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I have a bunch of papers that claim that, from the equation for shape energy: $$ F = \frac{1}{2}k_c \int (c_1+c_2-c_0)^2 dA + \Delta p \int dV + \lambda \int dA$$ one can use "methods of variational calculus" to derive the following: $$\Delta p - 2\lambda H + k(2H+c_0)(2H^2-2K-c_0H)+2k\nabla^2H=0$$ But I'm having a lot of trouble tracking down the original derivation. The guy who did it first was Helfrich, and here's his and Ou-yang's paper deriving it: http://prl.aps.org/pdf/PRL/v59/i21/p2486_1 . However, they don't show an actual derivation, instead saying "the derivation will appear in a full paper by the authors" or something like that. Yet everybody cites the paper I just linked for a derivation. Does anybody know a source that can derive this, or can give me some hints to figure it out myself? To be honest I can't even figure out how to find the first variation. Thanks!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The follow-up paper by Helfrich you are searching for is

Bending energy of vesicle membranes: General expressions for the first, second, and third variation of the shape energy and applications to spheres and cylinders, Ou-Yang Zhong-can and Wolfgang Helfrich, Physical Review A 39, 5280-5288 (1989).

A general equation of mechanical equilibrium of fluid membranes subject to bending elasticity [reported in Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2486 (1987)] is derived in detail.

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