Vishnu Jejjala, University of the Witwatersrand
On the Shape of Things: From holography to elastica

We explore the question of which shape a manifold is compelled to take when immersed in another one, provided it must be the extremum of some functional. We consider a family of functionals which depend quadratically on the extrinsic curvatures and on projections of the ambient curvatures. These functionals capture a number of physical setups ranging from holography to the study of membranes and elastica.