Minimal hypersurfaces and boundary behavior of compact manifolds with nonnegative scalar curvature

Siyuan Lu, Pengzi Miao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


On a compact Riemannian manifold with boundary having positive mean curvature, a fundamental result of Shi and Tam states that, if the manifold has nonnegative scalar curvature and if the boundary is isometric to a strictly convex hypersurface in the Euclidean space, then the total mean curvature of the boundary is no greater than the total mean curvature of the corresponding Euclidean hypersurface. In 3-dimension, Shi-Tam’s result is known to be equivalent to the Riemannian positive mass theorem. In this paper, we provide a supplement to Shi-Tam’s result by including the boundary effect of minimal hypersurfaces. More precisely, given a compact manifold Ω with nonnegative scalar curvature, assuming its boundary consists of two parts, ΣH and ΣO, where ΣH is the union of all closed minimal hypersurfaces in Ω and ΣO is assumed to be isometric to a suitable 2-convex hypersurface Σ in a spatial Schwarzschild manifold of mass m, we establish an inequality relating m, the area of ΣH, and two weighted total mean curvatures of ΣO and Σ. In 3-dimension, our inequality has implications to isometric embedding and quasi-local mass problems. In a relativistic context, the result can be interpreted as a quasi-local mass type quantity of ΣO being greater than or equal to the Hawking mass of ΣH. We further analyze the limit of this quantity associated with suitably chosen isometric embeddings of large spheres in an asymptotically flat 3-manifold M into a spatial Schwarzschild manifold. We show that the limit equals the ADM mass of M. It follows that our result on the compact manifold Ω is equivalent to the Riemannian Penrose inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-566
Number of pages48
JournalJournal of Differential Geometry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Geometry and Topology


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