We prove the existence of branched immersed constant mean curvature 2-spheres in an arbitrary Riemannian 3-sphere for almost every prescribed mean curvature, and moreover for all prescribed mean curvatures when the 3-sphere is positively curved. To achieve this, we develop a min-max scheme for a weighted Dirichlet energy functional. There are three main ingredients in our approach: a bi-harmonic approximation procedure to obtain compactness of the new functional, a derivative estimate of the min-max values to gain energy upper bounds for min-max sequences for almost every choice of mean curvature, and a Morse index estimate to obtain another uniform energy bound required to reach the remaining constant mean curvatures in the presence of positive curvature.
- Pub Date:
- December 2020
- Mathematics - Differential Geometry;
- Mathematics - Analysis of PDEs
- 55 pages. Acknowledgement section restored. No other changes from v2. To appear in Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics