The Cauchy problem for harmonic maps from Minkowski space with its standard flat metric to a certain non-constant curvature Lorentzian 2-metric is studied. The target manifold is distinguished by the fact that the Euler-Lagrange equation for the energy functional is Darboux integrable. The time evolution of the Cauchy data is reduced to an ordinary differential equation of Lie type associated to SL(2) acting on a manifold of dimension 4. This is further reduced to the simplest Lie system: the Riccati equation. Lie reduction permits explicit representation formulas for various initial value problems. Additionally, a concise (hyperbolic) Weierstrass-type representation formula is derived. Finally, a number of open problems are framed.
|Number of pages
|Symmetry, Integrability and Geometry: Methods and Applications
|Published - 2013