This book is meant to give an account of recent developments in the theory of Plateau's problem for parametric minimal surfaces and surfaces of prescribed constant mean curvature ("H-surfaces") and its analytical framework. A comprehensive overview of the classical existence and regularity theory for disc-type minimal and H-surfaces is given and recent advances toward general structure theorems concerning the existence of multiple solutions are explored in full detail.
The book focuses on the author's derivation of the Morse-inequalities and in particular the mountain-pass-lemma of Morse-Tompkins and Shiffman for minimal surfaces and the proof of the existence of large (unstable) H-surfaces (Rellich's conjecture) due to Brezis-Coron, Steffen, and the author. Many related results are covered as well. More than the geometric aspects of Plateau's problem (which have been exhaustively covered elsewhere), the author stresses the analytic side. The emphasis lies on the variational method.
Originally published in 1989.
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