Calculus of Variations and Geometric Measure Theory

M. S. Gelli - F. Prinari

The role of intrinsic distances in the relaxation of $L^\infty$-functionals

created by prinari on 16 May 2020
modified on 19 Nov 2021


Published Paper

Inserted: 16 may 2020
Last Updated: 19 nov 2021

Journal: Nonlinear Analysis
Year: 2021

ArXiv: 1802.06687 PDF


We consider a supremal functional of the form $$F(u)=\mathop{\rm ess\: sup }{x \in \Omega} f(x,Du(x))$$ where $\Omega\subseteq \mathbf {R}^N$ is a regular bounded open set, $u\in W^{1,\infty}(\Omega)$ and $f$ is a Borel function. Assuming that the intrinsic distances $d^{\lambda}_F(x,y):= \sup \Big\{ u(x) - u(y): \, F(u)\leq \lambda \Big\}$ are locally equivalent to the euclidean one for every $\lambda>\inf_{W^{1,\infty}(\Omega)} F$, we give a description of the sublevel sets of the weak$^*$-lower semicontinuous envelope of $F$ in terms of the sub-level sets of the difference quotient functionals $R_{d^\lambda_F}(u):=\sup_{x\not =y} \frac{u(x)-u(y)}{d^\lambda_F(x,y)}. $ As a consequence we prove that the relaxed functional of positive $1$-homogeneous supremal functionals coincides with $R_{d^1_F}$. Moreover, for a more general supremal functional $F$ (a priori non coercive), we prove that the sublevel sets of its relaxed functionals with respect to the weak$^*$ topology, the weak$^*$ convergence and the uniform convergence are convex. The proof of these results relies both on a deep analysis of the intrinsic distances associated to $F$ and on a careful use of variational tools such as $\Gamma$-convergence.