A GUIDE FOR THE READER ix
heuristically. We also rigorously construct neckpinch solutions under certain
symmetry assumptions.
The short-time existence theorem for the Ricci flow with an arbitrary
smooth initial metric is proved in Chapter 3. This basic result allows one to
use the Ricci flow as a practical tool. In particular, a number of smoothing
results in Riemannian geometry can be proved using the short-time existence
of the flow combined with the derivative estimates of Chapter 7. Since the
Ricci flow system of equations is only weakly parabolic, the short-time ex-
istence of the flow does not follow directly from standard parabolic theory.
Hamilton's original proof relied on the Nash-Moser inverse function theo-
rem. Shortly thereafter, DeTurck gave a simplified proof by showing that
the Ricci flow is equivalent to a strictly parabolic system.
In Chapter 4, the maximum principle for both functions and tensors is
presented. This provides the technical foundations for the curvature, gradi-
ent of scalar curvature, and Li-Yau-Hamilton differential Harnack estimates
proved later in the book.
In Chapter 5, we give a comprehensive treatment of the Ricci flow on
surfaces. In this lowest nontrivial dimension, many of the techniques used
in three and higher dimensions are exhibited. The concept of stationary
solutions is introduced here and used to motivate the construction of var-
ious quantities, including Li-Yau-Hamilton (LYH) differential Harnack es-
timates. The entropy estimate is applied to solutions on the 2-sphere. In
addition, derivative and injectivity radius estimates are first proved here. We
also discuss the isoperimetric estimate and combine it with the Gromov-type
compactness theorem for solutions of the Ricci flow to rule out the cigar soli-
ton as a singularity model for solutions on surfaces. In higher dimensions,
the cigar soliton is ruled out by Perelman's No Local Collapsing Theorem.
The original topological classification by Hamilton of closed 3-manifolds
with positive Ricci curvature is proved in Chapter 6. Via the maximum
principle for systems, the qualitative behavior of the curvature tensor may
be reduced in this case to the study of a system of three ODE in three un-
knowns. Using this method, we prove the pinching estimate for the curvature
mentioned above, which shows that the eigenvalues of the Ricci tensor are
approaching each other at points where the scalar curvature is becoming
large. This pinching estimate compares curvatures at the same point. Then
we estimate the gradient of the scalar curvature in order to compare the cur-
vatures at different points. The combination of these estimates shows that
the Ricci curvatures are tending to constant. Using this fact together with
estimates for the higher derivatives of curvature, we prove the convergence
of the volume-normalized Ricci flow to a spherical space form.
The derivative estimates of Chapter 7 show that assuming an initial
curvature bound allows one to bound all derivatives of the curvature for a
short time, with the estimate deteriorating as the time tends to zero. (This
deterioration of the estimate is necessary, because an initial bound on the
curvature alone does not imply simultaneous bounds on its derivatives.) The
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