*Published Paper*

**Inserted:** 31 oct 2023

**Journal:** Mathematische Annalen

**Year:** 2023

**Abstract:**

Consider the class of optimal partition problems with long range interactions \[ \inf \left\{ \sum_{i=1}^k \lambda_1(\omega_i):\ (\omega_1,\ldots, \omega_k) \in \mathcal{P}_r(\Omega) \right\}, \] where $\lambda_1(\cdot)$ denotes the first Dirichlet eigenvalue, and $\mathcal{P}_r(\Omega)$ is the set of open $k$-partitions of $\Omega$ whose elements are at distance at least $r$: $dist(\omega_i,\omega_j)\geq r$ for every $i\neq j$. In this paper we prove optimal uniform bounds (as $r\to 0^+$) in $\mathrm{Lip}$--norm for the associated $L^2$--normalized eigenfunctions, connecting in particular the nonlocal case $r>0$ with the local one $r \to 0^+$.

The proof uses new pointwise estimates for eigenfunctions, a one-phase Alt-Caffarelli-Friedman and the Caffarelli-Jerison-Kenig monotonicity formulas, combined with elliptic and energy estimates. Our result extends to other contexts, such as singularly perturbed harmonic maps with distance constraints.