surfaces with free boundary in any compact Riemannian 3‐manifold M with boundary ∂M. These minimal surfaces are either disjoint from ∂M or meet ∂M orthogonally. The main feature of our result is that there is no assumptions on the curvature of M or convexity of ∂M. We prove the boundary regularity of the minimal surfaces at their free boundaries. Furthermore, we define a topological invariant, the filling genus, for compact 3‐manifolds with boundary and show that we can bound the genus of the minimal surface constructed above in terms of the filling genus of the ambient manifold M. Our proof employs a variant of the min‐max construction used by Colding and De Lellis on closed embedded minimal surfaces, which were first developed by Almgren and Pitts.
We prove a lower bound for the first Steklov eigenvalue of embedded minimal hypersurfaces with free boundary in a compact n-dimensional Riemannian manifold which has nonnegative Ricci curvature and strictly convex boundary. When n=3, this implies an apriori curvature estimate for these minimal surfaces in terms of the geometry of the ambient manifold and the topology of the minimal surface. An important consequence of the estimate is a smooth compactness theorem for embedded minimal surfaces with free boundary when the topological type of these minimal surfaces is fixed.
Given a 3-holed sphere decomposition of an orientable closed surface, it is shown that each orientation preserving homeomorphism of the surface is isotopic to a composition AB where A is a product of positive Dehn twists and B is a product of negative Dehn twists on the decomposition curves.