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Journal of Convex Analysis 30 (2023), No. 1, 217--247
Copyright Heldermann Verlag 2023

External Forces in the Continuum Limit of Discrete Systems with Non-Convex Interaction Potentials: Compactness for a Γ-Development

Marcello Carioni
Institute of Mathematics, University of Wuerzburg, Germany
and: Dept. of Applied Mathematics, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

Julian Fischer
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig, Germany
and: Institute of Science and Technology, Klosterneuburg, Austria

Anja Schloemerkemper
Institute of Mathematics, University of Wuerzburg, Germany

This paper is concerned with equilibrium configurations of one-dimensional particle systems with non-convex nearest-neighbour and next-to-nearest-neighbour interactions and its passage to the continuum. The goal is to derive compactness results for a Γ-development of the energy with the novelty that external forces are allowed. In particular, the forces may depend on Lagrangian or Eulerian coordinates and thus may model dead as well as live loads. Our result is based on a new technique for deriving compactness results which are required for calculating the first-order Γ-limit in the presence of external forces: instead of comparing a configuration of n atoms to a global minimizer of the Γ-limit, we compare the configuration to a minimizer in some subclass of functions which in some sense are "close to" the configuration. The paper is complemented with the study of the minimizers of the Γ-limit.

Keywords: Discrete-to-continuum limit, fracture, external force, Lennard-Jones potential.

MSC: 74R10, 49J45, 74Q05.

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