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Conformal Willmore flow

University of Tuebingen (Germany) and University of Massachussets, Amherst (USA)

We give a description of the space of conformally immersed surfaces of a given compact Riemann surface as a finite dimensional submanifold of the Hilbert space of half-densities. The square of the position vector of this submanifold is the Willmore energy. The tangential projection of the position vector provides a vector field on the space of conformally immersed surfaces from the given Riemann surface. As a toy example we discuss these ideas on the space of planar closed curves with the elastic energy to obtain a flow preserving winding number and whose stationary points are elastica.

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