On the Sampson Laplacian

Josef Mikes, Sergey Evgenyevich Stepanov, Irina Ivanovna Tsyganok


In the present paper we consider the little-known Sampson operator that is strongly elliptic and self-adjoint second order differential operator acting on covariant symmetric tensors on Riemannian manifolds. First of all, we review the results on this operator. Then we consider the properties of the Sampson operator acting on one-forms and symmetric two-tensors. We study this operator using the analytical method, due to Bochner, of proving vanishing theorems for the null space of a Laplace operator admitting a Weitzenbock decomposition. Further we estimate operator’s lowest eigenvalue.


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