The theory of exterior differential systems provides a framework for systematically addressing the typically non-linear, and frequently overdetermined, partial differential equations that arise in differential geometry. Adaptation of the techniques of microlocalization to differential systems have led to recent activity on the foundations of the theory; in particular, the fundamental role of the characteristic variety in geometric problems is now clearly established. In this book the general theory is explained in a relatively quick and concrete manner, and then this general theory is applied to the recent developments in the classical problem of isometric embeddings of Riemannian manifolds.
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Phillip A. Griffiths:
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