Topology of Sobolev spaces and Local minimizers

16 January 2014
Attempting to extend the methods of critical point theory (e.g., those of Morse theory and Lusternik-Schnirelman theory) to the study of strong local minimizers of integral functionals of the calculus of variations I will describe how the obstruction method of algebraic topology can be successfully used to tackle the enumeration problem for various homotopy classes of maps in Sobolev spaces and that how this will result in precise lower bounds on the number of such local minimizers in terms of convenient topological invariants of the underlying spaces. I will then move on to dicussing variants as well as applications of the result to some classes of geometric nonlinear PDEs in particular problems in nonlinear elasticity.
  • OxPDE Special Seminar