On the classification of ancient solutions to curvature flows on the sphere

Paul Bryan, Mohammad N. Ivaki, Julian Scheuer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We consider the evolution of hypersurfaces on the unit sphere Sn+1 by smooth functions of the Weingarten map. We introduce the notion of 'quasi-ancient' solutions for flows that do not admit non-trivial, convex, ancient solutions. Such solutions are somewhat analogous to ancient solutions for flows such as the mean curvature flow, or 1-homogeneous flows. The techniques presented here allow us to prove that any convex, quasi-ancient solution of a curvature flow which satisfies a backwards in time uniform bound on mean curvature must be stationary or a family of shrinking geodesic spheres. The main tools are geometric, employing the maximum principle, a rigidity result in the sphere and an Alexandrov reflection argument. We emphasize that no homogeneity or convexity/concavity restrictions are placed on the speed, though we do also offer a short classification proof for several such restricted cases.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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