# Exploring Geodesic Surfaces: Minimizing Curves and Area Theory

• mhill
In summary, the conversation focused on the topic of being an expert summarizer of content. It was noted that this skill involves providing a concise summary of information without responding to or replying to questions. The speaker emphasized the importance of only providing a summary and not adding any additional information.

#### mhill

if we have or can have geodesic curves minimizing the integral $$\sqrt (g_{ab}\dot x_a \dot x_b )$$ is there a theory of 'minimizing surfaces or Geodesic surfaces' that minimize the Area or a surface ?,

I don't know about the general theory, but in Euclidean space this is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plateau%27s_problem" [Broken].
For space-time surfaces, in Minkowski space, it is similar to the simplest (non-quantized) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nambu-Goto_action" [Broken] except I assume you would be maximizing the "area".

Last edited by a moderator:
http://math.rice.edu/~polking/Math410/ [Broken] lists some examples.

Last edited by a moderator:

## What is a geodesic surface?

A geodesic surface is a curved surface that follows the shortest path between two points. It is similar to a straight line on a flat surface, but on a curved surface, the shortest path is curved. This concept is important in understanding the curvature of surfaces in geometry and physics.

## What is the significance of minimizing curves and area in geodesic surfaces?

Minimizing curves and area in geodesic surfaces is important because it allows us to understand the intrinsic geometry of a surface. By minimizing curves, we can determine the shortest path between two points on a surface, and by minimizing area, we can calculate the surface's curvature. This allows us to study and analyze various physical phenomena, such as the behavior of light and gravity.

## What is the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic curvature?

Extrinsic curvature refers to the curvature of a surface in three-dimensional space, while intrinsic curvature is the curvature of a surface within its own space. In other words, extrinsic curvature is affected by the surrounding space, while intrinsic curvature is a property of the surface itself. The study of geodesic surfaces focuses on intrinsic curvature.

## What is the relationship between geodesic surfaces and minimal surfaces?

A geodesic surface is a type of minimal surface, which means that it has the smallest possible area for a given boundary. However, not all minimal surfaces are geodesic surfaces. Geodesic surfaces are specifically surfaces that follow the shortest path between two points, while minimal surfaces can have a variety of shapes and minimize different quantities, such as surface tension or energy.

## How are geodesic surfaces used in real-world applications?

Geodesic surfaces have a wide range of applications in fields such as architecture, engineering, and physics. In architecture, they are used to design efficient structures that can withstand stress and weight. In engineering, geodesic surfaces are used in the design of satellites, as they are the most efficient shape for minimizing surface area. In physics, geodesic surfaces are used to study the behavior of light and gravity, as well as in the development of mathematical models for understanding the universe.