Sufficient conditions for the validity of the Cauchy-Born rule close to SO(n)
Sergio Conti, Georg Dolzmann, Bernd Kirchheim, and Stefan Müller
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Submission date: 25. Sep. 2005
published in: Journal of the European Mathematical Society, 8 (2006) 3, p. 515-530
MSC-Numbers: 74B20, 74N05
Keywords and phrases: cauchy-born rule, atomistic models, null lagrangian
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The Cauchy-Born rule provides a crucial link between continuum theories of elasticity and the atomistic nature of matter. In its strongest form it says that application of affine displacement boundary conditions to a monatomic crystal will lead to an affine deformation of the whole crystal lattice. We give a general condition in arbitrary dimensions which ensures the validity of the Cauchy-Born rule for boundary deformations which are close to rigid motions.
This generalizes results of Friesecke and Theil [J. Nonlin. Sci. 12 (2002), 445-478] for a two-dimensional model. As in their work the key idea is to use a discrete version of polyconvexity (ordinary convexity of the elastic energy as a function of the atomic positions is ruled out by frame-indifference). The main point is the construction of a suitable discrete null Lagrangian which allows one to separate rigid motions. To do so we observe a simple identity for the determinant function on SO and use interpolation to convert ordinary null Lagrangians into discrete ones.