Variational equivalence between Ginzburg-Landau, XY spin systems and screw dislocations energies

Roberto Alicandro, Marco Cicalese, Marcello Ponsiglione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We introduce and discuss discrete two-dimensional models for XY spin systems and screw dislocations in crystals. We prove that, as the lattice spacing ∈ tends to zero, the relevant energies in these models behave like a free energy in the complex Ginzburg-Landau theory of superconductivity, justifying in a rigorous mathematical language the analogies between screw dislocations in crystals and vortices in superconductors. To this purpose, we introduce a notion of asymptotic variational equivalence between families of functionals in the framework of γ- convergence. We then prove that, in several scaling regimes, the complex Ginzburg-Landau, the XY spin system and the screw dislocation energy functionals are variationally equivalent. Exploiting such an equivalence between dislocations and vortices, we can show new results concerning the asymptotic behavior of screw dislocations in the | log ∈|2 energetic regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-208
Number of pages38
JournalIndiana University Mathematics Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Analysis of microstructure
  • Calculus of variations
  • Crystals
  • Discrete-to-continuum limits
  • Topological singularities


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