Topological methods for strong local minimizers and extremals of multiple integrals in the calculus of variations

Shahrokhi-Dehkordi, Mohammad Sadegh (2011) Topological methods for strong local minimizers and extremals of multiple integrals in the calculus of variations. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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Let Ω ⊂ Rn be a bounded Lipschitz domain and consider the energy functional

F[u, Ω] := ∫ Ω F(∇u(x)) dx,

over the space Ap(Ω) := {u ∈ W 1,p(Ω, Rn): u|∂Ω = x, det ∇u> 0 a.e. in Ω}, where the integrand F : Mn×n → R is quasiconvex, sufficiently regular and satisfies a p-coercivity and p-growth for some exponent p ∈ [1, ∞[. A motivation for the study of above energy functional comes from nonlinear elasticity where F represents the elastic energy of a homogeneous hyperelastic material and Ap(Ω) represents the space of orientation preserving deformations of Ω fixing the boundary pointwise. The aim of this thesis is to discuss the question of multiplicity versus uniqueness for extremals and strong local minimizers of F and the relation it bares to the domain topology. Our work, building upon previous works of others, explicitly and quantitatively confirms the significant role of domain topology, and provides explicit and new examples as well as methods for constructing such maps.

Our approach for constructing strong local minimizers is topological in nature and is based on defining suitable homotopy classes in Ap(Ω) (for p ≥ n), whereby minimizing F on each class results in, modulo technicalities, a strong local minimizer. Here we work on a prototypical example of a topologically non-trivial domain, namely, a generalised annulus, Ω= {x ∈ Rn : a< |x| <b}, with 0 <a<b< ∞. Then the associated homotopy classes of Ap(Ω) are infinitely many when n =2 and two when n ≥ 3. In contrast, for constructing explicitly and directly solutions to the system of Euler-Lagrange equations associated to F we introduce a topological class of maps referred to as generalised twists and relate the problem to extremising an associated energy on the compact Lie group SO(n). The main result is a surprising discrepancy between even and odd dimensions. In even dimensions the latter system of equations admits infinitely many smooth solutions, modulo isometries, amongst such maps whereas in odd dimensions this number reduces to one. Even more surprising is the fact that in odd dimensions the functional F admits strong local minimizers yet no solution of the Euler-Lagrange equations can be in the form of a generalised twist. Thus the strong local minimizers here do not have the symmetry one intuitively expects!

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Mathematics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA0299 Analysis. Including analytical methods connected with physical problems
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA0440 Geometry. Trigonometry. Topology
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2011 11:42
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2015 13:28

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