Graduate Student / Postdoc Seminar

A Variational Approach to Microstructure

Speaker: Robert Kohn

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: Friday, March 29, 2013, 1 p.m.


In many physical problems, energy minimization leads to the formation of microstructure. Examples include the wrinkling of a stretched elastic membrane, the formation of domains in a magnetic material, and the twinning produced by martensitic phase transformation. The mathematical heart of the matter involves nonconvex variational problems regularized by higher-order singular perturbations. I will discuss through selected examples (some old, some new) how the analysis of such problems has opened a new chapter in the calculus of variations.