Inserted: 3 jun 2020
Last Updated: 16 feb 2022
Journal: Arch. Rat. Mech. Anal.
We study a geometric variational problem arising from modeling two-dimensional charged drops of a perfectly conducting liquid in the presence of an external potential. We characterize the semicontinuous envelope of the energy in terms of a parameter measuring the relative strength of the Coulomb interaction. As a consequence, when the potential is confining and the Coulomb repulsion strength is below a critical value, we show existence and partial regularity of volume-constrained minimizers. We also derive the Euler-Lagrange equation satisfied by regular critical points, expressing the first variation of the Coulombic energy in terms of the normal $\frac12$-derivative of the capacitary potential.