Weak Lower Semicontinuity of Integral Functionals and Applications

Barbora Benešová, Martin Kružík
2017 SIAM Review  
Minimization is a reoccurring theme in many mathematical disciplines ranging from pure to applied ones. Of particular importance is the minimization of integral functionals that is studied within the calculus of variations. Proofs of the existence of minimizers usually rely on a fine property of the involved functional called weak lower semicontinuity. While early studies of lower semicontinuity go back to the beginning of the 20th century the milestones of the modern theory were set by C.B.
more » ... rey Jr. in 1952 and N.G. Meyers in 1965. We recapitulate the development on this topic from then on. Special attention is paid to signed integrands and to applications in continuum mechanics of solids. In particular, we review the concept of polyconvexity and special properties of (sub)determinants with respect to weak lower semicontinuity. Besides, we emphasize some recent progress in lower semicontinuity of functionals along sequences satisfying differential and algebraic constraints which have applications in elasticity to ensure injectivity and orientation-preservation of deformations. Finally, we outline generalization of these results to more general first-order partial differential operators and make some suggestions for further reading.
doi:10.1137/16m1060947 fatcat:yjsfdh6egfanxn453w3x6xem7m