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FILIPPO GAZZOLA, HANSCHRISTOPH GRUNAU, MARCO SQUASSINA

Abstract. We prove existence of nontrivial solutions to semilinear fourth order problems at critical growth in some contractible domains which are perturbations of small

capacity of domains having nontrivial topology. Compared with the second order case,

some difficulties arise which are overcome by a decomposition method with respect to

pairs of dual cones. In the case of Navier boundary conditions, further technical problems have to be solved by means of a careful application of concentration compactness

lemmas. Also the required generalization of a Struwe type compactness lemma needs a

somehow involved discussion of certain limit procedures.

A Sobolev inequality with optimal constant and remainder term is proved, which may

be of interest not only as a technical tool.

Finally, also nonexistence results for positive solutions in the ball are obtained, extending a result of Pucci and Serrin on so called critical dimensions to Navier boundary

conditions.

1. Introduction

We consider the following biharmonic critical growth problem

(1)

2 u = u + |u|2 2 u

in

(2)

u = u = 0

on

(3)

u = u = 0

on .

2n

is the

Here Rn (n > 5) is an open bounded smooth domain, > 0 and 2 = n4

2

n

2

n

critical Sobolev exponent for the embedding H (R ) , L (R ). We are interested in

existence and nonexistence of nontrivial solutions of (1) with one of the above boundary

conditions.

We consider first the case where = 0, namely the equation

(4)

2 u = |u|8/(n4) u

in .

It is well known that (4)(2) and (4)(3) admit no positive solutions if is star shaped (see

[24, Theorem 3.3] and [26, Corollary 1]). Clearly, these are not exhaustive nonexistence

results as they only deal with positive solutions, see also Section 3 below for further

comments. On the other hand, by combining the Pohozaev identity [28] with the unique

continuation property [19, Section 3], it is known that one indeed has nonexistence results

Date: April 23, 2002.

1991 Mathematics Subject Classification. 31B30; 35J40; 58E05.

Key words and phrases. Semilinear biharmonic elliptic problems, Navier boundary conditions, critical

exponent, best Sobolev constant.

The first author was supported by MURST project Metodi Variazionali ed Equazioni Differenziali non

Lineari.

1

of any nontrivial solution for the correponding second order equation u = |u|4/(n2) u

in star shaped domains. This suggests that, in order to obtain existence results for (4), one

should either add subcritical perturbations or modify the topology or the geometry of the

domain . For general subcritical perturbations we refer to [4, 11] and references therein.

Domains with nontrivial topology are studied in [3] for Dirichlet and in [9] for Navier

boundary conditions. Here we are interested in topologically simple but geometrically

complicated domains. As far as we are aware, the case of strange contractible domains

has not been tackled before and this is precisely the first scope of the present paper. We

show that (4)(2) admits a positive solution in a suitable contractible domain . This

result is the exact counterpart of [24, Theorem 3.3] where it is shown that (4)(2) admits

no positive solution if is star shaped. For the Dirichlet boundary condition we obtain

a weaker result: we show that (4)(3) admits a nontrivial solution in the same kind

of contractible domain. Clearly, this still leaves open some problems concerning Dirichlet

boundary conditions, see Section 3. On one hand our proof is inspired by strong arguments

developed by Passaseo [27], on the other hand we have to face several hard difficulties,

especially (and somehow unexpectedly) under Navier boundary conditions. One of the

crucial steps in the approach by Passaseo is to prove that sign changing solutions of (4)

double the energy of the associated functional. For the second order problem this may

be shown by the usual technique of testing the equation with the positive and negative

parts of the solution. Of course, this technique fails for (4) where higher order derivatives

are involved and we overcome this difficulty thanks to the decomposition method in dual

cones developed in [12]. This method enables us to bypass the lack of nonexistence results

for nodal solutions of (4) in star shaped domains. Moreover, when dealing with Navier

boundary conditions, the required generalization of the Struwe compactness lemma [33]

turns out to be very delicate because of the second boundary datum and the lack of a

uniform extension operator for H 2 H01 functions in families of domains. See Lemma

5.4 and its proof in Section 8. The same problem arises in Lemma 6.1 where a uniform

lower bound for an enlarged optimal Sobolev constant has to be found in a suitable class

of domains.

Next, we restrict our attention to the case where > 0 and = B, the unit ball

in Rn . We are interested in positive radially symmetric solutions. Let 1 > 0 be the

first eigenvalue of 2 with homogeneous Dirichlet boundary conditions. A celebrated

result by PucciSerrin [30] shows that (1)(3) admits a nontrivial radially symmetric

solution for all (0, 1 ) if and only if n > 8 (n is the space dimension). If n = 5, 6, 7

the range 0 < < 1 is no longer correct since there exists (0, 1 ) such that

(1)(3) admits no nontrivial radial solution whenever (0, ]; moreover, there exists

[ , 1 ) (presumably = ) such that (1)(3) admits even a positive radially

symmetric solution for all ( , 1 ). In other words, the well known [6] nonexistence

result for radially symmetric solutions of the second order problem for small in dimension

n = 3 bifurcates for (1)(3) to the dimensions n = 5, 6, 7: PucciSerrin call these

dimensions critical. Furthermore, the space dimensions n for which one has nonexistence

of positive radially symmetric solutions of (1)(3) for in some (right) neighborhood of

0 are called weakly critical. This latter notion was introduced in [15] in order to study

higher order polyharmonic equations for which critical dimensions seem more difficult to

handle; clearly, critical dimensions are also weakly critical. In Theorem 3.1 below we prove

that the dimensions n = 5, 6, 7 are weakly critical also for Navier boundary conditions.

Therefore, critical dimensions seem not to depend on the boundary conditions. This result

is perhaps related to the fact that critical dimensions may have an explanation in terms

2 , see [17, 23].

Finally, when = B we show that (4)(3) admits no nontrivial radially symmetric

solution; note that no positivity assumption on the solution is made. This result was

already obtained in [14, Theorem 3.11]; we give here a different (and simpler) proof.

2. Existence results

n

n

By D2,2

R (R ) we2 denote the completion of the space Cc (R ) with respect to the norm

2

kf k2,2 = Rn |f | ; this is a Hilbert space when endowed with the scalar product

Z

(f, g)2,2 =

f g dx.

Rn

By solution of (1) we mean here a function u H 2 H01 () (when dealing with (2)) or a

function u H02 () (when dealing with (3)) which satisfies

Z

Z

u dx =

u + |u|8/(n4) u dx

H 2 H01 ()

H02 ()).

for all

(resp.

For Dirichlet boundary conditions this variational

formulation is standard, while for Navier boundary data we refer to [4, p.221]. By well

known regularity results (see [22, Theorem 1] and [38, Lemma B3]), if C 4, , then

the solutions u of (1) satisfy u C 4, () and solve (1) in the classical sense.

Definition 2.1. Let K Rn bounded. We say that u D2,2 (Rn ) satisfies u > 1 on K in

the sense of D2,2 (Rn ) if there exists a sequence (uh ) in Cc2 (Rn ) such that uh > 1 on K for

each h N and uh u in D2,2 (Rn ). Analogously, u 6 1 and u = 1 on K are defined.

Definition 2.2. We define the (2, 2)capacity of K (cap K) as

Z

2

2,2

n

|u| dx : u = 1 on K in the D (R ) sense .

cap K = inf

Rn

We set cap := 0.

Since the nonempty set

u D2,2 (Rn ) : u = 1 on K in the D2,2 (Rn ) sense

is closed and convex, there exists a unique function zK D2,2 (Rn ) such that zK = 1 on

K and

Z

|zK |2 dx = cap K.

Rn

e Rn and let H, .

e We say that H cannot be deformed in

Definition 2.3. Let

e

into a subset of if there exists no continuous function

e

H : H [0, 1]

such that H (x, 0) = x and H (x, 1) for all x H.

Our first result states the existence of positive solutions for the critical growth equation

(4) with Navier boundary conditions. Combined with the already mentioned nonexistence result in star shaped domains [24], this shows that the existence of positive solution

strongly depends on the geometry of the domain.

Theorem 2.4. Let

e Then there exists > 0 such that if

e is a smooth domain

subset contained in .

e

e

with cap( \ ) < and such that H cannot be deformed in into a subset of then

there exists a positive solution of

(

2 u = u(n+4)/(n4) in

(5)

u = u = 0

on .

We will prove this result in Section 6.

Next we turn to Dirichlet boundary conditions. In this case, we merely show the

existence of nontrivial solutions to (4). The lack of information about the sign of the

solution is due to the lack of information about the sign of the corresponding Green

function. Moreover, in general domains sign change has even to be expected. See [16] for

a survey on this feature and for further references.

e be a smooth bounded domain of Rn (n > 5) and let H be a closed

Theorem 2.5. Let

e Then there exists > 0 such that if

e is a smooth domain

subset contained in .

e \ ) < and such that H cannot be deformed in

e into a subset of then

with cap(

there exists a nontrivial solution of

(

2 u = |u|8/(n4) u in

(6)

u = u = 0

on .

The proof of this result is simpler than the one of Theorem 2.4. As we will explain

below, for (5), one has to study very carefully the behaviour of suitable sequences uh

H 2 H01 (h ) for varying domains h . In contrast with the spaces H02 (h ), there is no

trivial extension operator into H 2 (Rn ). Only as positivity of solutions is concerned, the

situation with respect to Dirichlet boundary conditions is more involved than with respect

to Navier boundary conditions. Here we have no positivity statement of the solution

because Lemma 5.3 below does not seem to hold.

If is an annulus and if one restricts to radial functions, the problem is no longer

critical and then both (5) and (6) admit a nontrivial solution. For the second order

problem u = |u|4/(n2) u in , u = 0 on , it was shown with help of very subtle

methods by BahriCoron [2] that this result extends to domains with nontrivial topology.

Recently, corresponding results have been found also in the higher order case: see [9]

for problem (5) and [3] for the polyharmonic analogue of (6) under Dirichlet boundary

conditions. However, the solutions which are constructed in these papers and here are not

e satisfies the assumptions of [9] or [3]. If u is the

related. To explain this, assume that

solution of (5) or (6), then by exploiting the proof of Theorem 2.4 one has that u tends

e \ ) 0. Hence, any nontrivial solution in

e

to disappear via concentration as cap(

may not be obtained as limit of the solutions u in .

To conclude the section, we observe that there are also contractible domains , which

satisfy the assumptions of the preceding theorems. In the following example we describe

precisely such a situation. Further examples may be adapted to the biharmonic setting

from [27, pp. 3941].

e Rn with n > 5, where

Example 2.6. We consider an annular shaped domain as

we drill a sufficiently thin cylindrical hole along a straight line in order to obtain the

smooth contractible subdomain .

e \ is contained in a cylinder

To be more precise: we assume that for small enough,

n1

withbasis B R

and fixed height. Then by simple scaling arguments one finds that

n5

e

cap \ = O(

) 0 as 0, provided that the dimension satisfies n > 5.

e which can certainly not be deformed into

As H, we take a spherical hypersurface in ,

a subset of . This can e.g. be seen by looking at the degree of mapping d(H ( . , t), H, 0)

for t [0, 1], where H is assumed to exist according to Definition 2.3.

Instead of the above mentioned segment of fixed length, one may consider any bounded

piece of a fixed generalized plane, provided that its codimension is at least 5.

3. Nonexistence results

We collect here a number of known as well as of new nonexistence results for the equation

(7)

2 u = u + |u|8/(n4) u in

under either Navier or Dirichlet boundary conditions. Here, we include the linear term u.

In the borderline case = 0, where the purely critical equation has to be considered, the

behaviour of boundary value problems for (7) switches and, in contrast with the second

order case where the principal part is the Laplacian, it is indeed difficult to decide to which

of the two cases < 0 or > 0 it is more similar.

3.1. Under Navier boundary conditions. It turns out that nonexistence questions in

this case are relatively hard and that only restricted results are available.

The case = 0

In this case, no positive solution to (5) may exist, provided is star shaped. See [37,

Theorem 3.10] and also [24, Theorem 3.3].

The key ingredient is a Pohozaev type identity [29], which reads in this case:

Z

u (u)

(8)

x dS = 0.

Here / denotes the directional derivative with respect to the exterior unit normal

= (x). From the assumption u > 0, by applying twice the maximum principle for ,

one gets

(u) < 0 as well as u

< 0 on the boundary and hence a contradiction with

(8). By means of techniques developed by Pucci and Serrin in [30], such a nonexistence

result may be also shown for nontrivial radial solutions in the ball.

More difficult seems this nonexistence result for any nontrivial solution of (5). For the

second order equation u = |u|4/(n2) u (with u = 0 on ), the Pohozaev identity

yields u/ = 0 on ; moreover, from the equation itself we infer 2 u/ 2 = 0. Then,

by applying in a suitable fashion the unique continuation property (see [19, Section 3]) one

obtains that u 0. Returning to (5), in order to apply the unique continuation property

[31] one should have

3u

u

=

=0

on

3

but, to this end, (8) is not powerful enough.

The case > 0

In Section 7 we prove the following result.

Theorem 3.1. Let n {5, 6, 7} and assume that = B Rn is the unit ball. Then

there exists a number > 0 such that a necessary condition for a positive solution to

(

2 u = u + u(n+4)/(n4) in

(9)

u = u = 0

on

with > 0 to exist is > .

By [36], positive solutions to (9) are radially symmetric.

Theorem 3.1 answers a question which was left open by van der Vorst in [39, Theorem

3]. Moreover, in [39, Theorem 1] complementary existence results were shown implying

that such a nonexistence result can hold at most in the dimensions 5, 6, 7.

These are the critical dimensions for problem (9), at least, when restricting to positive

solutions in the ball. Theorem 3.1 can also be shown just for nontrivial radial solutions:

here one has to combine methods of [30] with some techniques, which appear in the proof

of Theorem 3.2 below.

Again one observes an unsymmetry between existence and nonexistence results: all

nonexistence results are restricted to the class of positive or at least radial functions.

Nevertheless, one would expect nonexistence of any nontrivial solution. A proof, however,

seems to be out of reach.

The case < 0

In the preceding nonexistence result, the positivity of a solution, the nonexistence of which

had to be shown, is intensively exploited. For this we use in the proof of Theorem 3.1 that

the right hand side of (9) maps R+ R+ (when > 0) and that the solution operator

for the biharmonic operator under Navier conditions is positivity preserving.

For negative, we can only argue as before, when is close enough to 0, see [18]. Then

we can still conclude that u > 0 in . But when << 0, the solution operator for

2 is no longer positivity preserving, see [32, pp. 99/100] and also [7]. Hence, the

framework of positive solutions is no longer adequate for (7), and the argument in [37, pp.

390/391] and [39, Theorem 3] breaks down. Instead, one has to look for nonexistence of

any nontrivial solution. But such a result seems to be still unknown, even for nontrivial

radial solutions in the ball.

3.2. Under Dirichlet boundary conditions. In this situation, existence results for

positive solutions are more involved than under Navier boundary conditions (see [13]) and

cannot even be expected in general domains. On the other hand, we know much more

about nonexistence for relatively large classes of solutions.

The case < 0

Nonexistence of any nontrivial solution is shown in [29], provided the domain is star

shaped. This proof is based on a generalized Pohozaev identity and covers also the general

polyharmonic problem with ()K as linear principal part.

The case > 0

In [30] we already find the following result, which gives a stronger statement than the

analogous Theorem 3.1 above for Navier boundary conditions:

Let n {5, 6, 7} and assume that is the unit ball B. Then there exists

a number > 0 such that a necessary condition for a nontrivial radial

solution to (6) to exist is > .

As this special behaviour of the critical growth Dirichlet problem (6) may be observed only

in space dimensions 5, 6 and 7, Pucci and Serrin call these dimensions critical. For the critical dimension phenomenon for general polyharmonic problems with Dirichlet boundary

conditions we refer to [15].

The case = 0

Also in this case, the nonexistence of any nontrivial solution to (6) has to be left open,

only more restricted results are available. Oswald [26] proved the nonexistence of positive

solutions in strictly star shaped domains. His proof is based on a Pohozaev type identity

(see e.g. [24, (2.6)]) and gives, after integration by parts

Z

(10)

(u)2 (x )dS = 0.

(11)

2u

=0

2

on .

conditions, one directly concludes that u > 0 in and obtains a contradiction with

the Hopf boundary point lemma for superharmonic functions. For nodal solutions of the

biharmonic problem (6), the second order boundary condition (11) is not enough to apply

the unique continuation property [31]; one would also need

(12)

3u

=0

3

on .

Therefore, if one could prove that any solution u of (6) satisfies (12), then we would have

the desired nonexistence result in star shaped domains.

Moreover, we can also exclude nontrivial radial solutions:

Theorem 3.2. Let B Rn (n > 5) be the unit ball. Then problem

( 2

u = |u|8/(n4) u in B,

(13)

u = u = 0

on B

admits no nontrivial radial solution.

This result can be found in [14, Theorem 3.11]. The proof there is based on a refined

integral identity of Pucci and Serrin [30] and some Hardy type embedding inequalities. In

Section 7 we will give a more elementary and geometric proof.

Unfortunately neither this proof nor the one given in [14, Theorem 3.11] carry over to the

general polyharmonic problem, where the discussion of nonexistence of nontrivial radial

solutions in the borderline case = 0 remains essentially open.

Sobolev embeddings with critical exponents and the corresponding optimal Sobolev

constants will play a crucial role in the proof of our existence results.

Let us set

(14)

S=

inf

kuk22

.

kuk22

When working in the whole Rn , this optimal Sobolev constant is attained and concerning

the minimizers the following result is known.

Lemma 4.1. The constant S in (14) is a minimum and (up to nontrivial real multiples)

it is attained only on the functions

(15)

u,x0 (x) =

,

(2 + |x x0 |2 )(n4)/2

for any x0 Rn and each > 0. Moreover, the functions u,x0 are the only positive

solutions of the equation

(16)

2 u = u(n+4)/(n4)

in Rn .

Proof. See [10, Theorem 2.1], [34, Theorem 4] and [20, Theorem 1.3].

Similarly one can define S() for any Rn . It is well known that S() is not attained

if is bounded [10] and that it does not depend neither on the boundary conditions [38]

nor on the domain. The following extension of the embedding inequality corresponding to

(14) with optimal constant S gives a quantitative formulation for its nonattainment.

n

Theorem 4.2. Let Rn be open and of finite measure and p [1, n4

). Then there

2

1

exists a constant C = C(n, p, ||) > 0, such that for every u H H0 (), one has

Z

1

(17)

|u|2 dx > S kuk22 + kuk2p .

C

(17) holds with a constant C = C(n, p, ) for all with || 6 .

For the smaller class H02 () a more refined result can be found in [12]. The proof there

bases on an extension and decomposition method (see also Section 5 below), by means of

which analogues to (17) for the spaces H0m () of any order can be also obtained. This

proof, however, does not seem to carry over directly to the space H 2 H01 due to the lack

of information at the boundary. In Section 7 we sketch a technical proof of Theorem 4.2,

which is based on nonexistence results like in Theorem 3.1 and on Talentis symmetrization

result.

5. Preliminary results

In the previous section we have briefly discussed energy minimizing solutions of (16).

These are necessarily of one sign (this is obtained as a byproduct of the following lemma)

and of the form given in Lemma 4.1. The next results show that nodal solutions of (4)

double the energy level of the corresponding free energy functional (observe that here,

we are working with a constrained functional). This will allow us to bypass the lack of

nonexistence results for nodal solutions of (4) in star shaped domains.

Lemma 5.1. Let = Rn and u D2,2 (Rn ) be a nodal solution of the equation

2 u = |u|8/(n4) u

(18)

in Rn .

Proof. Consider the convex closed cone

K = u D2,2 (Rn ) : u > 0 a.e. in Rn ,

and its dual cone

K 0 = u D2,2 (Rn ) :

(u, v)2,2 6 0 v K

Let us show that K 0 K . For each h Cc (Rn ) K consider the solution uh of the

problem

2 uh = h in Rn .

Then by the positivity of the fundamental solution of 2 in Rn , there results uh K and

thus if v K 0 ,

Z

Z

n

h Cc (R ) K :

hv dx =

2 uh v dx = (uh , v)2,2 6 0.

Rn

Rn

Moreau [25], for each u D2,2 (Rn ) there exists a unique pair (u1 , u2 ) in K K 0 such

that

(19)

u = u1 + u2 ,

(u1 , u2 )2,2 = 0.

according to this decomposition. It results that ui 6 0 and

(20)

i = 1, 2,

for a.e. x Rn . Indeed, if i = 1 and u(x) 6 0 then (20) is trivial, while if u(x) > 0, since

u2 K one has u(x) = u1 (x) + u2 (x) 6 u1 (x) and again (20) holds. The case i = 2 is

similar. By combining the Sobolev inequality with (19) and (20), we get for i = 1, 2

Z

Z

2

2

Skui k2 6 kui k2,2 =

uui dx =

2 uui dx =

Rn

Rn

Z

Z

=

|u|2 2 uui dx 6

|ui |2 dx = kui k22 ,

Rn

Rn

which implies kui k22 > S (n4)/4 for i = 1, 2. Hence, again by (19), one obtains

Z

Z

2/2 Z

4/n

kuk22

2

2

2

=

|u| dx

|u| dx

=

|u| dx

=

kuk22

Rn

Rn

Rn

4/n

Z

Z

2

2

=

|u1 | dx +

|u2 | dx

>

Rn

Rn

4/n

> Sku1 k22 + Sku1 k22

> 24/n S ,

which concludes the proof.

In the case of the half space we have a similar result.

10

Lemma 5.2. Let = {xn > 0} be the half space and assume that u D2,2 () solves the

equation

2 u = |u|8/(n4) u

(21)

in {xn > 0}

with boundary data either (2) or (3). Then kuk22 > 24/n Skuk22 .

Proof. Notice first that by [24, Theorem 3.3], equation (21) with (2) does not admit

positive solutions. A similar nonexistence result holds for boundary conditions (3), see

[26, Corollary 1] which may be easily extended to unbounded domains.

Therefore, any nontrivial solution of (21) (with (2) or (3)) necessarily changes sign.

We obtain the result if we repeat the argument of the proof of Lemma 5.1. With Navier

boundary conditions this is straightforward, while with Dirichlet boundary data one may

invoke Boggios principle [5] in the half space.

In a completely similar fashion, one may extend the previous result to any domain in

case of Navier boundary conditions. For Dirichlet boundary conditions this seems not

possible due to the lack of information about the positivity of the corresponding Green

function.

Lemma 5.3. Let be a bounded domain of Rn and assume that u solves (5) and changes

sign. Then kuk22 > 24/n Skuk22 .

As pointed out in the introduction, the H 2 H01 framework is more involved than the

H02 case. Therefore, from now on we restrict our attention to the first situation.

Consider the functional f : V () R

Z

(22)

f (u) =

|u|2 dx

V () =

(23)

uH

H01 ()

Z

:

|u| dx = 1 .

2

lim f (uh ) = c,

h

h

V ())

We can now state a global compactness result for the biharmonic operator, in the spirit

of [33]. Even if the proof is on the lines of that of Struwe, some difficulties arise. In the

appendix we give an outline of the proof emphasizing the main differences with respect to

second order equations.

Lemma 5.4. Let (uh ) V () be a PalaisSmale sequence for f at level c R. Then, for

a suitable subsequence, one has the following alternative: either (uh ) is relatively compact

in H 2 H01 () or there exist k nonzero functions u

b1 , ..., u

bk D2,2 , solving either (18) or

(21) and a solution u

b0 H 2 H01 () of (5) such that

1/2

k Z

X

uh * u

b0

(24)

|b

uj |2 dx

in H 2 H01 ()

j=0

and

(25)

2/2

k Z

k Z

X

X

lim f (uh ) =

|b

uj |2 dx

|b

uj |2 dx

.

h

j=0

j=0

11

b0 is just , while for u

b1 , ..., u

bk , it is either a half space or

n

the whole R .

We believe that nontrivial solutions of (21) do not exist and that the previous lemma

may be strengthened (see Section 3.1). Nevertheless, Lemma 5.4 is sufficient to prove the

following compactness property in the second critical energy range.

Lemma 5.5. Let (uh ) V () be a PalaisSmale sequence for f at level c (S, 24/n S).

Then, up to a subsequence, (uh ) strongly converges in H 2 H01 ().

Proof. Assume by contradiction that the sequence (uh ) is not relatively compact in H 2

H01 (). Then, by Lemma 5.4 one finds functions u

b0 H 2 H01 () and u

b1 , ..., u

bk

2,2

n

D (R ) satisfying (24) and (25). Assume first that all u

b1 , . . . , u

bk are positive solutions of

(18). Then, by Lemma 4.1 each u

bj is of type (15) and attains the best Sobolev constant,

i.e.

Z

2/2

Z

Z

2

2

2

|b

uj | dx =

|b

uj | dx = S

|b

uj | dx

(26)

, j = 1, . . . k,

Rn

which implies

Rn

Rn

Rn

|b

uj |2 dx = S n/4 for j = 1, ..., k. In particular, one obtains

4/n

Z

.

|b

u0 |2 dx + kS n/4

lim f (uh ) =

h

If u

b0 0, it results f (uh )

Z

k 4/n S,

while if u

b0 6 0 for each k > 1 one has

4/n

2

n/4

|b

u0 | dx + kS

> (k + 1)4/n S.

In any case we have a contradiction with S < lim f (uh ) < 24/n S.

h

bj is sign changing or a solution in the

half space {xn > 0}. By Lemmas 5.1 and 5.2 we then have for these u

bj :

2/2

Z

Z

Z

(27)

,

|b

uj |2 dx > 24/n S

|b

uj |2 dx

|b

uj |2 dx =

Rn

Rn

Rn

|b

uj |2 dx > 2S n/4 , while for the remaining u

bj , (26) holds true. In any case,

4/n

n/4

4/n

we have lim f (uh ) > 2 S

= 2 S, again a contradiction.

and hence

Rn

The proof of Theorem 2.4 is by far more involved than the proof of Theorem 2.5, because

the trivial extension of any function u H 2 H01 () by 0 does not yield a function in

H 2 (Rn ). In particular, for the space H02 () Lemma 6.1 easily follows by this extension

argument. A further difference is that the positivity conclusion of Lemma 5.3 does not

hold in the Dirichlet boundary value case. But in the latter case, one simply has to drop

this argument. Therefore we only deal with the proof of Theorem 2.4.

e let : V () Rn be the barycenter map

For all smooth

Z

x|u(x)|2 dx.

(u) =

e is a deformation retract of

Since

n

o

e+ = x Rn : d(x, )

e < re .

12

First we show that the energy or, equivalently, the optimal Sobolev constants will remain

relatively large if we prevent the functions from concentrating too close to their domain

of definition.

Lemma 6.1.

= inf

n n

o

o

e+ , smooth subset of

e > S.

inf f (u) : u V (), (u) 6

e and

Proof. Assume by contradiction that for each > 0 there exists a smooth

2

1

u H H0 C ( ) such that

Z

(28)

|u |2 dx = 1

Z

(29)

|u |2 dx 6 S +

e+ .

(u ) 6

(30)

an extension is well known. We emphasize that the quantitative properties of U outside

will not be used (and are expected to blow up for & 0). Further, let 1 be the

characteristic function of .

Step I. We claim that 1 U 0 in L2 (Rn ) as 0.

By Lemma 4.2 there exists C > 0 independent of such that

u H 2 H01 ( ) : kuk22 > Skuk22 +

(31)

1

kuk21 .

C

Putting together (28), (29) and (31), for each > 0 it results

Z

1

1

S+>

|u |2 dx > Sku k22 + ku k21 = S + k1 U k21

C

C

k1 U k2 0 as 0.

Step II. The weak* limit (in the sense of measures) of 1 |U |2 is a Dirac mass.

Integration by part shows that ku k2L2 ( ) 6 ku kL2 ( ) ku kL2 ( ) . Then by Step I

and (29), we infer that

k1 U kL2 (Rn ) = ku kL2 ( ) 0.

Therefore, taking any Cc (Rn ), as 0 it results that

Z

Z

2

(32)

1 |(U )| dx =

1 ||2 |U |2 dx + o(1) .

Rn

Rn

L1 (Rn )

Now, by the

boundedness of the sequences (1 |U |2 ) and (1 |U |2 ) there exist

two bounded non negative measures , on Rn such that

(33)

1 |U |2 * ,

1 |U |2 *

Z

2/2 Z

2

2

> 0 : S

1 |U | || dx

6

1 |(U )|2 dx

Rn

Rn

Z

2/2 Z

2

S

|| d

6

||2 d.

Z

S

d.

Rn

13

Rn

2/2

d

Z

=

Rn

Rn

Hence by [21, Lemma I.2] there exist x

(28) we finally see that = 1.

The contradiction follows by Step II, since (u ) x, against (30). This completes the

proof.

According to the previous lemma, we may choose such that S < < min{24/n S, }.

Let Cc (B1 (0)) be such that

Z

Z

2

(34)

|| dx = 1,

||2 dx < .

B1 (0)

B1 (0)

Rn

xy

,y (x) =

where is set to zero outside B1 (0) . It is readily seen that there exists > 0 such that

e and hence ,y C ()

e for each y H . For all (

e let z D2,2 (Rn ) be

B (y)

c

e

such that z = 1 in \

and

Z

e

|z |2 dx = cap(\),

Rn

(1 z )Ty () H 2 H01 () y H,

where Ty () :=

,y

k,y k2 .

sup kz Ty ()kH 2 H01 () <

yH

e

whenever cap(\)

< . Then one gets

k(1 z )Ty ()kL2 () 6= 0 y H,

if is sufficiently small. So, if we define the map : H V () by

(y) =

(1 z ) Ty ()

.

k(1 z ) Ty ()k2

(35)

e

provided that cap(\)

< . From now on is fixed subject to the previous restrictions.

e

e

Let be such that cap(\)

< and r (0, re) be such that is a deformation

retract of

+ = x Rn : d(x, ) < r .

14

inf {f (u) : u V (), (u) 6 + } > S.

(36)

Notice that

(37)

e given by

otherwise the map R : H [0, 1]

R(y, t) = (1 t)y + t( (y)) y H, t [0, 1]

e into a subset of + and then into a subset of ( is a deformation

would deforme H in

e we used

retract of + ) contradicting the assumption. Here, in order to see R(y, t) ,

e

that supp (y) B (y) and, as > 0, that ( (y)) B (y) .

Therefore, by combining (35), (36) and (37) one gets

(38)

n

o

e+ .

< < 6 inf f (u) : u V (), (u) 6

In what follows we need to find two appropriate levels, such that the corresponding sublevel

sets

f c = {u V () : f (u) 6 c}

cannot be deformed into each other. For this purpose let c1 , c2 > S be such that

c1 < inf{f (u) : u V (), (u) 6 + } ,

c2 = sup{f ( (y)) : y H}.

Assume by contradiction that there exists a deformation of f c2 into f c1 , i.e.

: f c2 [0, 1] f c2 ,

( . , 0) = Idf c2 and (f c2 , 1) f c1 .

We define H : H [0, 1]

H (x, t) = %e((( (x), 3t 1)))

if t [0, 1/3]

if t [1/3, 2/3]

if t [2/3, 1]

e+

e is a retraction and % : + [0, 1] + is a continuous map with

where %e :

e one should

%(x, 0) = x and %(x, 1) for all x + . In order to see that H (x, t) ,

e+ .

observe that c2 < and ( (x), 3t 1) f c2 , hence (( (x), 3t 1))

c

1

As ( (x), 1) f for each x H and

c1 < inf {f (u) : u V (), (u) 6 + } ,

then for each x H

(( (x), 1)) +

e into a subset of , in contradiction with our assumption.

and H is a deformation of H in

Then the sublevel set

f c2 = {u V () : f (u) 6 c2 }

cannot be deformed into

f c1 = {u V () : f (u) 6 c1 } .

Hence, by combining Lemma 5.5 with the standard deformation lemma one obtains a

constrained critical point u such that

S < f (u ) 6 sup{f ( (y)) : y H} < < 24/n S.

15

Proof of Theorem 3.1. We assume that = B = B1 (0) is the unit ball and that (9)

with > 0 has a positive solution u. As we have already mentioned above, the result

by Troy [36, Theorem 1] shows that u is radially symmetric. As the right hand side in

(9) is positive, an iterated application of the maximum principle for yields that u

and u are strictly positive and strictly radially decreasing. We will exploit the following

Pohozaev type identity, which may be taken e.g. from [37, Lemma 3.9]:

Z

Z

u

2

(u) dS.

(39)

2

u dx =

r

r

B

B

As u is radially symmetric we may proceed as follows with the term on the right hand

side; here, en denotes the n-dimensional volume of the unit ball B and c(n) denotes a

generic positive constant which may vary from line to line:

Z

u

(u) dS = n en (1)

(u)(1)

r

r

r

r

B

Z

Z

1

u

dS

(u) dS

n en

r

B r

ZB

Z

1

(40)

=

(u) dx

2 u dx .

n en

B

B

The first integral needs some further consideration. First of all, by making use of homogeneous Navier boundary conditions, we find:

Z

Z

n Z

X

2

2

(2xj )(u)xj dx = 2 n

(u) dx.

1 |x| u dx =

B

j=1

Furthermore, as we have already mentioned, u and by (9) also 2 u are positive and strictly

radially decreasing. This fact can be used to get rid of the degenerate weight factor 1|x|2

in the previous term:

Z

Z

Z

2 u dx 6

2 u dx +

2 u dx

|x|61/2

1/26|x|61

1

6

u dx + c(n) u

2

|x|61/2

Z

Z

6

2 u dx + c(n)

2 u dx

|x|61/2

|x|61/2

Z

6 c(n)

1 |x|2 2 u dx.

Z

Combining this estimate with the previous identity, we obtain from (39) and (40):

Z

2

Z

2

2

(41)

u dx > c(n)

u dx = c(n)k2 uk21 .

B

(42)

16

Observe that L2 estimates for the biharmonic operator under homogeneous Navier boundary conditions follow immediately from the L2 estimates for the Laplacian.

Combining (41) and (42), we see that for any positive radial solution u of (9), we have

Z

Z

2

u dx > c(n)

u2 dx;

B

> c(n).

Proof of Theorem 3.2. Assume by contradiction that u is a nontrivial radial solution of

(13). According to the remarks in Section 3.2 on the nonexistence of positive solutions, we

may assume that u is sign changing. Further, u cannot have infinitely many oscillations

d

near B, because in this case, as u C 4 (B) we would also have dr

u = 0 on B and

n

could extend u by 0 to the whole of R as a solution of the differential equation. The

unique continuation property [31] would give the desired contradiction (see also (12)).

As one may replace u with u if necessary, we may thus assume that there exists a

number a (0, 1) such that

u(x) = 0 for |x| = a,

moreover, by (11),

u(x) = u(x) = 2 u(x) = 0 for |x| = 1.

(43)

Clearly

d

dr u(a)

> 0. We define

f (x) := |u(x)|2 2 u(x)

( 2

v(x) = f (x)

Obviously v > 0 on a < |x| < 1. We now make use of comparison results, which hold true

for radial solutions of biharmonic inequalities in the annulus {x : a < |x| < 1} and can

e.g. be found in [8, Section 2]. First one obtains

d2

v(1) > 0.

dr2

(44)

d

Next, as u and v satisfy the same differential equation, if dr

u(a) = 0 it follows that u v

d

d

while if dr u(a) > 0 = dr v(a) we find u > v in a < |x| < 1. In both cases (44) gives

d2

u(1) > 0

dr2

and hence a contradiction with (43).

n

Proof of Theorem 4.2. We keep p [1, n4

) fixed as in the theorem. Let B = B1 (0)

denote the unit ball, centered at the origin. By scaling and Talentis comparison principle

[35, Theorem 1] it suffices to prove that there exists CB > 0 with

(45)

1

kuk2p

CB

17

for each u H 2 H01 (B), which is radially symmetric and radially decreasing with respect

to the origin (and hence positive). Let us set

S,p =

inf

1 (B)

uH 2 H0

u radially decreasing

kuk22 kuk2p

.

kuk22

> 0 : S,p < S.

(46)

Let us fix some (0, 1,p ), where

(47)

1,p :=

kuk22

2

uH 2 H01 (B)\{0} kukp

inf

(

p2 u

2 u = kuk2p

p |u|

u = u = 0

in B

on B.

Arguing along the lines of [6] and [13], one finds a smooth positive radial strictly decreasing

solution of

(

p2 u in B

2 u = u(n+4)/(n4) + kuk2p

p |u|

(48)

u = u = 0

on B.

On the other hand, for any positive radially decreasing solution of (48) one has the following variant of Pohozaevs identity:

Z

n(p 2)

u

(49)

2

kuk2p =

(u) dS.

2p

r

r

B

As above in the proof of Theorem 3.1, we conclude that

(50)

as we have assumed that p < n/(n 4). For > 0 sufficiently close to 0, we obtain a

contradiction.

8. Appendix: Proof of Lemma 5.4

We prove the corresponding statement for the free functional

Z

Z

1

1

E (u) =

|u|2 dx

|u|2 dx

2

2

which is defined on the whole space H 2 H01 (). More precisely, we have

Lemma 8.1. Let (uh ) H 2 H01 () be a PalaisSmale sequence for E at level c R.

Then either (uh ) is relatively compact in H 2 H01 () or there exist k > 0 nonzero functions

u

bj D2,2 (0,j ), j = 1, . . . , k, with 0,j either the whole Rn or a half space, solving either

(18) or (21) and a solution u

b0 H 2 H01 () of (5) such that, as h :

uh * u

b0 in H 2 H01 (),

kuh k22 kb

u0 k22 +

k

X

j=1

kb

uj k22 ,

E (uh ) E (b

u0 ) +

k

X

j=1

E0,j (b

uj ).

18

By well known arguments [6] we know that there exists u H 2 H01 () such that

0 (u) = 0, namely u solves (5). Moreover, by the

uh * u (up to a subsequence) and E

BrezisLieb lemma we infer that (uh u) is again a PalaisSmale sequence for E. Therefore

we may assume that

(51)

uh * 0,

E(uh ) c >

2 n/4

S .

n

Indeed, if c < n2 S n/4 , then we are in the compactness range of E and by arguing as in [6],

uh 0 up to a subsequence. In this case the statement follows with k = 0.

Assuming (51) and arguing as for the proof of [33, (3.2), p.187] we deduce

Z

(52)

|uh |2 dx > S n/4 + o(1).

Let L N be such that B2 (0) is covered by L balls of radius 1. By continuity of the maps

Z

Z

2

R 7 sup

|uh | dx,

y

7

|uh |2 dx

y

BR1 (y)

BR1 (y)

and (52), for h large enough one finds Rh > 2/diam() and xh such that

Z

Z

1 n/4

2

(53)

|uh | dx = sup

|uh |2 dx =

S .

2L

y B 1 (y)

B 1 (xh )

R

Case I. Rh % + and (Rh d(xh , )) is bounded;

Case II. (Rh d(xh , )) +;

Case III. (Rh ) is bounded.

Step II. Preliminaries for Case I.

For every x Rn let us denote by x0 its projection onto Rn1 , so that x = (x0 , xn ).

Since d(xh , ) 0, up to a subsequence xh x0 and %h := Rh d(xh , ) %.

Moreover, for sufficiently large h (say h > h) there exists a unique y h such that

d(xh , ) = |y h xh |.

For all h > h, up to a rotation and a translation, we may assume that y h = 0 and that

the tangent hyperplane H to at 0 has equation xn = 0 so that xh y h H. Then,

by the smoothness of , there exist an (n 1)dimensional ball B (0) of radius > 0

(independent of h) and smooth maps h : B (0) R such that in local orthonormal

coordinate systems over the tangent hyperplanes at yh , we have:

(54)

B (0) [, ] = (x0 , h (x0 )) : x0 B (0) .

Furthermore, there exists C > 0 (independent of h) such that

(55)

|h (x0 )| 6 C|x0 |2 ,

|h (x0 )| 6 C|x0 |,

|D2 h (x0 )| 6 C

h = Rh xh ,

x0 B (0).

19

so that xh is mapped into the origin 0 while the origin is mapped into (0, %h ) and (54)

becomes

h BRh (0) [Rh %h , Rh %h ] =

0

x

0

0

%h : x BRh (0) .

x , R h h

Rh

Let us set

(

h =

Rh h

x0

Rh

%h < xn < Rh h

x0

Rh

%h + R h

where > 0 and sufficiently small to have h h . Consider the injective map

n

h : BRh (0) [Rh , Rh ] R

0

(x0 , xn ) 7

x0 , Rh h Rxh + xn %h

and its inverse 1

.

We

observe

that

B

(0)

[0,

R

]

= h and that h is bijective

R

h

h

h

h

on these sets. Thanks to (55), after some computations, one sees that (h ) converges in

2 ({x > 0}) to the translation by the vector (0, %). Therefore,

Cloc

n

0 = (x0 , xn ) Rn : xn > %

is the local uniform limit of (h ). In particular, for every Cc (0 ) we also have that

Cc (h ) for sufficiently large h. This will be used below. Let us now set

4n

x

(56)

vh (x) = Rh 2 uh xh +

,

Rh

so that vh H 2 H01 (h ). By boundedness of (uh ) we infer that there exists C > 0 such

that kvh kH 2 (h ) 6 C. Let 1h denote the characteristic function of h , then the sequence

(1h vh ) is bounded in D1,2n/(n2) (Rn ) (and in L2 (Rn )) so that, up to a subsequence, we

have

(57)

1h vh * v0

in D1,2n/(n2) L2 (Rn )

by weak continuity of distributional derivatives, we deduce

Z

Z

2

2

Dij vh dx

Dij

v0 dx

h

derivatives.

Step III. The limiting function v0 in (57) solves (5) in 0 .

Fix Cc (0 ), then for h large enough we have supp() h . Define h Cc ()

by setting

n4

h (x) = Rh 2 Rh (x xh ) .

20

Therefore, (D2 h ) being bounded in L2 () and taking into account (56), one obtains

Z

n

0

2

uh Rh (x xh ) dx

o(1) =E (uh )(h ) = Rh

Z

n4

Rh 2

|uh |2 2 uh Rh (x xh ) dx

Z

Z

=

vh dx

|vh |2 2 vh dx

n

n

ZR

ZR

=

v0 dx

|v0 |2 2 v0 dx + o(1).

Rn

Rn

Then v0 H01 H 2 (0 ) solves (5) in distributional sense. The delicate point is to see that

v0 = 0 on 0 . To this end, let Cc2 (Rn ) with = 0 on 0 and define

h (x) = 1

h (x) (0, %) .

Notice that for h large enough, also h Cc2 (Rn ) with h = 0 on h . Taking into

2

n

account that (1

h ) tends to the translation by (0, %), it results h in C (R ) and

Z

Z

(v0 |v0 |2 2 v0 ) dx = lim

(vh h |vh |2 2 vh h ) dx

h

0

h

n4

Z

n4

h

2 2

h

2

2

= lim

uh Rh h (Rh (x x )) dx

uh Rh h (Rh (x x )) |uh |

h

n4

0

h

2

= lim E (uh ) Rh h (Rh (x x )) = 0.

h

function of H 2 (Rn ) and then by approximating it by a sequence of C 2 functions (k ) with

k = 0 on 0 , we get

Z

Z

1

2

H0 H (0 ) :

v0 dx =

|v0 |2 2 v0 dx,

0

which, as pointed out in [4, p. 221] implies that v0 is also a strong solution of (5) in 0 .

Step IV. The limiting function v0 in (57) is nontrivial.

Let Cc (Rn ) such that 0 supp 6= ; then for h large enough, we may define

(58)

ve0,h (x) = v0 1

(x)

(0,

%)

.

ve0,h : h supp() R,

h

Since v0 C 2 (0 ), v0 = v0 = 0 on 0 and (h ) converges to the translation by the

vector (0, %), we get as h +

(59)

k10 v0 1h e

v0,h kL2 (supp()) = o(1),

k10 v0 1h e

v0,h kL2 (supp()) = o(1).

in front of v0 , v0 , v0 . Then by (59) and some computations, one obtains, as h +

Z

Z

2

|(v0 vh )| dx =

|(e

v0,h vh )|2 dx + o(1)

Rn

h supp()

!2/2

2

|(e

v0,h v0 )| dx

>S

h supp()

Z

+ o(1) > S

|(v0 vh )| dx

Rn

2/2

+ o(1).

21

By compact embedding one has vh v0 in L2loc (Rn ) and thanks to an integration by parts

one gets

k((vh v0 ))k2 6 k(vh v0 )k2 k((vh v0 ))k2

and therefore vh v0 in L2loc (Rn ). Hence the previous inequality yields

2/2

Z

Z

+ o(1),

2 |(v0 vh )|2 dx > S

||2 |v0 vh |2 dx

Rn

Rn

which implies

Z

Z

d > S

Rn

2/2

|| d

Rn

where d and d denote respectively the weak limits of |(v0 vh )|2 and |v0 vh |2 in

the sense of measures. By Lions principle, there exists an at most countable set J, points

2/2

(xj )jJ 0 , nonnegative real numbers (j ) and (j ) with j > Sj such that

Z

Z

X

2

(60)

|vh | dx

|v0 |2 dx +

j (xj )

h

|vh |2 dx

(61)

for every

obtain

Cc (Rn ).

|v0 |2 dx +

Let

0

E

(vh )(vh )

h

jJ

Cc (Rn )

Z

=

j (xj )

jJ

and compute E

h

h

h

+2

uh (x)uh (x) ((Rh (x xh ))) dx

Z

+

uh (x)uh (x)((Rh (x xh ))) dx.

0 (v )(v ) = E 0 (u )(

In particular, putting

eh = (Rh (x xh )), it results E

h

h

h eh uh ).

h

Then, taking into accont that kuh

eh kH 2 H01 = o(1), by (60) and (61) we get as h +

Z

Z

Z

0

2

2

o(1) = Eh (uh )(

eh uh ) =

|v0 | dx

|v0 | dx + 2

v0 v0 dx

0

0

0

Z

X

X

+

v0 v0 dx +

j (xj )

j (xj ) + o(1).

0

jJ

jJ

By arguing as in the proof of [4, Lemma 3.3] one then infers that the set J is finite.

Assume by contradiction that v0 0. Choose 0 < 6 12 such that

xj 6 B1+ (0) \ B1 (0),

j J.

Z

Z

2

|vh | dx = o(1),

|vh |2 dx = o(1).

h B1+ (0)\B1 (0)

Let

Cc (Rn ),

0 6 6 1 with

(

1 on B1+/3 (0)

=

0 on Rn \ B1+2/3 (0)

22

Z

(62)

|h |2 dx = o(1).

With the same computations as in the proof of [1, Lemma 2], it follows

Z

4 !Z

n4

n

|h |2 dx

|h |2 dx 6 o(1).

(63)

1 S n4

h

Z

Z

Z

2

2

|h | dx =

|h | dx =

h

h B1+2/3 (0)

|vh |2 dx + o(1) =

6

B3/2 (0)

|uh |2 dx + o(1)

3/2 R1

h

2R1

h

(xh )

(xh )

6

B

h B1+/3 (0)

|h |2 dx + o(1)

|uh | dx + o(1) 6 L

B

1

|uh |2 dx + o(1) = S n/4 + o(1).

2

h

1 (x )

h

Z

|h |2 dx = o(1).

h

Z

Z

2

o(1) =

|vh | dx =

h B1+/3 (0)

|uh |2 dx

(1+/3)R1

h

|uh |2 dx =

>

B

R1

h

(xh )

(xh )

1 n/4

S ,

2L

Step V. In Case II, a solution of (18) appears.

This follows by arguing as in [1], see also [33]. After rescaling as in (56), (vh ) converges

to a solution of (18).

Step VI. Case III cannot occur.

By contradiction, assume that (Rh ) is bounded. Then, being Rh > 2/diam(), we may

assume that, up to a subsequence,

xh x0 ,

Rh R0 > 0.

4n

2

vh = R0

uh

Z

Z

|vh |2 dx =

|uh |2 dx,

0

H2

x

x0 +

R0

Z

.

|vh |2 dx =

0

H01 (0 ).

|uh |2 dx

so that, up to a subsequence, vh * v0

(vh ) is a PalaisSmale sequence for the functional

Z

Z

1

1

2

E0 (u) =

|u| dx

|u|2 dx

2 0

2 0

23

at the same level c. By weak continuity of E00 we get E00 (v0 ) = 0, namely v0 solves (5) in

0 . Arguing as in Step IV, we infer that v0 6= 0 which is absurd since uh * 0.

Step VII. Conclusion.

If (uh ) is a PalaisSmale sequence for E , then by Step I its weak limit u

b0 solves (5).

By Steps III, IV and V the remaining part (uh u

b0 ) suitably rescaled gives rise to a

nontrivial solution v0 of (18) (if Case II occurs) or (21) (if Case I occurs). With help of

this solution, we construct from (uh u

b0 ) a new PalaisSmale sequence (wh ) for E in

H 2 H01 () at a strictly lower energy level. In the case where we find the solution v0 in

the whole space, one proceeds precisely as in [33], cf. also [1]. In the case that v0 is a

solution of (21) in a half space 0 we again have to use the locally deformed versions ve0,h

in h of v0 . These have been defined in (58). Let Cc (Rn ) be any cutoff function

with 0 6 6 1, = 1 in B1 (0) and = 0 outside B2 (0). We put

p

(n4)/2

wh (x) := (uh u

b0 )(x) Rh

ve0,h Rh (x xh )

Rh (x xh ) .

First we remark that wh is indeed well defined as = 0 for Rh |x xh | > 2 Rh and as the

domain of definition of ve0,h grows at rate Rh . Further we notice that h and 1

h converge

uniformly to translations even on BRh (0). For this reason we have

ve0,h ()

v0 in D2,2 (0 )

Rh

and, of course, also in D1,2n/(n2) (0 ) and in L2 (0 ). Hence, we have

E (wh ) = E (uh ) E (b

u0 ) E0 (v0 ) + o(1)

and E

h

0

VI is applied to (wh ) instead of (uh u

b0 ). As v0 6 0 and hence

2

E0 (v0 ) > S n/4 ,

n

this procedure stops after finitely many iterations.

Acknowledgement. The authors are grateful to Nicola Garofalo for raising their attention

on the paper [19].

References

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24

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Corso Borsalino 54, I15100 Alessandria, Italy.

E-mail address: gazzola@unipmn.it

t fu

r Mathematik, Otto-von-Guericke Universita

t,

Fakulta

Postfach 4120, D39016 Magdeburg, Germany.

E-mail address: Hans-Christoph.Grunau@mathematik.uni-magdeburg.de

Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica

Via Musei 41, I25121 Brescia, Italy.

E-mail address: squassin@dmf.bs.unicatt.it

25

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