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Minimal Surfaces

  • Donald Greenspan
Chapter
Part of the Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering & Technology book series (MSSET)

Abstract

Soap films and minimal surfaces have long been of interest both mathematically and physically (Almgren and Taylor (1976), Courant (1950), Radó (1951)). The Belgian physicist J.A.F. Plateau (1801-1883) determined experimentally a number of geometric properties of soap films by dipping a closed, thin wire into a soap solution and studying the resulting soap film, or minimal surface, which spanned the wire. Plateau concluded that every closed wire contour always bounds a minimal surface. Nevertheless, the nonuniqueness of the problem is now well known and extensive research has centered on proving the existence of at least one mathematical solution (Courant (1950)).

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Greenspan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

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