Everyone is welcome to attend.  Refreshments will be served in the Math Lounge before the exam.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
11:10 a.m.

PhD Candidate:  Fabian Parsch
Supervisor:   Alex Nabutovsky
Thesis title:  Geodesic Nets with Few Boundary Points


Geodesic nets on Riemannian manifolds form a natural class of stationary objects generalizing geodesics. Yet almost nothing is known about their classification or general properties even when the ambient Riemannian manifold is the Euclidean plane or the round 2-sphere.
We survey some results and open questions (old and new) about geodesic nets on Riemannian manifolds. A particular focus will be put on the question if the number of inner vertices (balanced vertices) in a geodesic net can be bounded by the number of boundary points (unbalanced vertices) or the total imbalance.
We prove that a geodesic net with three unbalanced vertices on a non-positively curved plane has at most one balanced vertex. We do not assume any a priori bound for the degree of unbalanced vertices. The result seems to be new even in the Euclidean case.
We demonstrate by examples that the result is not true for metrics of positive curvature on the plane, and that there are no immediate generalizations of this result for geodesic nets with four unbalanced vertices which can have a significantly more complicated structure. In particular, an example of a geodesic net with four unbalanced vertices and sixteen balanced vertices that is not a union of simpler geodesic nets is constructed. The previously known irreducible geodesic nets with four unbalanced vertices have at most two balanced vertices.
We provide a partial answer for a related question, namely a description of a new infinite family of geodesic nets on the Euclidean plane with 14 unbalanced vertices and arbitrarily many balanced vertices of degree three or more.

A copy of the thesis can be found here: parsch_thesis_2019-04-09


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