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# Geodesics on SO(n) and a class of spherically symmetric maps as solutions to a nonlinear generalised harmonic map problem

We address questions on existence, multiplicity as well as qualitative features including rotational symmetry for certain classes of geometrically motivated maps serving as solutions to the nonlinear system $$ \begin{cases} -\text{\rm div}[ F'(|x|,|

abla u|^2)

abla u] = F'(|x|,|

abla u|^2) |

abla u|^2 u &\text{in } \mathbb{X}^n,\\ |u| = 1 &\text{in } \mathbb{X}^n ,\\ u = \varphi &\text{on } \partial \mathbb{X}^n. \end{cases} $$% Here $\varphi \in \mathscr{C}^\infty(\partial {\mathbb{X}}^n, \mathbb S}^{n-1})$ is a suitable boundary map, $F'$ is the derivative of $F$ with respect to the second argument, $u \in W^{1,p}(\mathbb{X}^n, \mathbb S}^{n-1})$ for a fixed $1< p< \infty$ and ${\mathbb{X}}^n=\{x \in \mathbb R^n : a< |x|< b\}$ is a generalised annulus. Of particular interest are spherical twists and whirls, where following \cite{Taheri2012}, a spherical twist refers to a rotationally symmetric map of the form $u\colon x \mapsto \rom{Q}(|x|)x|x|^{-1}$ with $\rom{Q}$ some suitable path in $\mathscr{C}([a, b], {\rm SO}(n))$ and a whirl has a similar but more complex structure with only $2$-plane symmetries. We establish the existence of an infinite family of such solutions and illustrate an interesting discrepancy between odd and even dimensions.

abla u|^2)

abla u] = F'(|x|,|

abla u|^2) |

abla u|^2 u &\text{in } \mathbb{X}^n,\\ |u| = 1 &\text{in } \mathbb{X}^n ,\\ u = \varphi &\text{on } \partial \mathbb{X}^n. \end{cases} $$% Here $\varphi \in \mathscr{C}^\infty(\partial {\mathbb{X}}^n, \mathbb S}^{n-1})$ is a suitable boundary map, $F'$ is the derivative of $F$ with respect to the second argument, $u \in W^{1,p}(\mathbb{X}^n, \mathbb S}^{n-1})$ for a fixed $1< p< \infty$ and ${\mathbb{X}}^n=\{x \in \mathbb R^n : a< |x|< b\}$ is a generalised annulus. Of particular interest are spherical twists and whirls, where following \cite{Taheri2012}, a spherical twist refers to a rotationally symmetric map of the form $u\colon x \mapsto \rom{Q}(|x|)x|x|^{-1}$ with $\rom{Q}$ some suitable path in $\mathscr{C}([a, b], {\rm SO}(n))$ and a whirl has a similar but more complex structure with only $2$-plane symmetries. We establish the existence of an infinite family of such solutions and illustrate an interesting discrepancy between odd and even dimensions.

## History

## Publication status

- Published

## File Version

- Accepted version

## Journal

Topological Methods in Nonlinear Analysis## ISSN

1230-3429## Publisher

Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Juliusz Schauder Centre for Nonlinear Studies## External DOI

## Issue

2## Volume

51## Page range

637-662## Department affiliated with

- Physics and Astronomy Publications

## Full text available

- Yes

## Peer reviewed?

- Yes