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Global Existence and Uniqueness Results for Nematic Liquid Crystal and Magnetoviscoelastic Flows
(2022)

Liquid crystals and polymeric fluids are found in many technical applications with liquid crystal displays probably being the most prominent one. Ferromagnetic materials are well established in industrial and everyday use, e.g. as magnets in generators, transformers and hard drive disks. Among ferromagnetic materials, we find a subclass which undergoes deformations if an external magnetic field is applied. This effect is exploited in actuators, magnetoelastic sensors, and new fluid materials have been produced which retain their induced magnetization during the flow.
A central issue consists of a proper modelling for those materials. Several models exist regarding liquid crystals and liquid crystal flows, but up to now, none of them has provided a full insight into all observed effects. On materials encompassing magnetic, elastic and perhaps even fluid dynamic effects, the mathematical literature seems sparse in terms of models. To some extent, one can unify the modeling of nematic liquid crystals and magnetoviscoelastic materials employing a so-called energetic variational approach.
Using the least action principle from theoretical physics, the actual task reduces to finding appropriate energies describing the observed behavior. The procedure leads to systems of evolutionary partial differential equations, which are analyzed in this work.
From the mathematical point of view, fundamental questions on existence, uniqueness and stability of solutions remain unsolved. Concerning the Ericksen-Leslie system modelling nematic liquid crystal flows, an approximation to this model is given by the so-called Ginzburg-Landau approximation. Solutions to the latter are intended to approximately represent solutions to the Ericksen-Leslie system. Indeed, we verify this presumption in two spatial dimensions. More precisely, it is shown that weak solutions of the Ginzburg-Landau approximation converge to solutions of the Ericksen-Leslie system in the energy space for all positive times of evolution. In order to do so, theory for the Euler equations invented by DiPerna and Majda on weak compactness and concentration measures is used.
The second part of the work deals with a system of partial differential equations modelling magnetoviscoelastic fluids. We provide a well-posedness result in two spatial dimensions for large energies and large times. Along the verification of that conclusion, existing theory on the Ericksen-Leslie system and the harmonic map flow is deployed and suitably extended.

This thesis gives an overview over mathematical modeling of complex fluids with the discussion of underlying mechanical principles, the introduction of the energetic variational framework, and examples and applications. The purpose is to present a formal energetic variational treatment of energies corresponding to the models of physical phenomena and to derive PDEs for the complex fluid systems. The advantages of this approach over force-based modeling are, e.g., that for complex systems energy terms can be established in a relatively easy way, that force components within a system are not counted twice, and that this approach can naturally combine effects on different scales. We follow a lecture of Professor Dr. Chun Liu from Penn State University, USA, on complex fluids which he gave at the University of Wuerzburg during his Giovanni Prodi professorship in summer 2012. We elaborate on this lecture and consider also parts of his work and publications, and substantially extend the lecture by own calculations and arguments (for papers including an overview over the energetic variational treatment see [HKL10], [Liu11] and references therein).

The subject of this thesis is the rigorous passage from discrete systems to continuum models via variational methods.
The first part of this work studies a discrete model describing a one-dimensional chain of atoms with finite range interactions of Lennard-Jones type. We derive an expansion of the ground state energy using \(\Gamma\)-convergence. In particular, we show that a variant of the Cauchy-Born rule holds true for the model under consideration. We exploit this observation to derive boundary layer energies due to asymmetries of the lattice at the boundary or at cracks of the specimen. Hereby we extend several results obtained previously for models involving only nearest and next-to-nearest neighbour interactions by Braides and Cicalese and Scardia, Schlömerkemper and Zanini.
The second part of this thesis is devoted to the analysis of a quasi-continuum (QC) method. To this end, we consider the discrete model studied in the first part of this thesis as the fully atomistic model problem and construct an approximation based on a QC method. We show that in an elastic setting the expansion by \(\Gamma\)-convergence of the fully atomistic energy and its QC approximation coincide. In the case of fracture, we show that this is not true in general. In the case of only nearest and next-to-nearest neighbour interactions, we give sufficient conditions on the QC approximation such that, also in case of fracture, the minimal energies of the fully atomistic energy and its approximation coincide in the limit.

This doctoral thesis is concerned with the mathematical modeling of magnetoelastic materials and the analysis of PDE systems describing these materials and obtained from a variational approach.
The purpose is to capture the behavior of elastic particles that are not only magnetic but exhibit a magnetic domain structure which is well described by the micromagnetic energy and the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation of the magnetization. The equation of motion for the material’s velocity is derived in a continuum mechanical setting from an energy ansatz. In the modeling process, the focus is on the interplay between Lagrangian and Eulerian coordinate systems to combine elasticity and magnetism in one model without the assumption of small deformations.
The resulting general PDE system is simplified using special assumptions. Existence of weak solutions is proved for two variants of the PDE system, one including gradient flow dynamics on the magnetization, and the other featuring the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation. The proof is based on a Galerkin method and a fixed point argument. The analysis of the PDE system with the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation uses a more involved approach to obtain weak solutions based on G. Carbou and P. Fabrie 2001.

The work in this thesis contains three main topics. These are the passage from discrete to continuous models by means of $\Gamma$-convergence, random as well as periodic homogenization and fracture enabled by non-convex Lennard-Jones type interaction potentials. Each of them is discussed in the following.
We consider a discrete model given by a one-dimensional chain of particles with randomly distributed interaction potentials. Our interest lies in the continuum limit, which yields the effective behaviour of the system. This limit is achieved as the number of atoms tends to infinity, which corresponds to a vanishing distance between the particles. The starting point of our analysis is an energy functional in a discrete system; its continuum limit is obtained by variational $\Gamma$-convergence.
The $\Gamma$-convergence methods are combined with a homogenization process in the framework of ergodic theory, which allows to focus on heterogeneous systems. On the one hand, composite materials or materials with impurities are modelled by a stochastic or periodic distribution of particles or interaction potentials. On the other hand, systems of one species of particles can be considered as random in cases when the orientation of particles matters. Nanomaterials, like chains of atoms, molecules or polymers, are an application of the heterogeneous chains in experimental sciences.
A special interest is in fracture in such heterogeneous systems. We consider interaction potentials of Lennard-Jones type. The non-standard growth conditions and the convex-concave structure of the Lennard-Jones type interactions yield mathematical difficulties, but allow for fracture. The interaction potentials are long-range in the sense that their modulus decays slower than exponential. Further, we allow for interactions beyond nearest neighbours, which is also referred to as long-range.
The main mathematical issue is to bring together the Lennard-Jones type interactions with ergodic theorems in the limiting process as the number of particles tends to infinity. The blow up at zero of the potentials prevents from using standard extensions of the Akcoglu-Krengel subadditive ergodic theorem. We overcome this difficulty by an approximation of the interaction potentials which shows suitable Lipschitz and Hölder regularity. Beyond that, allowing for continuous probability distributions instead of only finitely many different potentials leads to a further challenge.
The limiting integral functional of the energy by means of $\Gamma$-convergence involves a homogenized energy density and allows for fracture, but without a fracture contribution in the energy. In order to refine this result, we rescale our model and consider its $\Gamma$-limit, which is of Griffith's type consisting of an elastic part and a jump contribution.
In a further approach we study fracture at the level of the discrete energies. With an appropriate definition of fracture in the discrete setting, we define a fracture threshold separating the region of elasticity from that of fracture and consider the pointwise convergence of this threshold. This limit turns out to coincide with the one obtained in the variational $\Gamma$-convergence approach.