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On the Total Curvature of Immersed Manifolds

Author(s): Shiing-Shen Chern and Richard K. Lashof


Reviewed work(s):
Source: American Journal of Mathematics, Vol. 79, No. 2 (Apr., 1957), pp. 306-318
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
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ON THE TOTAL CURVATURE OF IMMERSED MANIFOLDS.*

By SHIING-SHEN CHERN 1 and R1CHARD K. LASHOF.

Introduction.In the classicaltheoryof surfacesin the ordinaryEuclidean


space E an importantrole is played by the normalmapping of Gauss: Let
M be an orientedsurfacewhich has at everypoint x a well-definedunit
normal vector v(x). Then the normal mapping s': M-o->80 is the mapping
of M into the unit sphereS0 about the originof E, which sends x to v(x).
For differentiablyimmersedsubmanifolds in an Euclidean space of higher
dimensionthe followingis a generalizationof the Gauss mapping: We con-
sider a CO-manifoldMll'of dimensionn, and a C--mapping x: 3fn >Eil+N
into the Euclidean spase En+N of dimensionn + N (N ? 1). Mn, or rather
Mn and the mapping x, is called an immersedsubmanif old, if the induced
mappingof the tangentspace is univalenteverywhere, or, what is the same,
if the Jacobianmatrixof x is everywhere of rank n. The submanif old Mn
is said to be imbedded,if x is one-one; that is, if x(p) ==x(q), p,q E Mn,
impliesthat p = q. Let B, be the bundle of unit normalvectorsof x(Mgl),
so that a point of B, is a pair (p, v(p)), wherev(p) is a unit normalvector
to x(Mn) at x(p). Then B, is a bundle of (N-1) dimensionalspheres
over Mn and is a CO-manifoldof dimensionin + N -. The mapping
v: Bv So
-* n+N-1 of Bv into the unit sphere S(X,,+N-:1of E,,+N definedby
io(p,v(p)) v(p) is the mapping with which we will be concernedin this
paper.
Let dV be the volumeelementof Mn. There is a differential formduN1:
of degree N - 1 on Bv such that its restrictionto a fiberis the volume
element of the sphere of unit normal vectors at a point p C Mn; then
dcrN-/ A dV is the volume elementof Bv (for detail see Sectionl2). Let
dZ,n+N-1be the volumeelementof S0n+N-1. The functioniG(p, v(p)) G(p, v)
definedby
(1) 7,*dyn+ l G(p,Jv)duN_l1A dV,

wherevP*is the dual mappingon differential


formsinduced by v,,is a func-
tion in Bv. It generalizesthe Gauss-Kroniecker
curvatureand we will call
* Received January 4, 1957.
Work done when the first-namedauthor is under partial support from a contract
1
with the National Science Foundation.
306
THE TOTAL CURVATURE OF IMMERSED MANIFOLDS. 307

it the Lipschitz-Killingcurvatureat v(p). G(p,v) has a geometricalinter-


pretationwhichwe will discuss below. It is zero at a point (p, v(p)) E B,
if and onlyif T.has a criticalvalue at this point. We call the integral

(2) K*(p) =f G(p,v)IdoN-1w?0

over the sphere of unit normal vectorsat x(p) the total curvatureof Mn
at p, and defineas the totalcurvatureof Mn itselfthe integralJK* (p) dV,
if it converges.
The main resultsof this paper are concernedwiththe conclusionson Mn
when its total curvatureis "small." They can be stated as the following
theorems:
THEOREM 1. Let Mn be a compactorientedC--manifoldimmersedin
En+N. Its total curvaturesalisfiesthe inequality:2

(3) JIlnK* (p)dIV 2c,,+,v1

THEOREM 2. Under the hypothesisof Theorem1, if

()* (fp) dV < 3Cn+N1,,

thenMn is homeomorphic
to a sphereof n-dimensions.
THIEOREM if
3. Under the same hypothesis,

(5) fK* (p) dV =2


ln

then M'" belongs to a linear subvarietyEn+1 of dimensionn + 1, and is


imbeddedas a conzvexhypersurfacein E'l+'. The converseof thisis also true.
These theoremsgeneralize known results of Fenchel, Fary [2], and
AIilnor[3] forcurvesand sharpensome resultsof Milnorand one of us [1].
Theorem3 can be interpretedas a characterizationof convexhypersurfaces
among all immersedsubmaniifolds of a given dimensionin an Euclidean
space of arbitrarydimension. A large part of our paper is devotedto a
proofof this theorem.

1. Moving frames. Suppose En+Nbe oriented. By a framexe1 e,+N


in En1+N we mean a point x and an orderedset of mutuallyperpenldicular

2 C24+N- is the area of the unit hypersphere in an Euclidean space of dimension


+?AT.
308 SIIIING-SHEN CHERN AND RICHARID K. LASHIOF.

unit vectors e,- , e,+N, such that their orientation is coherent with that
of En+N. Utnless otherwisestated,we agree on the followingranges of the
indices:
(6) 1<i,j,l c n, n+1< r,s,t< i+T, 1A, B, C n+N.

Then we have
(7F) eAeB-=AB,

wherethe left-handside is the scalar productof vectors. Let f(n,N) be the


space of all framesin En+N, so that dimF (n, N) = (n + N) (n + N + 1) /2.
In F (n, N) we introducethelineardifferentialformsW'A, W(AB bytheequations

(8) deA 2 WOABeB, dx - OJAeA,


B A
where
( 9) (D AB + W'BA-?- 0

Their exteriorderivativessatisfythe equation of structure:

(10) dw'A =
w'B A 0 BA, dwAB = ()AC A w'ci?.
B C

As explainedin the Introduction, we mean by an immersedsubmanif old


in En+N an abstractCO-manifoldMn and a CO-mappiligx: M1l' - Enl+N, such
that the inducedmappingx* on the tangentspace is everywhere univalent.
Analytically,the mappingcan be definedby a vector-valuedfunctionx(p),
p C Mn. Our assumptionimpliesthat the differential dx(p) of x (p), which
is a linear differential
formin Mln, withvalue in En+N, has as values a linear
combinationof n vectors,t1,,- t, and not less. Since x* is univalent,
we can identifythe tangentspace of Mn at p with the vectorspace spanned
by t,,* , tn. A linear combinationof the latteris called a tangentvector
and a vectorperpendicularto themis called a normalvector. The immer-
sion of Mn in En+N gives rise to the followingfiberbundles over Ml,:
1) The tangent bundle BT, whose bundle space is the subset of
Mn X En+N, consistingof all points (p, v), such that p C31 and v is a unit
tangentvectorat x(p).
2) The normal hundle B^, whose bundle space is the suibsetof
MnX En+N, consistingof all points (p, v), such that p C M and v7is a iuit
normalvectorat x (p).
3) The bundle B, whosebundle space is the subsetof M11n
X FP(it,N).
consistingof (p, x(p)e, C M1n
enen+1 en+N) X F(n, AT) such that e1, ,el
THE TOTAL CURVATURE OF IMM1ERSED MANIFOLDS. 309

are tangent vectorsand e+1,.* , en+N are normal vectorsat x (p). The
projection B -* M4 we denote by i.

The last bundle B is the space in whichmost of our computationstake


place.3 We define the mappings

(11) a, : B B, 0,: B ->BP,


by
. . .
(12) q'T(p, x(p)ei en,+N) (p, en), 0,(p, x(p)e 1* en+N) = (p, en+N).
We also remarkthat the Whitneysum BT e B, over Mn is equivalentto the
productbundle Mn X Sn+N1 -l MIn.
Considerthe mappings

(13) B-> MnXF(n,N) F(nn,N),


wherei is inclusionand A is the projectioninto the second factor. Put

(14) WA= (Ai) * A


A, -AB (Ai)* AB,

Then we have, from (9) and (10),


(15) (AB+WBA =,

(16) dWA = OB A WBA, dWAB=- WAC A CB.


B C
From our definitionof B it followsthat wr=0 and that w are linearly
independent. Hence the firstequation of (16) gives
owi A Wir 0-
?

From this it followsthat


( 17 ) Wir= Ariijij Arij-A

2. The total curvature. An essentialidea of the methodof moving


framesis to considerthe bundle space B, and to constructdifferential
forms
3 The bundle B can also be defined as follows: Let Qn+YN be the group of all
orientation-preservingmotions in En+N and Rn X RN the subgroup of Q,n+S consisting of
all motions which leave fixed the origin 0 of En+N and a given oriented linear space of
dimension n through 0. Then Qn+N-* Qn+N/RnX RN is a bundle whose structure group
is R,,X RN and whose base space is the space of all elements consisting of a point and
an oriented linear space of dimension n through it. The bundle B is induced by the
mapping which sends p E M to the point x (p) and the oriented tangent space at x (p).
In particular, the structural group of B is RftX RN. Similarly, we can define the
bundles Br and BP.
310 S111ING-SHiEN CH-ERN AND RICI[ARD K. LAkSII0F.

in B, which are inverseimages of differential


formsin Mn and B^, under
the mappings t and f, respectively.In particular,the volume elementof
All,can be written
(18) dV--=w A A wn,
and the volumeelementof B, is
(19) dV A da.N-lo= AA A orin+.v,nwA A (?)nIX,,i+X--i
dwNi beilngequal to the productof the last N-_1 factors. On the other
hand,we have

*d-n+.V-1== Wn+N,i A . . . A A O)n+N,n+i A A


. n+N. N
&n+N,n +A -

UTsing(17), we get

v*dy-?,+.'Vi

= (- 1) A
det(An+N,Vj)wl A on A Wn+N,n+1A ' A
Wni*N,n+.X t-

It followsfromthe definition(1) of the Lipschitz-KillingcurvatuLeG(p, v)


that
(20) G(p,v) -( 1) 13et(An+N,i.j).
To see how G(p, v) depends on v, we take a local cross-sectionof M11'
in B, describedby the functionseA(q) for q in a neighborhood of p. Then
for any frame eA(q) in B at x(q), we have eA =cAABeR(q) ai(l
E =sj@@ z CsrArfj@$j6j~
i,j r.ij

where3rij is the functionA,ij restrictedto the local cross-sectioi. In par-


ticular,if forv= e,,+Nwe writev=> v,? we haveat p:

(21 ) G(p,v) = (-1)ndet ( ErA,rij


(p))

Furtherwe get forthe scalar productof v alndthe vector-valued


second
differential
d2X on B

(22) d 'AjwXj
v d2= E
i,r p. k

and heniceas formson B, we have:


(23) -dvddx= v d2X = *'rArijwtci
r,i,j

Thereforewe muay interpret G(p,-v)as generalizing


the determinant
of the
secondfundamental formof a surface.
If N_= 1, i. e., if Mn is an immersed orientedhypersurface
in En+1'its
THE TOTAL CURVATURE OF IMMERSED M1ANIFOLDS. 311

orientation(and that of En+l) definesa unit normalvectorv0(p) at p E M".


curvatureof M at p.
Then G (p, v (p) ) = G (p) is called the Gauss-Kronecker
Any otherunit normalvectorat p is of the formv(p) = + vo(p), and

G(p,v(p)) == G(p, + vo(p)) = (+ 1)nG(p).


It followsthat,for n even, G (p, v(p)) is independentof the orientationof
the hypersurface Ml'land of the space En+l. Naturally,G(p) reducesfor
n= 2 to the classical Gaussian curvature.
In the general case G(p,v) admits the followinggeometricalinterpre-
tation in termsof the Gauss-Kronecker curvature:Let L(v) be the linear
space of dimenisionn+ 1 spanned by the tangentspace to x(Mn) at x(p)
and the normalvectorv(p). Then G(p,v) is equal to the Gauss-Kronecker
curvatureat p of the orthogonalprojectionof x(Mln) into L(v).
Since the theoremis local, we take a local cross-sectioneA(q) of Mn
in B in a neighborhood of p, such that V(p) = ej+N (p). We write

eA(p) = (e.)o, x (p) =xo.

If Z'(q) denlotesthe position vector of the projectionof x(q) in L(v),


x'(q) is defined by the equations

X'(q) -x(q) -= n+o(en + + en+N-1 (6n+N-l)o

X'(q) --xo 0 mod(j) o , (4) o, (4n+N)O.

From this it followsthat


_ (xO - x(q)) -
(n> ($(q) -$x(q) )(jn+x)o 0
(an+x)o <C N-I
If p is fixedand q varies on the manifoldMA,we have
dx. dx + , den+X(jn+X)o-dx (dx (n,+X)o)()n+X)o,

d2x'= d2X-- (d2x (jn+X)o) (Fn+X)o

so that (e+N) od2X'=(Jn+N) od2x. This proves our statement.

3. Proof of Theorem 1. For this proof we will need the following:


THEOREM (Sard) 4 Let V and W be two Cl-manifoldsof the same
dimensionand f a mappingof class C' of V into W. The image f(E) of
the set E of criticalpoints of f is a set of measurezero in W.

4 Cf. [6], p. 10.


312 SHIING-SHEN CHERN AND RICHARD K. LASHOF.

We considerthe map i; B, - Son+N-1. Everypoint of S0n+N-1 is covered


at least twice by T. In fact, for a fixedunit vectorvo,the scalar product
vO x (p) as a continuousfunctionon Mn has at least one maximumand
one minimum,at which + vodx(p) =-0. If, on the otherhand,the maximum
and minimumpoints are the same then Mn is containedin a hyperplane
perpendicularto vo,and everypoint of Mn has vo as a normalvector.
The set of critical points of v is the set E of points in B, such that
G (p, v) = 0. Hence

K* (p)dV-f | G(p, v) dVdaN-l

is the volumeof the image in Son+N-1 of the set of non-criticalpointsof B,.


By Sard's theoremand by the above remarkthat everypoint of S0"1+N-1 is
coveredat least twice by v, we have immediately

jK*(p)dV ?>2+N1

4. Proof of Theorem2. SupposethatJ'K* (p) dV < 3cn+xv-;


we wish
Mn

to showthatMn is homeomorphic to a sphereof n dimensions. Our hypothesis


impliesthat thereexists a set of positivemeasureon Son+N-1 such that if vo
is a unit vectorin this set, vO x(p) has just two criticalpoints. For if not;
everypoint of Son+N-1, except for a set of measure zero, would be covered
at least threetimesby v and hence as in Section 3 we would have

j 'K* (p) dV _ 3cn+Nil.

Since, by Sard's theorem,the image of the set of criticalpointsunder


1 is of measurezero,thereis a unit vectorvo such that vo x(p) has exactly
two criticalpointson Mn and such that vOis the image of non-criticalpoints
of B, under i. The latter means that G (p, vo)#/0 at each critical point
p E M of the functionvOxx(p), whichis equivalentto sayingthat vo d2x is
a quadratic differentialformof determinantnot zero. In otherwords,the
x
function v *(p) on Mn has exactly two non-degeneratecritical points.
Now a theoremof Reeb [51 (see also [4], p. 401) assertsthat if a compact
differentiable manifold M has a real-valueddifferentiable functionon it
with only two critical points which are non-degenerate, then M is homeo-
morphicto a sphere. It followsfromthis that Mn is homeomorphic to a
sphere,and our theoremis proved.
SED MANIFOLDS.
OF IMANIER
THE TOTAL CURVATURE 313

5. Proof of Theorem3. We begin with two lemmas:


LEMMA 1. Under the hypothlesisof Thleorem3, M1nis immersedin a
n + 1 of 1En+lN.
subvarietyof dimensiomt
liinear)
We may assume N> 2, since otherwisethereis nothingto prove. We
will firstshowthat 11iis containedin a hyperplaneof En+N. In doing this,
ve show that the hypothesisof Theorem 3 and the assumptionthat Mll
does not lie in a hyperplaneof E,,-,Nlead to a contradiction.
Let (p, vo(p)) C B,, be such that G(p, 's) 0; such a point exists by
Theorem1. Choosea local cross-section of J111in B; i.e., the vectors jA(q),
wheve q belongs to a neighborhood of p, anid that efl+,(p) = v,. Then any
other unit normal vector at p may be written v v='Vrevr (p) and by equation
r
(21), Section 3, we have G(p,v) (-1) det (EvrA,rij(p)). Holding p
ourselvesto normalvectorsv(0) such that
fixedanldrestricting

Vt+N=COS O) Vn+N-4 sin 0, vr: 0, r7nit+ N1 I, n + N,


we have G(p, v) = f(0), where f(O) is a polynomial in cos 6 and sin0 and
is hence an analytic function of 0. f(0) is not identically zero, sinice
f(0) G (p, vo)7L 0-
Let Ho be the tangenthyperplaneat x (p) perpendicularto v=- v(0).
Since X(Mn) does not belongto a hyperplane, thereexisttangenthyperplanes
1l Hn,2, 901 < 0, and C such
poinlts q1,q2 All, that x(q1) E Ho, x(q2) C Ho,
x(ql) ? H-16!, X(q2) < H1. Since f(0) does not vanish identically,there is
a tangenthyperplaneHo3, such that f(0) 74 0 and that x(q1) and x (q2)
lie on different sides of the tangenthyperplaneHo,. The conditionf(0) # 0
implies that the mapping i is one-onein a neighborhoodW of (p, v(03))
of B,. We can choose W so small that for (q',v') E W, x(q1) and X(q2)
lie oni differentsides of the tanigenthyperplane perpendicular to v' at x (q').
The functionv' x in MnIIhas at least threepointat whichv' dx 0; namely,
the maximim,the miinimum, and the poillt q'. The last point q' is distinct
fromthe maximumand the minimum,since, by our construction, thereare
points of x (MI?) on different
sides of the tangenthyperplaneat q' perpen-
dicular to v'. It followsthat a neighborhoodof Son+N-1is coveredby the
image of v at least three times. As every point of Son+N-1is covered at least
twice,we concludethat the total curvatureof x (Mn) is strictlygreaterthan
2Cn+N1l. But this is a contradiction.
It followsfromthis contradictionthat x (Mn) belongsto a hyperplane
Ev+N-1of En+N. We wish to showthat its total curvaturein En+N1- is equal
314 SHIING-SHEN CHERN AND RICHARD K. LASHOF.

to We denoteby v the unit vectorperpendicularto En+N-1 and by


2Cn+N-2.
Son+N-2 the unit spherein En+N-1. The sphereSon+N-2 can be imaginedas
the equator of Sn+N-1 with v as the northpole. Let B.' be the bundle of
unitnormalvectorsof X(Mn) in En+N-1. Then B.' C B, and v(BP') C Son+N-2.
Denote by v' the restrictionof v to BP'. It suffices to provethat,with the
exception of a set of measure zero on Son+N-2, the points of Son+N-2 are
coveredby v' exactlytwice.
Suppose the contrarybe true. There is thus a set A of positivemeasure
on SOn+N-2 whose points are coveredby v' more than twice. To any tC A
thereare distinctpointspi< - p- , kC Mn, k > 3, forwhichx (p1), * , (Pk)
have normal vectorsparallel to,,. All the unit vectorsin the great circle
spanned by ,u and v are theninormal to x(Mn) at x(p1),. ,x(pk). It
.

followsthat all the pointsof S0n+N-1 belongingto great circlesspannedby v


and the pointsof A are coveredby v'morethan twice. Since A has positive
measure on Son+N-2 this set has positivemeasure on Son+N-1, which is a
contradiction.
Thereforex (llip) belongsto En?+N-1and has, as a submanifoldof En+N-1,
a total curvatureequal to 2CG+N-2. By inductionon N we see that x (Ml,?)
mustbelongto a linear subvarietyEn+l of dimensionn + 1 and has in El'+
the total curvature2cc.
LEMMA 2. Let x: Mn -* Enl+' be an immersionof a compactoriented
manifoldand let v: Mn.-* S0n be the normal map of Gauss. Let J(p) be the
Jacobian matrix of v at p, and let Um=- {pE Mn I rank J(p) = n- mr . Then,
if Urn containsan open set V, its image under x is generatedby rn-dimen-
sional planes. Every boundarypoint of Ur,nwhich is at the same time a
limit point of an mr-dimensional generatingplane, belongsto Ur.
The fact that the image under x of V is generatedby m-dimensional
planes is a classical result; we include a proof for completeness. At any
interiorpointp of U,, the assumptionon the rank of J impliesthat we mllay
choose coordinateson M?? in the neighborhoodof p, say, ti<. . tn) such
thatif v is the unit normalvectorat p, thenav/ata = 0, and dv/Itaare linearly
independent. Here, and for the remainderof this section,we make the
followingconventionconcerningindices:
l?x,c/3,y<m, nm+ 1 ?a,b,c<n, 1 ?i, j,k?n.

We have v ax/IOt= 0. It followsthat


v -2X/Xtiata = 0, av/at., -3X/at, + V(02xl/ti8ta) = 0, &v/8t& OX/ta = 0.

Hence 8x/8t,)are vectorsorthogonalto the n - m + 1 linearlyindependent


THE TOTAL CURVATURE OF IMMERSED MANIFOLDS. 315

vectorsv, a/a The surfacesta = t,? = const.are therefore


rn-dimensional
planes in El'+'. Since av/0ta,=0, the tangenthyperplaneremainsconstant
alolngan rn-dimensional generatingplane.
Consider now the sub-bulndleB' of B consistingof all those frames
el, en+1 suCh that ea are in the m-dimensional generatingplanes. Then,
as in Section 1, we have
dx == nwej, de6-
= @ fej+ w,n+jen+j5 de-n+1
j=Yo)-,t+jjej
where
Win+i Y,Ajzjwj Aij == Aji.
j
The above assumptionon the bundle of framesB' is equivaleintto assuming
(24) -a,n+l - Wn+la 0;
i. e., that the miiatrix
(Aij) takes the form

(0 Aab) det(Aab) = D =, 07
which is an (it X n) -matrixwhose elementsare zero, except possiblythose
of the (n -m)X(n-m) block in the lower right-hand corner. Our proof
dependson studyingthe behaviorof D along the rn-dimensional
generating
plane.
From (24) we have
0- dwa,n+i = A
wa-ae o1k,n+1 = ctaA (1,n+i +? waa A Wam1+i
k f a

Our assumptionimplies
== a, 2Y
1):,6,n+1-? 05 = Aab(Ob5

so that YAabwaa A wb=-, or EAabwaa A Ilw =0. Since det(Aab) #0,


a,b a c
we get Waa A Hw- 0. Hence we can put
c
( 25 ) (1)aa haabw)b-
b

Now we have 11oan+1


a
D II co,. Exteriordifferentiation
of thisequation
c
gives

> (-1) A . . .A d&)a,n+l


a-m-ft,,f+1,+ A . . .
A wn,-n+i
a
=dD , + aD-n-1
AT(17I-o? D A
,i,1+i . . A dwa A * A n) -
c a
But
d(oa,n+l = Wak A (0k,n+1
= Y (Oab A ObT,n+i,
k b

dwa= Wk A Wka = Y haaba()aA )b + E (')b A .aba.


k a,b b
316 SHIING-SHEN CHERN AND RICHARD K. LASHOF.

Hence O= dD A H w,?-D( Ehaaa(a A H oc), or


G a,a c
(26) dD + D( I haaawa)-O, modc-.
a,a
To completethe prooflet p C Mn be a boundarypoint of U., such that
x(p) is a limit point of a generatingm-dimensionalplane L. We choose
a neighborhood V of p, in whichx is one-one,and we supposethatx- (L) C V.
Let &i(q), ,n+, (q), q C V, be a local cross-sectionof V into B, such
that,for q C x1 (L), e (q), - - - (q) span L. Such a cross-section clearly
exists. If w;,Cijare the restrictionsof wi,wH respectively
to this cross-section,
then Us are linearlyindependentand we will have
oa a= hctakwk.

The coefficientshaab (q) are equal to the functionsh.ab(q) introducedabove,


for q C x-1(L). Let y be a curvein x-1(L) abuttingat p. We have,along y,

dD+D(jhaaawa) 0.
a.a
It followsby integrationof this differelntial
equatiointhat
D (q) = Do exp(-f I hcaaa()),

for q C -y- po, whereDo #0 is the value of D at a fixedpoint of y. Since


D (q) is a continuousfunctionand since h ,a? is bounded,we concludethat
D (p) #0. This completesthe proofof Lemma 2.
We now completethe proofof Theorem3 as follows:
Let H be the space of hyperplanesof E4+1 (with the obvioustopology).
A tangenthyperplaneof x(Mn) is said to be of rank m, if it is tangentto
x (Ml,)at a point of x (U.) and at no point of x (U,), I < m. By the argu-
mentused in the proofof Theorem2, a tangenthyperplaneof rank zero does
not separate the set x (Mn). For otherwisetherewould be a neighborhood
of Son, whose points are coveredat least threetimes by v, whichwould be
contraryto the assumptionthat Mn has the minimumtotal curvature2c,.
We will showthat in everyneighborhood(in the space H) of a tangent
hyperplaneXr of x(Ms) thereis a tangenthyperplaneof rank zero. In fact,
let W be such a neighborhood.Suppose x(p), p E U., be a point of contact
of 7r. Either there is a neighborhood of p in X whichbelongscompletely
-toU. or thereare pointsof U,, I < m, in everyneighborhood of p. In both
cases we can finda point p7 such that the tangenthyperplane7r1at x (p,)
belongsto W and such that p, has a neighborhood in Mn whichbelongscom-
pletely to U,, I - m. The image under x of this neighborhoodof pl is
TIIE TOTAL, CIURVATURE OF IMAIEIBSED MANIFOLDS. 317

generatedby i-dimensionalplanes and the tangent hyperplalneto x (Pl,)


along the generating1-dimensionalplane throughx (pi) is 7 If x (p2)7
p2 E,Mn, is a boundarypoint of this to
1-plane,p2 belongs U1 by Lemma 2
and is not an interiorpointof Ul. Hence thereexistsin everyneighborhood
about P2 an open set whose points are in Uk, kc< 1, and which containsa
pointp3 E Uk such thatthe tangenthyperplaneat x (p,) is in W. Continuing
this process,we see that W containsa tangenthyperplaneof rank zero of
x(Mn).
This meansthat everyneighborhood of 7rin H containsa tangenthyper-
plane such that x (Mn) lies on one side. It followsthat the same is true
for7ritself. If vOis any unit vectorin Eon+l,v0 x (p) has a maximumanld
a minimumon Mn, which must be distinct,since Mn cannot be immersed
in an m-dimensionalhyperplane. Hence the intersectionof all the half-
spaces of En+' boundedby a tangenthyperplaneof x (Mn) and containing
points of x(M'l) is a closed convexset with a non-emptyinteriorand with
x(Mfn) on the boundary.
Since the inducedhomomorphism x* of tangentspaces is one-onle,r is
a local homeomorphism into the boundaryof the convexset. It follows
of 1M1
that X(Mn) is both open and closed on the boundary;thus x maps Mn onto
the boundary. But the boundaryof the convex set is homeomorphic to a
sphereSn and by the above Mn is a coveringspace of Sn under the map x.
Hence, if n> 2, x is a homeomorphism.The same is true for n 1, on
accountof the fact that the total curvatureis 2c1.
Conversely,let x (Mn) be a convex hypersurface. It is then locally
convex. By reversingthe orientationof Mn if necessary,we can suppose
that G(p) 0O. Then K*(p) = 2G(p), because there are two unit normal
vectorsat everypoint. The degreeof v is

1/c," G(p) dv =
G
Mn

Hence the total curvatureof x(Mn) is 2c,,.

6. A furthertheorem.
THEOREM 4. Let x:Mn -> En+' be an immersion of a closed orientable
manifoldand v: M, -* Son the normal map. Then the followingare equi-
valent:
1. degv= 1 and the Gaussian curvatureis of constantsign;
2. The total curvatureis 2cn;
3. Mn is imbeddedas a convexhypersurface.
318 SHIING-SHEN CHERN AND RIC-IARD K. LASHOF.

It sufficesto prove the implications1.) a> 2) z> 3) 2 1). Sinlce 2) :> 3)


z> 1) are containedin Theorem3, we onlyhave to provethat 1) implies2).
For this purposeit is sufficient
to showthatno set V of positivemeasure
on S0nis coveredmorethan once by Mlnunderv. Suppose the contrary. By
reversingthe orientationof Mlln if necessary,we can supposethat degv + 1
and that the Gaussian curvatureis non-negative. By Sard's theorem,there
exists a point y E V such that for any point in v- (y) the curvatureis
strictlypositive. There can only be a finitenumberof points in v-,(y).
For otherwisev- (y) will have a limit pointp at whichv is not locally one-
one, while,on the otherhand, the Jacobianof v at p C v- (y), being a non-
zero multipleof the Gaussian curvatureat p, is different fromzero. By our
assumptionon V the numberof pointsin v-' (y) is ?2. At each point of
v1 (y) the Jacobianof v is strictlypositive. It followsthat degv ? 2, which
contradictsour assumption. Hence the theoremis proved.
Remark. We would like to conjecturethat for n_? 2 the condition
degv == 1 in 1) can be omitted. In otherwords,it seemslikelythat a closed
orientablehypersurface (of dimension? 2) of non-negativeGauss-Kronecker
curvatureis convex. If the curvatureis strictlypositive,this followsfrom
Hadamard's principle. On the otherhatd, -it is well-knownthat this con-
dition is essentialfor n =1; there are non-conveximmersedcurvesin the
plane with non-negative curvature.

UNIVLRSITY OF CHICAGO.

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[4] "On manifolds homeomorphicto the seven-sphere," ibid., vol. 64 (1956),
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