Communications in Analysis and Geometry

Volume 25 (2017)

Number 2

Profile expansion for the first nontrivial Steklov eigenvalue in Riemannian manifolds

Pages: 431 – 463



Mouhamed Moustapha Fall (African Institute for Mathematical Sciences of Senegal, Mbour-Thies, Senegal)

Tobias Weth (Institut für Mathematik, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany)


We study the problem of maximizing the first nontrivial Steklov eigenvalue of the Laplace–Beltrami Operator among subdomains of fixed volume of a Riemannian manifold. More precisely, we study the expansion of the corresponding profile of this isoperimetric (or isochoric) problem as the volume tends to zero. The main difficulty encountered in our study is the lack of existence results for maximizing domains and the possible degeneracy of the first nontrivial Steklov eigenvalue, which makes it difficult to tackle the problem with domain variation techniques. As a corollary of our results, we deduce local comparison principles for the profile in terms of the scalar curvature on $\mathcal{M}$. In the case where the underlying manifold is a closed surface, we obtain a global expansion and thus a global comparison principle.

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Paper received on 5 February 2015.