Mircea Petrache. PUC Chile
Energy, Optimal Transport and Best Polarization asymptotics, for large configurations of points
Auditorio Ninoslav Bralic
Large systems of points which optimize variational principles and are conjectured to form lattice-like configurations, appear in several fields of science, such as Material Science, Signal Processing, Geometric Number Theory, Superconductivity, etc.
For a system of N points, the characterization of "best" configurations at specific low values of N usually relies on ad-hoc methods, and the spatial patterns given by optimum configurations for small N are mysterious, and unknown except for very small N. On the other hand, as the number of points N tends to infinity, crystallization is often experimentally/numerically observed, i.e. the "best" configurations become closer and closer to special lattices. Rigorous proofs of this by classical methods are in all but a few interesting cases missing, and the exponential complexity of the configuration spaces form a fundamental obstacle. Even in simplified situations, proofs rely on non-classical techniques that work across classical boundaries between fields of mathematics, such as in recent work of Viazovska.
I will present three model-problems: 1) the basic energy-minimization and packing problems, based on pairwise interactions, 2) an optimal transport problem coming from computational quantum mechanics, and 3) the so-called Chebyshev, or best polarization, problem. The talk is partly based on joint work S.Serfaty, C.Cotar, D.Hardin and E.Saff.