The problem of embedding abstract Riemannian manifolds isometrically (i.e. preserving the lengths) into Euclidean space stems from the conceptually fundamental question of whether abstract Riemannian manifolds and submanifolds of Euclidean space are the same. As it turns out, such embeddings have a drastically different behaviour at low regularity (i.e. $C^1$) than at high regularity (i.e. $C^2$). For example, by the famous Nash--Kuiper theorem it is possible to find $C^1$ isometric embeddings of the standard $2$-sphere into arbitrarily small balls in $\mathbb{R}^3$, and yet, in the $C^2$ category there is (up to translation and rotation) just one isometric embedding, namely the standard inclusion. Analoguous to the Onsager conjecture in fluid dynamics, one might ask if there is a sharp regularity threshold in the Hölder scale which distinguishes these flexible and rigid behaviours.

In my talk I will review some known results and argue why the Hölder exponent 1/2 can be seen as a critical exponent in the problem.

* This seminar is organized in collaboration with RIKEN iTHEMS.