Approximate Hermitian-Yang-Mills structures and semistability for Higgs bundles. I: Generalities and the one-dimensional case

Research paper by S. A. H. Cardona

Indexed on: 16 Apr '12Published on: 16 Apr '12Published in: Mathematics - Differential Geometry


We review the notions of (weak) Hermitian-Yang-Mills structure and approximate Hermitian-Yang-Mills structure for Higgs bundles. Then, we construct the Donaldson functional for Higgs bundles over compact K\"ahler manifolds and we present some basic properties of it. In particular, we show that its gradient flow can be written in terms of the mean curvature of the Hitchin-Simpson connection. We also study some properties of the solutions of the evolution equation associated with that functional. Next, we study the problem of the existence of approximate Hermitian-Yang-Mills structures and its relation with the algebro-geometric notion of semistability and we show that for a compact Riemann surface, the notion of approximate Hermitian-Yang-Mills structure is in fact the differential-geometric counterpart of the notion of semistability. Finally, we review the notion of admissible hermitian structure on a torsion-free Higgs sheaf and define the Donaldson functional for such an object.