Abstract:
We establish some new results about the $\Gamma$-limit, with respect to the $L^1$-topology, of two different (but related) phase-field approximations of the so-called Euler's Elastica Bending Energy for curves in the plane.

Abstract:
We give a rigorous proof of the approximability of the so-called Helfrich's functional via diffuse interfaces, under a constraint on the ratio between the bending rigidity and the Gauss-rigidity.

Abstract:
We study perturbations of the Allen-Cahn equation and prove the convergence to forced mean curvature flow in the sharp interface limit. We allow for perturbations that are square-integrable with respect to the diffuse surface area measure. We give a suitable generalized formulation for forced mean curvature flow and apply previous results for the Allen-Cahn action functional. Finally we discuss some applications.

Abstract:
The Allen-Cahn action functional is related to the probability of rare events in the stochastically perturbed Allen-Cahn equation. Formal calculations suggest a reduced action functional in the sharp interface limit. We prove in two and three space dimensions the corresponding lower bound. One difficulty is that diffuse interfaces may collapse in the limit. We therefore consider the limit of diffuse surface area measures and introduce a generalized velocity and generalized reduced action functional in a class of evolving measures. As a corollary we obtain the Gamma convergence of the action functional in a class of regularly evolving hypersurfaces.

Abstract:
In this paper, we construct global distributional solutions to the volume-preserving mean-curvature flow using a variant of the time-discrete gradient flow approach proposed independently by Almgren, Taylor and Wang (SIAM J. Control Optim. 31(2): 387- 438, 1993) and Luckhaus and Sturzenhecker (Calc. Var. Partial Differential Equations 3(2): 253-271, 1995).

Abstract:
The aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of some abiotic stresses commonly present in the Mediterranean environment (drought, salinity and negative physical soil properties) on a native Australian species (Callistemon citrinus (Curtis) Stapf), as the introduction of species in a new environment is successful, whenever they are able to overcome peculiar stress conditions. Plants were subjected to salinity stress using tap water added with 200 mM NaCl (23.1 mS cm-1), water stress induced by a reduced irrigation of 450 mL/pot/day and root restriction (1.5 L of pot volume instead of 3 L). Results showed that plant growth and total water potential were significantly reduced with all the stress treatments. Net photosynthesis and the other leaf gas exchange parameters were also reduced by stress conditions. Chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters were lower in salt and root-restricted stress conditions, compared to controls. Results suggest that C. citrinus can be used as an ornamental plant in a Mediterranean area, as this species appeared to be particularly resistant to both water stress and root restriction conditions. For this reason, C. citrinus could be chosen in compact soil and limited water availability such as urban environments and gardens with low maintenance.

Abstract:
We consider the problem of minimizing Euler's elastica energy for simple closed curves confined to the unit disk. We approximate a simple closed curve by the zero level set of a function with values +1 on the inside and -1 on the outside of the curve. The outer container now becomes just the domain of the phase field. Diffuse approximations of the elastica energy and the curve length are well known. Implementing the topological constraint thus becomes the main difficulty here. We propose a solution based on a diffuse approximation of the winding number, present a proof that one can approximate a given sharp interface using a sequence of phase fields, and show some numerical results using finite elements based on subdivision surfaces.

Abstract:
We consider the problem of minimizing the Willmore energy connected surfaces with prescribed surface area which are confined to a finite container. To this end, we approximate the surface by a phase field function $u$ taking values close to +1 on the inside of the surface and -1 on its outside. The confinement of the surface is now simply given by the domain of definition of $u$. A diffuse interface approximation for the area functional, as well as for the Willmore energy are well known. We address the topological constraint of connectedness by a nested minimization of two phase fields, the second one being used to identify connected components of the surface. In this article, we provide a proof of Gamma-convergence of our model to the sharp interface limit.

Abstract:
Recently, the use of Bessel beams in evaluating the possibility of using them for a new generation of GPR (ground penetrating radar) systems has been considered. Therefore, an analysis of the propagation of Bessel beam in conducting media is worthwhile. We present here an analysis of this type. Specifically, for normal incidence we analyze the propagation of a Bessel beam coming from a perfect dielectric and impinging on a conducting medium, i.e. the propagation of a Bessel beam generated by refracted inhomogeneous waves. The remarkable and unexpected result is that the incident Bessel beam does not change its shape even when propagating in the conducting medium.

Abstract:
The oblique incidence of a Bessel beam on a dielectric slab with refractive index n1 surrounded by a medium of a refractive index n>n1 may be studied simply by expanding the Bessel beam into a set of plane waves forming the same angle with the axis of the beam. In the present paper we examine a Bessel beam that impinges at oblique incidence onto a layer in such a way that each plane-wave component impinges with an angle larger than the critical angle.