Isoparametric hypersurfaces with four principal curvatures


Let $M$ be an isoparametric hypersurface in the sphere $S^n$ with four distinct principal curvatures. Münzner showed that the four principal curvatures can have at most two distinct multiplicities $m_1, m_2$, and Stolz showed that the pair $(m_1,m_2)$ must either be $(2,2)$, $(4,5)$, or be equal to the multiplicities of an isoparametric hypersurface of FKM-type, constructed by Ferus, Karcher and Münzner from orthogonal representations of Clifford algebras. In this paper, we prove that if the multiplicities satisfy $m_2 \geq 2m_1 – 1$, then the isoparametric hypersurface $M$ must be of FKM-type. Together with known results of Takagi for the case $m_1 = 1$, and Ozeki and Takeuchi for $m_1 = 2$, this handles all possible pairs of multiplicities except for four cases, for which the classification problem remains open.