# The gradient flow of Higgs pairs

### Jiayu Li

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China### Xi Zhang

Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

## Abstract

In this paper, we consider the gradient flow of the Yang-Mills-Higgs functional of Higgs pairs on a Hermitian vector bundle $(E , H_{0})$ over a Kähler surface $(M , \omega )$, and study the asymptotic behavior of the heat flow for Higgs pairs at infinity. The main result is that the gradient flow with initial condition $(A_{0} , \phi_{0})$ converges, in an appropriate sense which takes into account bubbling phenomena, to a critical points $(A_{\infty } , \phi_{\infty})$ of this functional. We also prove that the limiting Higgs pair $(A_{\infty }, \phi_{\infty})$ can be extended smoothly to a vector bundle $E_{\infty }$ over $(M , \omega )$ , and the isomorphism class of the limiting Higgs bundle $(E_{\infty } , A_{\infty } , \phi_{\infty})$ is given by the double dual of the graded Higgs sheaves associate to Harder-Narasimhan-Seshadri filtration of the initial Higgs bundle $(E , A_{0} , \phi_{0})$.

## Cite this article

Jiayu Li, Xi Zhang, The gradient flow of Higgs pairs. J. Eur. Math. Soc. 13 (2011), no. 5, pp. 1373–1422

DOI 10.4171/JEMS/284