Geometry of Timelike Minimal Surfaces and Null Curves

  • Shintaro AkamineEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Mathematics for Industry book series (MFI, volume 28)


In this chapter, we investigate the behavior of the Gaussian curvature of timelike minimal surfaces with or without singular points in the 3-dimensional Lorentz–Minkowski space. For timelike minimal surfaces without singular points, we prove that the sign of the Gaussian curvature, which corresponds to diagonalizability of the shape operator, of any timelike minimal surface is determined by the degeneracy and the orientations of the two null curves that generate the surface. Moreover, we also determine the behavior of the Gaussian curvature near cuspidal edges, swallowtails, and cuspidal cross caps on timelike minimal surfaces. We show that there are no umbilic points near cuspidal edges on a timelike minimal surface. Near swallowtails, we show that the sign of the Gaussian curvature is negative, that is, we can take always real principal curvatures near swallowtails. Near cuspidal cross caps, we also show that the sign of the Gaussian curvature is positive, that is, we can take only complex principal curvatures near cuspidal cross caps.


Lorentz–Minkowski space Timelike minimal surface Gaussian curvature Singularity 



The author would like to express his gratitude to Professor Miyuki Koiso for her helpful advices and suggestions. He also thanks the referee for valuable comments. This work was supported by Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows Number 15J06677.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of MathematicsKyushu UniversityNishi-ku, FukuokaJapan

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