Let $f$ be a $C^1$ functional on a Hilbert space $X$, and $Y$ a closed subspace of $X$. Suppose the restriction of $f$ on $Y$ has a critical point $x_0 \in Y$.
Q: Is $x_0$ a critical point of $f$?
Let $f$ be a $C^1$ functional on a Hilbert space $X$, and $Y$ a closed subspace of $X$. Suppose the restriction of $f$ on $Y$ has a critical point $x_0 \in Y$. Q: Is $x_0$ a critical point of $f$? 

closed as off topic by Bill Johnson, Alain Valette, Ryan Budney, Mark Sapir, Andy Putman Feb 6 '12 at 4:07Questions on MathOverflow are expected to relate to research level mathematics within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question. 


Especially in Calculus of Variations and Mechanics, a submanifold $Y$ of a manifold $X$ is usually called "a natural constraint" for a functional $f$ on $X$, if the special circumstance that you are considering does happen: constrained critical points of $f$ on $Y$ are free critical points: $\operatorname{crit} (f_{Y})\subset \operatorname{crit}(f)$. An important situation when this is true arises when $Y$ is defined as fixed point set of a group of symmetries of $f$. The corresponding principle, claiming that $Y$ is a natural constraint, is known since old times as a popular proverb. In the late 70' Richard Palais has made this into a deep and beautiful theorem, stating the right hypotheses for its validity and also providing counterexamples to the naive claim of the principle (all popular proverbs are 95% true but never 100% true!). [ R. Palais, The Principle of Symmetric Criticality, Comm. Math. Phys., Vol. 69, Number 1 (1979), 1930 ] 

