Seminar series
Mon, 09 Oct 2023
Ilia Smilga
(Oxford University)

In a classical work, Bowen and Margulis proved the equidistribution of
closed geodesics in any hyperbolic manifold. Together with Jeremy Kahn
and Vladimir Marković, we asked ourselves what happens in a
three-manifold if we replace curves by surfaces. The natural analog of a
closed geodesic is then a minimal surface, as totally geodesic surfaces
exist only very rarely. Nevertheless, it still makes sense (for various
reasons, in particular to ensure uniqueness of the minimal
representative) to restrict our attention to surfaces that are almost
totally geodesic.

The statistics of these surfaces then depend very strongly on how we
order them: by genus, or by area. If we focus on surfaces whose *area*
tends to infinity, we conjecture that they do indeed equidistribute; we
proved a partial result in this direction. If, however, we focus on
surfaces whose *genus* tends to infinity, the situation is completely
opposite: we proved that they then accumulate onto the totally geodesic
surfaces of the manifold (if there are any).

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Last updated on 09 Oct 2023 11:52.