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Title page for ETD etd-07152009-162919

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Calef, Matthew Thomas
Author's Email Address mcalef@alumni.uchicago.edu
URN etd-07152009-162919
Title Theoretical and Computational Investigations of Minimal Energy Problems
Degree PhD
Department Mathematics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Douglas Hardin Committee Chair
Akram Aldroubi Committee Member
Ed Saff Committee Member
Marcus Mendenhall Committee Member
Mark Ellingham Committee Member
  • potential theory; normalized d-energy; density
Date of Defense 2009-06-25
Availability unrestricted

Let A be a d-dimensional compact subset of p-dimensional Euclidean space. For s in (0,d) the Riesz s-equilibrium measure is the unique Borel probability measure that minimizes the Riesz s-energy over the set of all Borel probability measures supported on A. In this paper we show that if A is a strictly self-similar d-fractal or a strongly Hausdorff d-rectifiable set, then the s-equilibrium measures converge in the weak-star topology to normalized Hausdorff measure restricted to A as s approaches d from below.

Additionally we describe numerical experiments on the 2-sphere involving discrete energies mediated by the Riesz s-kernel. These experiments provide approximate discrete minimal energies for N=20,...,200 and s=0,...,3 where, in the case s=0, the Riesz kernel becomes the logarithmic kernel. These experiments corroborate several conjectures regarding the asymptotic expansion as N goes go infinity of the minimal N-point energies. Further, the number of stable configurations observed as a function of N and s is reported. Finally, two algorithms used in this experiment are presented. The first minimizes the effect of roundoff error when computing sums of many terms, the second uses graph theory to speed the identification of isometries between collections of on the 2-sphere.

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