A commentary on Teichmüller's paper ''Veränderliche Riemannsche Flächen" (Variable Riemann Surfaces)

Abstract : This is a commentary on Teichmüllers' paper ''Veränderliche Riemannsche Flächen" (Variable Riemann Surfaces), published in 1944. This paper is the last one that Teichmüller wrote on the problem of moduli. At most places the paper contains ideas and no technical details. The author presents a completely new approach to Teichmüller space, compared to the approach he took in his first seminal paper ''Extremale quasikonforme Abbildungen und quadratische Differentiale" and its sequel ''Bestimmung der extremalen quasikonformen Abbildungen bei geschlossenen orientierten Riemannschen Flächen" in which he completed some of the the results stated in the former. In the paper ''Extremale quasikonforme ...", Teichmüller led the foundations of what we call today Teichmüller theory (but without the complex structure), defining its metric and introducing in that theory the techniques of quasiconformal mappings and of quadratic differentials as essential tools. In the present paper, the approach is more abstract, through complex analytic geometry. Teichmüller space, equipped with its complex-analytic structure, is characterized here by a certain universal property. Among the other ideas and results contained in the paper, we mention the following: (1) The existence and uniqueness of the universal Teichmüller curve, rediscovered later on by Ahlfors and by Bers. At the same time, this introduced the first fibre bundle over Teichmüller space. (2) The proof of the fact that the automorphisms group of the univeral Teichmüller curve is the extended mapping class group. (3) The idea of a fine moduli space. (4) The idea of using the period map to define a complex structure on Teichmüller space.
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Chapitre d'ouvrage
Athanase Papadopoulos. Handbook of Teichmüller Theory, Volume IV, 19, European Mathematical Society, pp.787-814, 2014, IRMA Lectures in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, 〈10.4171/117-1/20〉
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Annette A'Campo-Neuen, Norbert A'Campo, Lizhen Ji, Athanase Papadopoulos. A commentary on Teichmüller's paper ''Veränderliche Riemannsche Flächen" (Variable Riemann Surfaces). Athanase Papadopoulos. Handbook of Teichmüller Theory, Volume IV, 19, European Mathematical Society, pp.787-814, 2014, IRMA Lectures in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, 〈10.4171/117-1/20〉. 〈hal-00730238〉

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