This book deals with two subjects. The first subject is the geometric theory of compact Riemann surfaces of genus greater than one, the second subject is the Laplace operator and its relationship with the geometry of compact Riemann surfaces. The book grew out of the idea, a long time ago, to publish a Habili- tionsschrift, a thesis, in which I studied Bers' pants decomposition theorem and its applications to the spectrum of a compact Riemann surface. A basic tool in the thesis was cutting and pasting in connection with the trigono- metry of hyperbolic geodesic polygons. As this approach to the geometry of a compact Riemann surface did not exist in book form, I took this book as an occasion to carry out the geometry in detail, and so it grew by several chapters. Also, while I was writing things up there was much progress in the field, and some of the new results were too challenging to be left out of the book. For instance, Sunada's construction of isospectral manifolds was fascinating, and I got hooked on constructing examples for quite a while. So time went on and the book kept growing. Fortunately, the interest in exis- tence proofs also kept growing. The editor, for instance, was interested, and so was my family. And so the book finally assumed its present form. Many of the proofs given here are new, and there are also results which appear for the first time in print.
Geometry and Spectra of Compact Riemann Surfaces