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Talk Abstract
Existence and Nonexistence of Minimizers in the Calculus of Variations

Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications
Gero Friesecke, University of Oxford

We will discuss central examples of variational problems exhibiting a transition from existence to nonexistence of minimizers. The examples share the following two features: a) they are of physical origin (nonconvex elasticity, quantum chemistry, BCS theory of superconductivity), b) traditional lower semicontinuity methods fail to shed light on why, or at which threshold, the transition occurs.

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