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## Extremal spectral properties of Otsuki tori

Otsuki tori form a countable family of immersed minimal two-dimensional tori in the unitary three-dimensional sphere. According to El Soufi-Ilias theorem, the metrics on the Otsuki tori are extremal for some unknown eigenvalues of the Laplace-Beltrami operator. Despite the fact that the Otsuki tori are defined in quite an implicit way, we find explicitly the numbers of the corresponding extremal eigenvalues. In particular we provide an extremal metric for the third eigenvalue of the torus.

Using Takahashi's theorem, we propose an approach to extend known families of minimal tori in spheres. As an example, the well-known two-parametric family of Lawson tau-surfaces including tori and Klein bottles is extended to a three-parametric family of tori and Klein bottles minimally immersed in spheres. Extremal spectral properties of the metrics on these surfaces are investigated. These metrics include (i) both metrics extremal for the first non-trivial eigenvalue on the torus, i.e., the metric on the Clifford torus and the metric on the equilateral torus and (ii) the metric maximal for the first non-trivial eigenvalue on the Klein bottle.

The present paper contains a short review of known results in the problem of geometric optimization of eigenvalues of Laplace-Beltrami operator and a detailed review of recent results in theory of extremal metrics on surfaces.

Let k be a field of characteristic zero, let G be a connected reductive algebraic group over k and let g be its Lie algebra. Let k(G), respectively, k(g), be the field of k- rational functions on G, respectively, g. The conjugation action of G on itself induces the adjoint action of G on g. We investigate the question whether or not the field extensions k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G are purely transcendental. We show that the answer is the same for k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G, and reduce the problem to the case where G is simple. For simple groups we show that the answer is positive if G is split of type A_n or C_n, and negative for groups of other types, except possibly G_2. A key ingredient in the proof of the negative result is a recent formula for the unramified Brauer group of a homogeneous space with connected stabilizers. As a byproduct of our investigation we give an affirmative answer to a question of Grothendieck about the existence of a rational section of the categorical quotient morphism for the conjugating action of G on itself.

Let G be a connected semisimple algebraic group over an algebraically closed field k. In 1965 Steinberg proved that if G is simply connected, then in G there exists a closed irreducible cross-section of the set of closures of regular conjugacy classes. We prove that in arbitrary G such a cross-section exists if and only if the universal covering isogeny Ĝ → G is bijective; this answers Grothendieck's question cited in the epigraph. In particular, for char k = 0, the converse to Steinberg's theorem holds. The existence of a cross-section in G implies, at least for char k = 0, that the algebra k[G]G of class functions on G is generated by rk G elements. We describe, for arbitrary G, a minimal generating set of k[G]G and that of the representation ring of G and answer two Grothendieck's questions on constructing generating sets of k[G]G. We prove the existence of a rational (i.e., local) section of the quotient morphism for arbitrary G and the existence of a rational cross-section in G (for char k = 0, this has been proved earlier); this answers the other question cited in the epigraph. We also prove that the existence of a rational section is equivalent to the existence of a rational W-equivariant map T- - - >G/T where T is a maximal torus of G and W the Weyl group.