Adaptive finite elements for relaxed methods (FERM) in computational microstructures

23 February 2004
Carsten Carstensen
Nonconvex minimisation problems are encountered in many applications such as phase transitions in solids (1) or liquids but also in optimal design tasks (2) or micromagnetism (3). In contrast to rubber-type elastic materials and many other variational problems in continuum mechanics, the minimal energy may be <em>not</em> attained. In the sense of (Sobolev) functions, the non-rank-one convex minimisation problem (<em>M</em>) is ill-posed: As illustrated in the introduction of FERM, the gradients of infimising sequences are enforced to develop finer and finer oscillations called microstructures. Some macroscopic or effective quantities, however, are well-posed and the target of an efficient numerical treatment. The presentation proposes adaptive mesh-refining algorithms for the finite element method for the effective equations (<em>R</em>), i.e. the macroscopic problem obtained from relaxation theory. For some class of convexified model problems, a~priori and a~posteriori error control is available with an reliability-efficiency gap. Nevertheless, convergence of some adaptive finite element schemes is guaranteed. Applications involve model situations for (1), (2), and (3) where the relaxation is provided by a simple convexification.
  • Applied Analysis and Mechanics Seminar